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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...
Kristian Niemietz
7 March 2012
12 comments

    In a weird way, I used to enjoy George Monbiot’s columns in The Guardian. There were not many authors who could evoke that mixture of bewilderment, disbelief,...
Kristian Niemietz
17 February 2012
18 comments

Economists often try to explain that the cost of a tax is not simply the sum of money we hand over to the exchequer. Almost all taxes cause distortions by interfering with our behaviour, and...
Kristian Niemietz
10 February 2012
6 comments

Imagine your neighbour buys a car, a new model which has not been tested yet. Over the next few months, you realise that he has nothing but trouble with it. The car is unreliable, inefficient and...
Kristian Niemietz
2 February 2012
1 comment

'And goodbye to one of our lovely Bumblebee health-food shops in north London, finally defeated by another greedy developer who wants to turn it into flats.’ What I appreciate about...
Kristian Niemietz
30 January 2012
4 comments

Once again, Britain is about to become the Bangladesh of Europe. At least this is the impression one could gather from listening to the poverty lobby and the wider anti-cuts front, including...
Kristian Niemietz
17 January 2012
2 comments

With a clear majority, the House of Lords has voted against the proposed changes to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), the successor of Incapacity Benefit. The opponents of the changes, inside...
Kristian Niemietz
4 January 2012
4 comments

There is agreement across the political divide in Britain that there is a serious shortage of affordable housing. But the debate about the causes seldom goes beyond red herrings and side issues,...
Kristian Niemietz
14 December 2011
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Nearly ten years ago, IEA author Mark Pennington argued that British land use planning policies were characterised by public choice problems. Since no single individual’s vote has a...
Kristian Niemietz
8 December 2011
2 comments

In very cautious terms, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has questioned the current set of universal benefits for the elderly. This is a major deviation from what has thus far been the coalition...
Kristian Niemietz
1 December 2011
1 comment

‘Britain’s poorest families have been abandoned today and left to face the worst’, goes the opening line of the Child Poverty Action Group’s (CPAG) response to the...
Kristian Niemietz
22 November 2011
15 comments

BBC World’s Latin America section has provided a sympathetic review of a Bolivian documentary titled ‘¿Por que quebró McDonald’s en Bolivia?’ (Why did McDonald...
Kristian Niemietz
10 November 2011
4 comments

It was Albert Einstein who once said: ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results each time.’ He did not have social policies...
Kristian Niemietz
7 November 2011
2 comments

A group of American conservatives have set up an initiative called 'We are the 53%', echoing the Occupy movement's 'We are the 99%' slogan. The name is an allusion to the fact...
Kristian Niemietz
31 October 2011
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The New Economics Foundation (NEF) has earned itself a reputation as the sworn enemy of economic growth and consumption. In blending neo-Malthusian resource alarmism with relentless nagging about...
Kristian Niemietz
18 October 2011
13 comments

Successful political movements emerge when people with diverging aims can be persuaded that they are really on the same side, that their aims are just different aspects of the same broader cause....
Kristian Niemietz
12 October 2011
1 comment

When measuring an abstract concept, occasional oddities are probably unavoidable. Take inequality, which was a hotly debated topic during the last election campaign. The opposition claimed...