On Hayek and State Power

The Republican right is a rather tenuous mix of classical liberals, neo-conservatives and libertarians. The tensions between neoconservatism on the one hand, and classical liberalism and libertarianism on the other, has often been noted. Perhaps less attention has been given to the tensions between the classical liberal and the libertarian tendencies of the right. Both, … More On Hayek and State Power

Why should we care about inequality? Tim Harford nails it in this Financial Times column

Originally posted on Economics for public policy:
Tim Harford nails it in an article called “How the wealthy keep themselves on top.” I set out two reasons why we might care about inequality: an unfair process or a harmful outcome. But what really should concern us is that the two reasons are not actually distinct…

Osborne economics is not an invincible force of nature | John Harris

A sobering account of the state of the UK economy and the politics of the current crisis. Those parading the recent (modest) growth figures as evidence of a recovery should take stock of the deeper structural problems facing the UK. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/16/george-osborne-economy-force-nature?post_id=742833106_10151631241043107#_=_

UK Workers suffer longest wage squeeze since 1870

A TUC report argues that, according to data collected from the Bank of England, workers’ wages have been declining for 40 straight months, the longest since 1870. And yet, the narrative of ‘recovery’ is still the baseline for the article as the central bank cites the data as an example of the ‘fragile recovery’. Check … More UK Workers suffer longest wage squeeze since 1870

Faith, flag and the British left – ‘One Nation’? | openDemocracy

http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/michael-kenny/faith-flag-and-british-left-one-nation As a fan of E.P. Thompson, but not much of a fan (so far) of ‘One Nation’ Labour (which seems to be too much Blue Labour for my liking), it is interesting to see scholars debating Thompson’s legacy in light of current Labour politics.

Gerrard Winstanley, the Original Occupier

At the height of the English Revolution, a group of newly proletarianized Englishman occupied St. George Hill in Surrey with the intent of establishing a more egalitarian and democratic way of life. The ‘leader’ of this group of ‘Diggers’ was a man from Wigan named Gerrard Winstanley, a man who, by the late nineteenth century, … More Gerrard Winstanley, the Original Occupier

The Uses and Abuses of the Household Analogy

One of the most common ideological tropes employed by ‘austerians’ to rationalize the unprecedented defunding of the public sector in order to socialize the recent failures of finance capital has been to equate the state to a household. Like any common household, the argument goes, the state must live within its means. No household can … More The Uses and Abuses of the Household Analogy

The Future of Work

I came across this post from The Current Moment, a blog dedicated to various aspects of the political economy of labour. This post presents some very interesting trends depicting both the absolute and relative growth of work (waged and salaried work) despite the increase in potentially labour saving technology. The libertarian economists who fetishize labour … More The Future of Work

The simple economics of the declining middle class — and the not so simple politics

I’ve posted a number of criticisms of Bryan Caplan’s book, The Myth of the Rational Economist. In one post, responding to Caplan’s claim that lay people suffer from pessimism bias, I took issue with his assessment of household income (generally prefering mean household income over median household income) as a way of dismissing the bleak … More The simple economics of the declining middle class — and the not so simple politics

Rational Irrationality and Capitalist Technocracy

The most recent exposition of the neo-liberal attack on democracy was published at the outset of what Wolfgang Streeck has called the current ‘crisis of democratic capitalism.’[1]  In The Myth of the Rational Voter, Bryan Caplan firmly embeds the neoliberal pursuit of free market capitalism within a Platonic critique of the irrationality of the masses … More Rational Irrationality and Capitalist Technocracy