Port Talbot closure highlights uncomfortable truth about clinging onto the past

The decision by Tata Steel to shut the blast furnaces at the steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales, has provoked outrage. Almost three quarters of the 4,000 workers at the plant will lose their jobs. On the same day that the news broke, the government announced a £500m subsidy for Tata’s £1.25bn proposed investment on the […]

They may be annoying, but Gen Z’s quarter life gap years are economically rational

Generation Z has been getting a lot of bad press recently. Allegations that they enjoy “quiet quitting” and boast of their “lazy girl jobs” were gathering momentum last year. These were given a huge boost in November when the American television personality Whoopi Goldberg made headlines with her claim that they just were not willing […]

Central banks have fooled themselves into thinking they have power over inflation

The failures of central banks around the world to anticipate and control the current upsurge in inflation are now apparent to all. What has been going on with the highly technical models which economists in these institutions build to try and explain inflation? If we look under the bonnet, we find a debate which is […]

As Johnson squirms, his party must remember the roots of Conservatives values

Boris Johnson’s government now has a penchant for embracing policies which, to many, have a distinctively non-conservative feel. High taxes, a big state. What’s next? An old idea which is currently being given new legs is that of a universal basic income (UBI). The basic concept is that all citizens of a country receive from […]

Businesses face a fresh tipping point of staff shortages and wage hikes

For years, inflation has not been an issue. Since the late 1990s, annual inflation in the UK has averaged 2 per cent, with a peak of just over 4 per cent. In the US, there was a similar story, with even less variability. This is in stark contrast to the 1970s and 1980s, when the […]

Unemployment has stabilised but there will be economic pain ahead

There are high levels of business optimism. Survey after survey has told us this, from reports from Deloitte on large companies to evidence from the Federation of Small Businesses. Consumer savings are at an all-time high. People are itching to get out and spend the money they have been forced to accumulate. All in all, […]

A tip for Dominic Cummings: Don’t hire anyone who fails to grasp the power of incentives

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The job advert issued by Dominic Cummings for people to work in government has attracted a wide range of comments. One particular focus has been on the sorts of skills he is looking for. Computer science, forecasting, artificial intelligence, causality theory — all these topics excite his interest. Cummings advocates a small selection of scientific […]

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