The Battle of Ideas

In: Uncategorized

5 Nov 2006

Last weekend I debated the Battle for Affluence at the Battle of Ideas festival. The thrust of my argument was that affluence has proved enormously beneficial for humanity and will continue to do so. In contrast others, such as Professor Avner Offer of Oxford university and Mark Easton of the BBC, argued that our preoccupation with prosperity has gone too far. In their view other factors, such as well-being, should be the main focus of government policy. Others on the panel included Professor Nicholas Crafts of Warwick university and Jenny Davey of the Times (London). Later that evening I also debated Professor Offer on BBC Radio Five Live.

At the conference I also chaired a session in which
“>Damned by Debt Relief
, a film made by Worldwrite, had its world premiere. The film showed how the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative imposes new conditions on the poor but does not offer any new money. A trailer for the film can be viewed here.

Other sessions at the weekend included a debate on the “happiness trap” and a series on the Battle over Nature.

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