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Transport innovation of the week: distance-based road taxes

The Wolfson Economics Prize is run by Policy Exchange and seeks to encourage innovative ideas in economics. It has run three times in the past, each time with a specific question. This year’s was on transport, with entries invited in response to this question: ‘How can we pay for better, safer, more reliable roads in […]

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Cross party cooperation is the future of politics

There’s a positive story in the headlines today. Prime Minister Theresa May is due to make her first major speech tomorrow after an election that dramatically reduced her majority. She is planning to invite the other parties to contribute more, and encourage more cross-party working. This is an entirely sensible response to the election result. […]

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Is a national conversation on Brexit still possible?

After the surprise election result last week, the media is full of people claiming to know what the British people think. Among the various things I’ve heard are that the country has rejected a ‘hard Brexit’, that Scotland has rejected a second referendum on independence, and that we are fed up with the tabloids. Some […]

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Why don’t we plan for recessions?

It’s the general election in Britain tomorrow, and candidates are on their last minute tours of the country today. The issues of terrorism and security are high on the agenda at the moment, and there’s been a lot of debate about who can be trusted to deliver the best post-Brexit deal. As usual there are […]

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20 supporters of the Universal Basic Income

The basic guaranteed income is one of those ideas, like land value taxation or the Tobin tax, that circles endlessly around. There are times when it’s obscure, and times when it’s being talked about again. It’s currently in the ascendant, and I suspect that it won’t be long before a country bites the bullet and […]

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Who wrote this?

As I was doing some research for my talk on happiness and wellbeing this week (which went well, thanks) I came across this nice little summary of one of my points. I won’t tell you who wrote it. Have a read, and see if you can guess who this is for yourself. For the past […]

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Five variations on the citizen’s income

This week I’ve been reading Guy Standing’s book Basic Income: and how we can make it happen, which answers just about any question one might have about the basic income. Among the many useful things in the book is a description of the variants on the idea, and the many different names associated with the […]

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Talking climate in the language of the right

Britain’s general election is underway, and once again the climate is more or less invisible as an issue. Perhaps that’s not surprising when the incumbent abolished the Department of Energy and Climate Change in her first week in office, but it’s not something I’m hearing much about from the opposition either. Other issues are hogging […]

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Book review: The Struggle for Democracy, by Roger Mason

I have been, of late, rather disappointed in the state of democracy in the English speaking world. I’m frustrated by partisan divides, the way campaigns can lie with impunity, and parties that only support reform that would directly benefit them. When the British government finds itself in court fighting for the right to make major […]

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How old is humanity?

Here’s a little thought experiment that turns up in Alex Evans’ book The Myth Gap. It’s something Duane Elgin asks people, and it got me thinking. I thought I might try it out on you all, and then we can talk about it. If you look at the way we treat each other, the way […]

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