Archive for January, 2008

The New York Times has a useful topics page on the debate on income inequality in America. It includes links to the newspaper’s key articles on the subject.

Benjamin Barber, a professor at the University of Maryland, rails against competition in an article in the Autumn 2007 edition of the Wilson Quarterly. In his view: “Competition skews the balance, and threatens real democracy. More fundamentally, it fails to comprehend freedom’s true character. In the human balance, given that we are creatures of nature […]

A new spin on growth scepticism from John Naish, a health journalist, in an extract from his book Enough in today’s Times (London). He takes two of the usual charges from the growth sceptic litany – humanity is destroying the environment and making it unhappy – and blames them on our primitive human brains. The […]

A feature in the January / February issue of Foreign Policy magazine suggests the idea of “affluenza” is pervasive in France rather than confined to America and Britain. Stefan Theil, Newsweek’s European economics editor, bases this claim on a study of official French textbooks: ‘ “Economic growth imposes a hectic form of life, producing overwork, […]

spiked has published an article article by me on how a narrow consumerist perspective blinds commentators to key trends in the world economy. It is accompanied by a piece by James Heartfield examining the elite disdain for popular consumerism.

Matthew Taylor, a former senior adviser to Tony Blair and now chief executive of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, has an astute although ultimately misplaced article on the happiness debate in the New Statesman (3 January). His starting point is the widening gap between the private and public spheres: “Pessimism is becoming […]

The awful Oliver James has a new book out. The Selfish Capitalist (published by Vermilion) evidently argues that the model of capitalism in the Anglo-American countries has led to an explosion of mental illness. I have already reviewed James’s previous book (see menu bar on left) and will read his new one as soon as […]