The Agony and the Exodus
| Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The tragic exodus of people from war-torn Syria and surrounding countries challenges the world’s reason and sympathy. Since 2011, some four million people have fled Syria, with millions more internally displaced. Syria’s neighbors – Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey – currently house the vast majority of the externally displaced. But, as the crisis has progressed, hundreds of thousands of refugees have headed toward Europe, with most taking the extremely dangerous marine route.
The nature and scale of this exodus have rendered all previous legal and political assumptions about migration obsolete. In the past, the chief motive for migration was economic. The debate to which economic migration gave rise was between liberals, who upheld theContinue reading...
Taking Corbynomics seriously
| Wednesday, August 19, 2015
LONDON – Fiscal austerity has become such a staple of conventional wisdom in the United Kingdom that anyone in public life who challenges it is written off as a dangerous leftist. Jeremy Corbyn, the current favorite to become the next leader of Britain’s Labour Party, is the latest victim of this chorus of disparagement. Some of his positions are untenable. But his remarks on economic policy are not foolish, and deserve proper scrutiny.
Corbyn has proposed two alternatives to the UK’s current policy of austerity: a National Investment Bank, to be capitalized by canceling private-sector tax relief and subsidies; and what he calls “people’s quantitative easing” – in a nutshell, an infrastructure program that the government finances byContinue reading...
Minimum Wage or Living Income?
| Thursday, July 16, 2015
LONDON – Most rich countries now have millions of ‘working poor’ – people in some sort of work, but work which does not pay enough to keep them above the poverty line, and whose wages therefore have to be subsidised by the state. These subsidies take the form of ‘tax credits.’
The idea is a very old one. England had its Speenhamland system during the Napoleonic wars, a form of outdoor relief intended to offset the rising price of bread. In 1795, the authorities of Speenhamland, a village in Berkshire, authorised a means-tested sliding scale of wage supplements. Families were paid extra to top up wages set at a certain level. The level varied with the number of children and price of bread.
After criticism that the scheme allowedContinue reading...
Lord Skidelsky is looking for a researcher to support him in his parliamentary, scholarly, and public activities.
Typical tasks will include providing briefings on legislation and committee activities, research for speeches and newspaper articles, and media monitoring. The researcher will help Lord Skidelsky in preparing a course of lectures on Macroeconomic Policy at Warwick University, on research for a book on The Future of Work, and in supervising an INET project for reform of the economics curriculum.
Applicants should have a strong background in economics, typically with a first-class honours degree, and holding or in the process of completing a relevant masters’. They should have a sound grasp of current macro-economic policyContinue reading...
The Sino-Russian Marriage
| Friday, June 19, 2015
LONDON – The Chinese are the most historically minded of peoples. In his conquest of power, Mao Zedong used military tactics derived from Sun Tzu, who lived around 500 BC; Confucianism, dating from around the same time, remains at the heart of China’s social thinking, despite Mao’s ruthless attempts to suppress it.
So when President Xi Jinping launched his “New Silk Road” initiative in 2013, no one should have been surprised by the historical reference. “More than two millennia ago,” explains China’s National Development and Reform Commission, “the diligent and courageous people of Eurasia explored and opened up several routes of trade and cultural exchanges that linked the major civilisations of Asia, Europe, and Africa, collectivelyContinue reading...