Blog

Search

Kristian Niemietz
5 August 2011
2 comments

Objections to large material inequalities are probably as old as mankind itself. In numerous ancient legends and folk tales, the downfall of a key character is related to possessions and greed. So...
Kristian Niemietz
27 July 2011
1 comment

This year’s issue of the United Nations’ annual World Economic and Social Survey, titled The Great Green Technological Transformation, is an assemblage of all the trendy green...
Kristian Niemietz
21 July 2011
8 comments

‘Absolute bloody idiots’, ‘insane ramblings of an extremist group’, ‘this insanity belongs in the bin’, ‘makes me wonder what these educated idiots who...
Kristian Niemietz
14 July 2011
3 comments

Liberals who support a limited public safety net are faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, they want government to fulfil the role of a provider of last resort. They envisage a situation in which...
Kristian Niemietz
11 July 2011
3 comments

Several authors of this blog have welcomed the idea of the ‘Big Society’, as long as it stands for an orderly retreat of the state from some social functions to make way for autonomous...
Kristian Niemietz
7 July 2011
3 comments

In social policy debates, collective memory is extraordinarily short-term. Once a transfer instrument has been around for a few years, it becomes part of the furniture, and anyone proposing it...
Kristian Niemietz
4 July 2011
2 comments

A man comes in to his regular delicatessen shop and blurts out at the owner, ‘You need to help me out! The bank is cutting my credit line, just as a big instalment to my other bank comes due...
Kristian Niemietz
24 June 2011
comments

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne spoke of a ‘dark day’, and made clear he was ‘deeply disappointed’. EU plans to raise the target for carbon emission cuts in...
Kristian Niemietz
22 June 2011
9 comments

In the March issue of Economic Affairs, a paper by Karthik Reddy analysed the empirical literature on the employment effects of minimum wages. The paper shows that there was indeed a period in...
Kristian Niemietz
15 June 2011
5 comments

Advocates of a denationalisation of healthcare frequently come across the objection that healthcare is not amenable to individual choice. People may be trusted to make sensible decisions when it...
Kristian Niemietz
1 June 2011
1 comment

‘Generation Rent’ seems to be the media catchphrase of the day, and this should come as no surprise. Over the past fifteen years, house prices have risen so sharply that despite the...
Kristian Niemietz
25 May 2011
6 comments

It is not exactly a secret that obtaining planning permission for building new homes is notoriously difficult in Britain. An unholy mix of vested interests, pastoral romanticism, and myths about...
Kristian Niemietz
16 May 2011
comments

A foreign visitor recently asked me what I thought about the government’s plans to ‘privatise the NHS’. Somewhat irritated, I assured him that no such plans existed, nor anything...
Kristian Niemietz
12 May 2011
14 comments

The readers of the Daily Mail were not amused, judging from the multitude of furious comments below this article. The newspaper claimed that while other Europeans were enjoying much shorter working...
Kristian Niemietz
9 May 2011
3 comments

I recently gave a talk at the Libertarian Alliance entitled ‘Spirit Level Egalitarianism, Happiness Economics and Steady State Economics’. When asked where the Spirit Level debate was...
Kristian Niemietz
20 April 2011
5 comments

In panel discussions or similar debate formats, it is usually a huge advantage to be thoroughly informed about the opponent’s weltanschauung, since this enables one to anticipate the other...
Kristian Niemietz
31 March 2011
1 comment

In providing a pseudo-rationalisation for last Saturday’s march against mathematics, the Guardian has assembled a video documenting a variety of supposed ‘alternatives’. The ideas...
Kristian Niemietz
15 March 2011
5 comments

One of our recent guest speakers criticised the IEA for misrepresenting the message of the influential book The Spirit Level. He referred to an IEA invite which read: ‘many amongst the left...
Kristian Niemietz
28 February 2011
32 comments

Anti-consumerists are sometimes criticised for not practicing what they preach. Buying stuff is sinful – as long as it’s the stuff that other people buy. Frequenting fancy art galleries...
Kristian Niemietz
24 February 2011
6 comments

There is much to be said in favour of the coalition’s welfare reform bill. Perhaps its main achievement is that it greatly diminishes the uncertainty and risk associated both with entering...