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Brexit, Marxists & the state

Chris Dillow / October 14, 2018 at 11:33 AM 41 views

Was Marx wrong? This is the question posed by Brexit. I’m prompted to ask by this from the government’s advice to business on what to do about a no-deal Brexit: UK companies and limited liability partnerships that have their central…

Adam Smith’s two economies

Chris Dillow / October 11, 2018 at 1:00 PM 85 views

Adam Smith thought there were two economies – meritocratic for the poor and powerless and anti-meritocratic for the powerful: In the middling and inferior stations of life, the road to virtue and that to fortune, to such fortune, at least,…

Our insular culture

Chris Dillow / October 9, 2018 at 12:45 PM 97 views

There are only three economies in the world – the UK, US and Venezuela. Or at least, this is what you’d think listening to the recent reaction to Labour’s plans for nationalizing utilities and more worker say in corporate governance.…

The state & profits

Chris Dillow / October 6, 2018 at 12:03 PM 103 views

Has British capitalism become more dependent upon the state in recent years? I ask because of a curious development in how profits are made. First, let’s remind ourselves of a basic fact – that UK capitalism has evolved in a…

What counterfactuals (don’t) tell us

Chris Dillow / October 3, 2018 at 12:59 PM 167 views

Imagine if Labour had won the 2015 general election. What would the country look like now? We’d probably have had less austerity and therefore higher incomes and perhaps higher interest rates. House prices might be a bit lower, but still…

Ideology for normal people

Chris Dillow / October 2, 2018 at 1:05 PM 156 views

Jeff Sparrow accuses the left of being smug elitists who dismiss ordinary people as being dopes and fools. I don’t doubt that there is an element of superciliousness within the left. But there needn’t be. We can believe that people…

When detail matters

Chris Dillow / September 30, 2018 at 12:02 PM 188 views

Chris Giles says that in predicting that a no-deal Brexit will cause house prices to fall 35%, Mark Carney’s has fallen “into the trap of giving his audience precise numbers at a time they are neither knowable nor helpful.” This…

The neoliberal constraint

Chris Dillow / September 27, 2018 at 12:44 PM 168 views

There’s something that troubles me about Labour’s otherwise admirable plan for greater worker ownership. It’s that it could fall victim to neoliberal* performativity. What I mean is that there are two different ways to think about the plan. We could…

A Crisis of Beliefs: a review

Chris Dillow / September 26, 2018 at 10:18 AM 164 views

Whilst I was away, there was a debate on Twitter about why so many Oxford PPEists become newspaper opinion writers. The question was ill-posed: in fact only a teeny fraction of PPE graduates enter that profession - much less than…

Worker ownership: threat or promise?

Chris Dillow / September 25, 2018 at 10:15 AM 135 views

Labour’s plan to force large companies to give workers a 10% stake in them seems popular: Yougov reports that most voters and even a plurality of Tory supporters think it a good idea. On the other hand, though, it’s given…

Doubts about wage-led growth

Chris Dillow / September 8, 2018 at 12:28 PM 213 views

“Higher wages prompt improvements in productivity”. This is one of the central claims in the IPPR’s report this week. But I wonder: how true is it? Certainly, it can be for individual firms. An employer who pays better than the…

Prosperity and Justice: a review

Chris Dillow / September 5, 2018 at 1:06 PM 214 views

I confess I approached the IPPR’s report, Prosperity and Justice, with low expectations. I feared it would be yet more bland technocratic centrism. I was wholly wrong. It gets to the heart of our economic problem – that inequalities of…

Over- and Under-reactions in politics

Chris Dillow / August 14, 2018 at 12:29 PM 182 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…

Ownership in question

Chris Dillow / August 7, 2018 at 12:39 PM 251 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…

Diversity: a rightist ideal

Chris Dillow / August 3, 2018 at 12:30 PM 185 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…

Not debating immigration

Chris Dillow / July 26, 2018 at 12:37 PM 190 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…

The Brexit con

Chris Dillow / July 23, 2018 at 1:20 PM 145 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…

Labour: the party of business

Chris Dillow / June 26, 2018 at 1:14 PM 197 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 304 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 335 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…