Archive for June, 2009

Many commentators, including many greens themselves and free market critics, are under the false impression that environmentalism is in some senses a left wing outlook. But this useful article by Geoffrey Lean in today’s Telegraph shows how mainstream conservatives have often backed environmentalist measures: • Angela Merkel, Germany’s conservative chancellor, was instrumental in passing the […]

Many commentators have made the correct point that the next British government, whichever political stripe, will have to make public spending cuts. Forecasts of economic growth, tax revenue and debt repayments suggest cuts will be substantial. What the pundits have missed is that the reluctance of political parties to be open about austerity is consistent […]

Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the RSA, had a comment piece in yesterday’s Times (London) which recycled many key growth sceptic ideas. He conceded that in many respects we have never had it so good. However, in his view we are plagued by rampant individualism and hyper consumerism. Taylor bases his argument on the […]

It is now possible to listen to a recording of the 16 May Battle for the Economy conference in London online. The sessions include one I spoke at on greedy bankers

This week’s Economist has an article about how Colombia’s constitutional court has officially recognised scavengers at a rubbish dump in Cali, the country’s third city, as entrepreneurs. For the free market magazine this is a wonderful example of popular capitalism in action. It approvingly quotes Martin Medina, who has written a book on the subject, […]

The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (15 June). Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is! The debate about whether the world is recovering from recession is getting mightily confusing. Economic discussion has been largely reduced to pantomime. Last week pundits latched on to several indicators that appeared to show […]

I had been hoping for a quiet evening after a hectic week’s work but unexpectedly found myself in a battle with some fishy environmentalists and an even fisher journalist. Since I finished work unexpectedly early I decided to go to see the End of The Line, a newly released documentary about over-fishing, as the only […]

A sophisticated attack on consumerism from a particularly influential source. Amitai Etzioni, a former president of the American Sociological Association, argues in an article in The New Republic (17 June) for a cultural change in America: “What needs to be eradicated, or at least greatly tempered, is consumerism: the obsession with acquisition that has become […]

A useful article by Vivienne Parry, a science writer and broadcaster, on “food porkies” in the June issue of Prospect. She argues strongly against the view that factor farming is the source of many of the new diseases that are leading to pandemics: “A study by the respected US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention […]

Real Clear Markets has published my latest comment from Fund Strategy.