« Broad-spectrum policies | Main | Who'll defend freedom? »

April 19, 2019


Marc Mulholland

Very good.

That Offer quote should be "... is perhaps one of the consequences of affluence."


Thanks! Correction made.


"In the same vein, the creation of high-quality council houses created a constituency with a strong interest in buying them cheaply from Thatcher."

The half-century long refusal to build more (and the capture by and distribution of the remaining public housing stock in the most irritating manner possible by bourgeois elements) - despite mass un/under/subsistence employment is kind of telling.

Creating a surfeit is the ultimate medicinal compound for neoprimitive accumulation.

David Brown

Fabulous paper by Werner Troesken in the link above. Well worth a read.


“Authoritarian governments use crime, unrest or terrorism as excuses for removing freedoms. For them, failing to suppress crime works better than succeeding.”

The USSR used to hide the fact that it had any crime, unrest or terrorism. It even denied it had natural disasters. Apparently only capitalist countries had earthquakes.

I used to listen to Radio Moscow in the 1980s. Listeners would write in with questions about the USSR, to which the answers were always hilariously panglossian. Question: “What’s the rate of inflation in the Soviet Union?”. Answer: “As amazing as it may seem, since October 1917 there has been no inflation in the Soviet Union”…

The main crime the Brezhnev-era USSR effectively turned a blind eye to was black marketeering. In reality they needed it. But they didn’t highlight it, or use it as the primary justification for having a police state.


“We flatter ourselves that we live in a meritocracy in which success is rewarded and failure punished. But in many cases, this is a myth.”

Most of the time, narrative trumps reality. The economists who advocated UK membership of the ERM or Greek membership of the Euro didn’t suffer any reputational damage from being wrong, and their opponents didn’t gain any reputational enhancement from being right. At a subliminal level, everyone understood that both sets of economists were for or against political union for political reasons, and the economics was just post hoc justification.

Robert Mitchell

Shouldn't economists put their money where their mouths are and place bets on outcomes like Greece joining the EU, and publish public profit and loss statements? An economist's models should be judged on the basis of the profitability of their predictions. Thus you all should be looking at the research JP Morgan and other big financial institutions are producing, because their predictions are tested in the market. Economists are just telling stories.


For your younger readers, please explain the picture reference!


I think that’s The Scaffold. One of the earliest songs I can remember from Top of the Pops.

The comments to this entry are closed.

blogs I like

Blog powered by Typepad