Archive for June, 2007

It is easy to get confused by the publication of two recent books by authors called Robert Frank on the subject of wealth and inequality in America. Robert H Frank, a professor of economics at Cornell in New York state, has written a book called Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class (University […]

I appeared last night on 18 Doughty Street, an internet television channel, discussing a range of topics related to the recent G8 summit of world leaders. The other panellists on the Claire Fox News programme were Deepak Lal and Stuart Simpson. The programme can be watched by clicking: here.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is organising a substantial conference in Istanbul this coming week on “measuring and fostering the progress of societies”. It is an important step in a trend to move away from economic indicators such as GDP as measures of progress towards well-being indicators (see, for example, posts of […]

The Independent is scared of economic development. Yesterday the newspaper ran a classic Malthusian scare story on its front cover about how food prices were rising while supplies were falling. It said one of the main factors behind this trend towards “agflation” (agricultural inflation) is the “growing affluence of millions of people in China and […]

James Heartfield has written a characteristically astute review article on technophilia and technophobia for the latest spiked review of books. Rather than attempt to summarise the whole thing I will point to a few snippets: * “Post-Fordist Britain makes more cars than ever before, and the weight of car production remains firmly in the developed […]

James Surowiecki, a staff writer on the New Yorker, has written an unfairly critical review of Indur Goklany’s The Improving State of the World for Foreign Affairs. Surowiecki concedes that “Goklany’s rebuttal to the environmental doomsayers is both welcome and convincing”. But he then goes on to argue that: “Goklany’s account leaves out too much […]

A debate between two leading growth sceptics in New Left Review on how best to tackle climate change. Clive Hamilton, a leading Australian environmentalist, attacks George Monbiot for, among other things, over-emphasising moral exhortation: “At times Monbiot is drawn into the most dangerous trap for environmentalists, the recourse to holier-than-thou moralizing.” Instead Hamilton argues that: […]

Globalisation needs better public relations according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Angel Gurria, the secretary general of the OECD, was quoted as saying “the story could be told better” in the Financial Times (FT). This view was endorsed by a leader in the FT itself. Gurria’s outburst was prompted by the […]

A flurry of new papers on China and India: A paper by David Dollar, the World Bank country director for China, looks at the combination of rising affluence and increasing inequality in China. He argues that some rise in inequality was inevitable with the introduction of a market-based system in China. However, other factors, such […]

Worldwrite, an education charity which produces films promoting third world development, has produced its first newsreel. The film is based on a critical discussion of the recent G8 summit of world leaders. I was on the panel along with Philip Cunliffe and Stuart Simpson (see 29 May post). It can currently be viewed from the […]