When ideas have sex. Matt Ridley on Ted talks. Explains the huge growth in prosperity in relation to the propensity of human beings to exchange things. Such trade allows for specialisation which facilitates increased productivity. [I would focus more on the capacity of human cooperation to transform production]. Americans need to work less. Juliet Schor […]
A sophisticated attack on consumerism from a particularly influential source. Amitai Etzioni, a former president of the American Sociological Association, argues in an article in The New Republic (17 June) for a cultural change in America: “What needs to be eradicated, or at least greatly tempered, is consumerism: the obsession with acquisition that has become […]
A couple of interesting articles on the American inequality debate. Brink Lindsey, vice president of research at the Cato Institute, has written a critique of what he calls “nostalgianomics”. This is the tendency to romanticise the “golden age” of relatively low income inequality from the 1930s to the 1970s. Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate and New […]
An interesting piece on the BBC website with the headline “the harsh necessity of child labour”. The article looks at the situation in Bangladesh where dire circumstances force many children to work. It is easy to condemn child labour in the abstract. But it comes about largely as a result of economic necessity rather than […]
An interesting looking paper by four American academics looking at “seven myths about green jobs”. To quote the abstract: “A group of studies, rapidly gaining popularity, promise that a massive program of government mandates, subsidies, and forced technological interventions will reward the nation with an economy brimming with green jobs. Not only will these jobs […]
I am on the BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze this evening discussing Fred Goodwin’s pay and “moral capitalism”. It should also be available on BBC iPlayer after the broadcast.
Just came across a report on Green Jobs (PDF) produced by Worldwatch Institute and published by the United Nations Environment Programme in conjunction. The project was in conjunction with the International Labour Organization, International Organization of Employers and International Trade Union Confederation. With the inauguration of Barack Obama as president the Green New Deal has […]
Can there be a non-elitist environmentalism? The is the question posed, implicitly at least, by an article on Greening the ghetto in the New Yorker. The piece is a profile of Van Jones, the founder and president of Green for All, a California-based “national organization dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to […]
An article in the Christian Science Monitor (19 November) on how an opinion poll in 21 countries shows support for more use of renewable energy sources even if it means higher prices in the short term. It talks favourably of President-elect Barack Obama’s plans to create jobs through the development of “clean technology” as well […]
The last programme in the series of the BBC Radio 4 Iconoclasts programme looked at the debate around third world sweatshops. Jagdish Bhagwati, a professor of economics at Columbia University, argued that sweatshops should not be criticised for paying poor wages although he conceded it was wrong to have poor working conditions. He emphasised that […]
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