Robert Skidelsky
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Recent Articles

Philosopher Kings Versus Philosopher Presidents
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Wednesday, November 19, 2014

 
When I recently met Irish President Michael Higgins – sharing a platform for a speech in which he connected his newly launched “ethics initiative” to a book I co-wrote with my son, How Much is Enough? Money and the Good Life – I was struck by his devotion to thought. Indeed, engaging with ideas is a passion for Ireland’s poet-president – one that more heads of states should take up.
 
Last May, Higgins told economics students at the University of Chicago that they were studying a deformed discipline, torn from its ethical and philosophical roots. “The recent economic and financial upheavals,” he declared, “have thrown a glaring light on the shortcomings of the intellectual tools provided by mainstream economics and its key assumptions

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Cameron is right to warn of another recession, but wrong to blame the world
Robert Skidelsky
Guardian | Wednesday, November 19, 2014

 
Ministers are up to their old game of blaming everyone but themselves for Britain’s economic woes. First, they said they were “clearing up the mess” left by Labour. When recovery stalled in 2010, it was because of the Greek crisis. Now David Cameron warns of a new recession even before it has happened– because Europe is not doing its job of recovering properly.
 
Cameron is right to warn that the world is on the brink of a third recession. But he is wrong to say that this makes it even more necessary for Britain to stick to its “long-term economic plan” of deficit and debt reduction. Because it is these deficit and debt-reduction policies, implemented throughout the European Union, that have been causing the “red lights” of recession to

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Mediocre State
Robert Skidelsky
New Statesman | Friday, November 14, 2014

 
Vladimir Putin’s policies have damaged his country’s standing and economy. When will the owners of wealth decide that he is not Russia?
 
In 2004, the Valdai Discussion Club was set up “to promote dialogue between Russian and international intellectual elite”. Each year, two or three days of discussions involving foreign and Russian scholars and journalists would climax at Sochi on the Black Sea in a dinner with President Vladimir Putin himself. One qualification, at least for a foreigner invited to join the club, was not to be viscerally hostile to Russia’s foreign policy. This led some superannuated cold war warriors to call its foreign members “Putin’s useful idiots”. This idiot was asked to join four years ago, and this year’s event

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Irish President speaks on How Much Is Enough?
Friday, October 17, 2014

 
This week Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky were in Dublin for an event with the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, who gave a speech on How Much Is Enough? and the importance of addressing inequality and unemployment.
 
The President's speech is below; read more on the visit at www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/eu-states-must-tackle-fears-over-inequality-and-unemployment-says-president-1.1964885

“An adequate economic discourse for the Europe of our grandchildren: Some thoughts on Robert and Edward Skidelsky’s book, How Much is Enough?”
Remarks by President Michael D. Higgins
At the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Dublin
Wednesday, 15th October, 2014
 
I am delighted to be here with you all at the

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Labour must expose the fallacy of George Osborne’s ‘recovery’
Robert Skidelsky
Guardian | Friday, October 10, 2014

 
Where has the conference silly season left the debate on economic policy? George Osborne claims to have routed his critics: fiscal austerity has produced recovery. Labour, seemingly amazed that recovery has happened, has promised that a Labour government will continue to cut the deficit, albeit a little more slowly. The Liberal Democrats would join them in the slower lane. The main point of difference seems to be that “Labour cuts” will be fairer than “Tory cuts”.
 
The budget outcomes tell a different story. Osborne will have failed by a wide margin to meet his deficit-reduction targets in this parliament. The deficit is now likely to be more than £70bn in March 2015, when it should have been zero. This is a prima facie indication that

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