Is Democracy Too Left-Wing?

There is never any shortage of advice to political parties who seek to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy that to do so would be to court electoral disaster. Any indication of a wish to move away from the status quo will, they are told, be seen as a dangerous “move to the left”. It was Mrs […]

Economics Students Demand Better

Economics students are revolting! No, not an admission from the teachers of economics that they find their students less than appealing, but a declaration of war by economics students across the globe who are fed up with the kind of economics they are taught. Students in some of the world’s leading universities, including many UK […]

Yes, There Is An Alternative

Phil Verry was a patriot, a leading businessman and head of New Zealand’s largest sawmilling firm. He was also an innovative thinker. I was privileged to become his friend and colleague, and to help him develop an ingenious refutation of the assertion constantly made by those with closed minds that “there is no alternative” to […]

Who Owns the Future?

There is no novelty is arguing, as George Osborne does, that there is no alternative to his destructive and divisive policies of austerity – TINA was, after all, the Thatcherite catch-cry and as misleading in her day as it is today. But it is surely stretching credulity too far to suggest, as John Harris does […]

In Our Democracy, It’s Dollars Not Votes That Count

In what we are pleased to call a democracy, we count votes – one per citizen – on polling day, but on every other day we count only dollars; and when it comes to dollars, the more you have, the more political influence you wield. Very few of us seem to realise how thoroughly the […]

What Happened to the Money?

Larry Elliott is right to ask in Tuesday’s Guardian why 16.5 billion of quantitative easing made available by the Bank of England to the commercial banks through the funding for lending scheme has failed to show up in increased lending to the small and medium-sized businesses which desperately need a boost to their available funding. […]

Tilting On Its Axis

New Zealanders often bemoan the fact that we are so remote from anywhere else. There’s not much we can do about geography, but we could sometimes make a greater effort to relate our own situation to what is happening in the rest of the world. A case in point is the upheaval that occurred last […]

Our Politicians Are Not Up To It

The revelation that Growth in a Time of Debt, the influential 2010 paper by leading economists Reinhart and Rogoff, was vitiated by basic errors has removed one of the last credible underpinnings of the contention that austerity – and reducing the deficit at all costs – is the proper response to recession. But it is […]

An Economic Policy for Labour

It was significant that, in the seven issues that Tony Blair – in his article last week in the New Statesman – advised Ed Miliband to focus on, there was no mention of the state of the economy. It is true that Tony never had much interest in or knowledge of economic policy – a […]

Doing What The Big Boys Tell Us

It is surely now clear that this government sees our economic future as being dominated by big international players. Little account is taken of the “little people” – the unemployed, the low-paid, the wage-earners, and their families – or of their contribution, both actual and potential, to a successful economy. Otherwise, the government would not […]