This article for the Financial Times was published in Friday’s FT Wealth. Every generation has thinkers who support the right to accumulate great wealth. Such figures are reviled by egalitarians for defending the indefensible: upholding privilege and hierarchy while the common man or woman suffers impoverishment. Conservatives typically respond that social inequality can benefit society [...]
Nancy McDermott makes an astute point on equality in her masterly spiked essay on “maternalism”: “Today’s obsession with inequality masks an attack on equal standards and equal rights”.
Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has unwittingly endorsed my characterisation of him as a new egalitarian in yesterday’s spiked piece. An article in today’s Guardian quotes him as saying “there is too much inequality” and “my speech was actually a warning against letting inequality go unchecked”.
This article was first published on spiked today. Although last week’s Margaret Thatcher lecture by Boris Johnson was widely understood as a traditional conservative rejection of equality, it was nothing of the sort. It is true that the mayor of London stepped slightly beyond the bounds of what is generally considered appropriate in these oversensitive [...]
I must have missed it in my childhood for, despite liking cartoons, I do not recall ever coming across Scrooge McDuck. I certainly did not expect that many years later I would be alerted to the existence of the richest duck in the world by a billionaire fund manager. Bill Gross, the founder and chief investment officer [...]
It is hard to imagine any convincing moral defence of redistribution from the relatively poor to the wealthy. Yet that is precisely what seems to be happening with quantitative easing. Several important figures in the financial markets have raised this reverse Robin Hood effect recently. Nigel Wilson, the chief executive of Legal & General, described [...]
Novo Argumente has published a German version of my article on “Who’s afraid of inequality?”. It was published in the Dutch edition of Ode (the Optimist) in May and in The Intelligent Optimist in English in June (although only the first part is available online). Viele Menschen sind der Auffassung, das schwerwiegendste gesellschaftliche Problem unserer [...]
My piece on trends in household income in the advanced economies was published today in the annual world economy survey in the Financial Times. Beyond the truism that financial crises and recessions are painful, the advanced economies have had widely divergent experiences in recent years. This is clear even at the level of economic growth. [...]
This review first appeared in Friday’s edition of FT Wealth. The Society of Equals, by Pierre Rosanvallon, Harvard University Press, 2013 The idea of equality often evokes heated passions. For its critics it can represent insufferable political correctness, punitive taxation and even the nightmare vision of violent revolution. In contrast, its supporters typically see it [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. In the last issue of Fund Strategy (7 August) this column argued that many criticisms of GDP are disingenuous. Such detractors merely point out that it does not incorporate other measures such as inequality or happiness. Yet there are already ways of measuring these other phenomena. Such [...]
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