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Category Archives: Welfare

One In A Million

I’m sure his family love him but I am REALLY getting tired of spending my Christmas with Iain Duncan Smith and am hoping the bi-annual ESA renewal form isn’t going to turn into a new household tradition. Wrapping paper? Check. Tinsel? Check. New nerve conduction test? Damn, there’s always something… Nearly a million people who applied […]

Autumn Statement

The welfare state is unaffordable, George Osborne will tell MPs this week, and permanent cuts will be required to make the public finances “sustainable”. The Chancellor will use his Autumn Statement on Thursday to set out more details of a new cap on welfare spending after the next general election. It is an attempt to […]

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

“It’s the most ambitious episode we’ve ever done,” he said. The episode, The Day of the Doctor, will be broadcast in more than 90 countries at the same time as it airs on BBC One on Saturday night. The BBC says it is likely to be the largest simulcast of a TV drama in history. […]

States as coordination problems

Economist David Friedman’s theory about the size and shape of nations leads him to postulate that the increased importance of labour income–a result of the Industrial Revolution: one of the ironies of history is that greatly increased propensity to produce capital increases both the scale (through increased demand) and then the average income (through increased relative scarcity) […]

Paid Parental Leave v Income Splitting

Two things have come to my attention in the last 24 hours. First, in Australia, both Labor and the Coalition are introducing/plan to introduce a form of paid parental leave to replace the baby bonus. Labor’s policy is set at the minimum wage and is therefore cheaper to the taxpayer and less onerous on the […]

Human societies as studies in relative scarcity: the price of children, the cost of capital

That modernising societies experience a “demographic transition“–a change from high fertility and high death rates to low fertility and low death rates with an intermediate period of high fertility and low death rates–is well known. The likely reason is lags in adjusting to changes in death rates. The price of children Having children is a […]

DWP: Deport With Prejudice

Anjem Choudary was secretly filmed mocking non-Muslims for working in 9-5 jobs their whole lives, and told followers that some revered Islamic figures had only ever worked one or two days a year. “The rest of the year they were busy with jihad [holy war] and things like that,” he said. “People will say, ‘Ah, […]

Open Borders

Uberblogger Matt Yglesias recently posted on why an open borders policy for the US–possibly using an auction system to regulate the rate of flow–is a reasonable option, basing his claim on comparative population densities and history: But the United States ran an open borders regime throughout the 19th century and we weren’t worse off for […]

Norm failure

I have previously posted elsewhere about how similar the failures in indigenous policy and development (particularly foreign aid) policy have been. Remarkably similar, indeed. They also show some distinct similarities to the more unfortunate effects of welfare provision. (By ‘welfare provision’ I do not mean the aged pension or health or education services; I am talking […]

Bilbo baggage

The further back you can look, the further forward you are likely to see. Winston Churchill. With the release of the first film of The Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey, the blogosphere is rife with Middle Earth allusions. My favourite is Frances Woolley’s wonderful post (with some great comments) The Macroeconomics of Middle Earth, though […]