My profile of Petter Stordalen, an anti-capitalist billionaire from Norway, was published in Financial Times Wealth on Friday. The original link can be found here. Is it possible to be an anti-capitalist billionaire? Many would assume the question is absurd. Surely the greatest beneficiaries of the market economy should be its staunchest supporters? Not so [...]
This is my latest book review for the Financial Times. The link to the piece on the FT site can be found here. American Tax Resisters, by Romain D Huret, Harvard University Press, 2014. Few people like paying taxes, but there are some individuals, particularly in the US, for whom active tax resistance is central to [...]
Normally I pay relatively little to the Budget in Britain as it seldom contains much that is new. This time around I was stuck by a throwaway claim made by George Osborne, the chancellor, in his speech: “The independent statistics show that under this government income inequality is at its lowest level for 28 years.” [...]
This is my latest spiked article. Why is the existence of extreme inequality in Britain treated as headline news? Given that a wide gulf between rich and poor is a characteristic feature of capitalist societies, inequality should not come as a surprise to anyone. A walk or drive around virtually any large city is enough [...]
This column first appeared in the March edition of Fund Strategy. The accompanying graph is available to see here. This column may be a little more personal for readers than normal. It concerns the likely trajectory of wages in the near future. In particular whether there are any signs of an upward trend after the [...]
What is the likely impact of policies to redress wide economic inequalities? Many support this goal and some abhor it but few take the trouble to spell out exactly what they mean by equality in this context. Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union speech provided a good opportunity to unpick the concept. The president [...]
This review was first published on spiked today. The unsubtle message of Martin Scorsese’s new film, The Wolf of Wall Street, is that there is a thin line between investment bankers and gangsters. Admittedly, investment banking is not itself illegal and its practitioners are not generally prone to extreme violence. Nevertheless, the film portrays Wall Street [...]
Episode three of the Benefits Street documentary was relatively dull. To the extent there was a theme it was the relationship between parents and young children. Unfortunately the topic was not properly developed. The programme touched on state intervention in family life including a visit by a health visitor and by someone from Sure Start [...]
Given the furore about Benefits Street, Channel 4’s fly-on-the-wall TV documentary series, it was interesting to hear the statistics on benefits cited in the BBC Radio 4’s latest More Or Less programme. Evidently the widely reported claim that 90% of those living on Birmingham’s James Turner Street, as featured in the documentary, are on benefits [...]
Whatever criticisms people make of Benefits Street (see 11 January post) it is the only programme I have seen on British TV that has let Romanian migrants tell their own story. The second episode focused on two groups of Romanians, one extended family and one group of 14 men, and the reactions to them. With [...]
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