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Over- and Under-reactions in politics

Chris Dillow / August 14, 2018 at 12:29 PM 46 views

You will all have had experience of somebody flying off the handle on the slightest provocation – brushing against them in a crowded pub, or pulling out in front of them in traffic. I suspect this everyday behaviour helps us…

Our broken politics

Chris Dillow / August 10, 2018 at 1:08 PM 109 views

Many of you believe that our politics is broken. I suspect this is right, in a particular sense. What I mean is that pretty much all social institutions can be thought of as selection devices. The problem with politics is…

Labour’s Bank of England problem

Chris Dillow / August 8, 2018 at 1:29 PM 103 views

Despite Jo Michell’s criticisms of him, I fear that Richard Murphy raises an important point here. To see it, let’s assume Labour were to take power today. There is a pressing need not just for more infrastructure spending but for…

Ownership in question

Chris Dillow / August 7, 2018 at 12:39 PM 107 views

What is the right form of ownership of a company? This is the question raised by Stan Kroenke’s proposal to buy all the remaining shares in Arsenal – a move described by the Arsenal Supporters Trust as “dreadful”. Viewed through…

The robot paradox

Chris Dillow / August 6, 2018 at 1:08 PM 138 views

“More than six million workers are worried their jobs could be replaced by machines over the next decade” says the Guardian. This raises a longstanding paradox – that, especially in the UK, the robot economy is much more discussed than…

Diversity: a rightist ideal

Chris Dillow / August 3, 2018 at 12:30 PM 113 views

The left does not have a monopoly of wisdom - or, if we judge by the row about anti-semitism, any wisdom at all. There is one great truth which, historically, rightists have known better than many leftists. It is that…

The Marxist Bank of England

Chris Dillow / August 1, 2018 at 12:41 PM 82 views

Does capitalism maximize the life-chances of working people? This old Marxian question is the context in which we should judge the Bank of England’s interest rate decision tomorrow. What I mean is that conditions for many working class people are…

Lying for Money: a review

Chris Dillow / July 31, 2018 at 12:23 PM 65 views

Just as they tend to over-glamourize murders, so TV dramas over-glamourize fraud: remember the BBC’s rather good Hustle? In the real world, though, both have something in common; they are squalid crude affairs committed mostly by inadequates. This is a…

The politics of discovery

Chris Dillow / July 28, 2018 at 11:30 AM 120 views

Here’s a theory. There are two different ways of thinking about politics and policy which are insufficiently distinguished; we can call them politics as imposition versus politics as discovery. Most people think of politics as the former: how can I…

Not debating immigration

Chris Dillow / July 26, 2018 at 12:37 PM 120 views

Some new neighbours recently moved in next door to me. They seem nice, but the point is that I had no say whatsoever in the matter. And yet almost everybody believes that, together with my fellow Brits, I have a…

Corbyn’s neglected question

Chris Dillow / July 24, 2018 at 12:52 PM 122 views

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech this morning raises a big question in economics that won’t get the attention it deserves: is there a trade-off between static and dynamic efficiency? Corbyn wants to use government procurement policies to “build things here again that…

The Brexit con

Chris Dillow / July 23, 2018 at 1:20 PM 107 views

Brexiters told us that leaving the EU would be quick and easy and would save us £350m a week. With a chaotic no-deal looking a real possibility, however, Jacob Rees Mogg now tells us it could take 50 years to…

Anti-communism as bad faith

Chris Dillow / July 22, 2018 at 11:59 AM 113 views

One of the advantages of being old is that you get the sense of perspective that comes with having seen things before. So it is with the attacks on Ash Sarkar and Aaron Bastani for their support for communism. I’m…

Capitalism as a fetter

Chris Dillow / July 20, 2018 at 12:30 PM 171 views

I was a little disappointed to see Tony Yates’ reaction to Aaron Bastani: Can we ditch 6th form debates and have someone arguing for evidenced based improvements to our policy portfolio please? My disappointment is the failure to see that…

On justifying policies

Chris Dillow / July 18, 2018 at 1:24 PM 140 views

Much as I like Ash Sarker, I’m not happy with this recent thread of hers: Lots of people have asked what I mean when I say I’m a communist. What I mean is that in the next 15 years, 1…

Brexit as neoliberal politics

Chris Dillow / July 17, 2018 at 12:59 PM 114 views

Many leftist remainers accuse Brexiters of being neoliberal. In one sense, this is questionable: "fuck business" is not a neoliberal sentiment, and nor is a desire for harsh immigration controls. In another sense, however, I suspect it is true: the Brexit…

Labour: the party of business

Chris Dillow / June 26, 2018 at 1:14 PM 131 views

“Fuck business”. These words of Boris Johnson should be as great a propaganda coup for Labour as Liam Byrne’s equally stupid “I’m afraid there’s no money” note was for the Tories. This is because it is the final nail in…

Does economics matter?

Chris Dillow / May 27, 2018 at 11:01 AM 254 views

Does economics matter? I ask because I suspect I would understand political debate better if I realized that it doesn’t. Everybody tends to over-rate the importance of their profession: it’s part of deformation professionelle. Lawyers over-rate the importance of the…

Job Guarantee: Marxist or Keynesian?

Chris Dillow / May 11, 2018 at 1:07 PM 294 views

For decades there has been a debate about the differences and similarities between Marx and Keynes. The question of whether we should introduce a job guarantee highlights this debate: is it a means of supporting capitalism, or a challenge to…

The socialism of moralizing fools

Chris Dillow / March 27, 2018 at 12:55 PM 274 views

How can the Labour party have gotten into such a mess that it can be credibly accused of anti-Semitism? An under-appreciated part of the answer, I suspect, lies in the fact it is dangerous for politics to be seen as…