Category: 01. Overview

Economists’ information gap

Robert Samuelson, an economic journalist writing in the Washington Post, says: “Many economists often don’t know what’s going on” How refreshing to read this breeze of commonsense after being buffeted by gales of expert opinion and advice from the government and its agencies, economic think-tanks or the media The following is a precis of his …

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The evolution and future of productivity

The Universe is some 15 billion years old, apparently – ‘Big Bang’ followed, some 10 billion years later, spawning Planet Earth – then, over the last 4.5 billion years, life appeared on Earth and a wide variety of species, both flora and fauna, eventually emerged At first, resources needed for their survival – food or sunlight, say …

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Deaf ears encore une fois

Barnes Wallis, the English scientist of ‘bouncing bomb’ fame, once said: “There is a natural opposition among men to anything they have not thought of themselves” He might better have said ‘western men’ – ‘eastern men’ can be ‘all ears’ Once upon a time, just after WW2, three eminent American statisticians tried to convince US …

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Suspect forecasts

Despite numerous forecasting clangers in recent times, the UK’s OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) claims British productivity in the last decade has hardly grown at all and will remain sluggish over the next five years They had assumed, when advising the Chancellor, that it would return to trend after 2008 They have now decided to abandon …

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Value overtakes price

In The Value of Everything by Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in Economics of Innovation and Public Value, University College, London, she firstquotes Oscar Wilde: “A cynic knows the price of everything but the value of nothing” Her whole book then questions ‘where does value come from – what creates, extracts and destroys it?’ I am no economist, so …

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