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Kristian Niemietz
2 October 2012
1 comment

Inequality worries a lot of people. According to the British Social Attitudes Survey, nearly four out of five respondents think the gap between the top and the bottom is too large. 57% believe the...
Kristian Niemietz
27 September 2012
5 comments

You have probably seen this video here, where Paul Krugman explains why the threat of an alien invasion could be a good thing. It would lead to the kind of stimulus package he wants: politicians...
Kristian Niemietz
13 September 2012
comments

  In 1997, I knew next to nothing about politics, and even less about British politics. But I remember the debates about the ‘Third Way’ quite vividly. For some, the Third Way...
Kristian Niemietz
7 September 2012
4 comments

There is a game, in the style of Trivial Pursuit, where one card reads something like: ‘Paul extinguished the flames by pouring champagne over them. That was efficient. Right or wrong...
Kristian Niemietz
8 August 2012
3 comments

When the ONS released its national happiness survey, critics complained that its results were trivial. But looking at how interest in the debate on happiness research has ebbed since then, I would...
Kristian Niemietz
20 July 2012
20 comments

  One of the advantages of allowing free schools is the greater diversity of educational philosophies that can result, provided free schools are not stifled by excessive...
Kristian Niemietz
6 July 2012
1 comment

How does your garden variety Malthusian react if a resource he has predicted to run out manifestly refuses to do so? 1. He rejoices, begins questioning his doomsayer philosophy, looks out for...
Kristian Niemietz
2 July 2012
comments

Everyone remembers this situation from their student days: You are in an oral exam. Until just now, you felt reasonably well prepared. But now you realise that all the questions are about those sub...
Kristian Niemietz
27 June 2012
6 comments

The previous government made the mistake of trying to reduce poverty without paying attention to the supply side factors driving up the basic cost of living. It churned out billions in tax credits...
Kristian Niemietz
19 June 2012
1 comment

Do you know that famous environmentalist who said: ‘Our Western industrialised civilisation has produced marvellous things, and it would be fantastic if we could carry on like this. Today...
Kristian Niemietz
14 June 2012
1 comment

With many ifs and buts, Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms are broadly moving in the right direction. Rather than just increasing government handouts year after year, it now looks as if...
Kristian Niemietz
6 June 2012
1 comment

-  Excuse me, Sir. Do you know the way to Holborn Station? -  I do. - Would you mind explaining it to me? - Not at all, if you are prepared to pay a fee of £1 in exchange for...
Kristian Niemietz
23 May 2012
2 comments

The rate for travel insurance depends critically on where we go and what we do there. A hiking tour through the Amazon rainforest comes at a higher premium than a stay at a health spa at Lake...
Kristian Niemietz
14 May 2012
6 comments

There are lots of good arguments against positive discrimination, be it through female quotas for company boards, quota systems in political institutions, affirmative action or otherwise. For a...
Kristian Niemietz
4 May 2012
7 comments

The ‘prevailing orthodoxy’ (or ‘the zeitgeist’) is much like a rainbow: wherever you happen to stand, it always seems to be somewhere else. The term would never be used in...
Kristian Niemietz
20 April 2012
3 comments

I have received quite a bit of feedback for my recent paper, ‘Abundance of land, shortage of housing’, and would like to respond to those comments that were both critical and thoughtful...
Kristian Niemietz
10 April 2012
8 comments

Every government retreats on some issue or other eventually, realising that the political cost outweighs the benefit. But for this coalition, retreat has become a way of life. Whether it is on the...
Kristian Niemietz
28 March 2012
comments

  Earlier this month, David Cameron received two open letters from prominent environmentalists, sending conflicting messages. The first letter, written by Jonathon Porritt and three other...
Kristian Niemietz
21 March 2012
1 comment

  Given an expected unemployment rate of 8.7% for this year, it is a bit surprising that the Budget’s sub-subchapter on labour market reform occupies no more than half a page. If...
Kristian Niemietz
14 March 2012
7 comments

  Suppose a government institution regularly orders its office stationery from a company which caters specifically to public sector clients. Suppose inquisitive journalists find out that...