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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...
Kristian Niemietz
16 February 2011
comments

A programme for the liberation of the UK economy’s supply side must include an overhaul of the dysfunctional welfare system. The present system contains various poverty traps which create...
Kristian Niemietz
10 February 2011
2 comments

The government’s catchphrase ‘Big Society’ has often been criticised for its vagueness. Critics claim that the phrase means everything and nothing, an attempt to conceal the...
Kristian Niemietz
4 February 2011
2 comments

One of the most important skills in the political tug-of-war is the ability of those involved in debate to convey the impression that their personal interests are really the interests of...
Kristian Niemietz
30 January 2011
comments

Kosovo-style social cleansing, expelling the poor, even ‘final solution’ – the debate on Housing Benefit (HB) cuts has been accompanied by a host of gory metaphors, and no doubt...
Kristian Niemietz
25 January 2011
1 comment

What is ‘poverty’? It might sound a basic question but, when we hear about x percent of people ‘living in poverty’, what does that actually mean? The policy review conducted...
Kristian Niemietz
19 January 2011
comments

Imagine our government managed to enact policies that brought down the cost of essential goods and services in this country, resulting in a pronounced improvement in the living standards of the...
Kristian Niemietz
12 January 2011
35 comments

Imagine Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Malthus, Karl Marx and Saddam Hussein were meeting somewhere in the afterlife, deciding to write a joint policy paper. Difficult to imagine? Not at all. The...
Kristian Niemietz
8 December 2010
1 comment

“Most children living in poverty are not from workless households”, writes the Guardian: “The number of children of working parents who are living in poverty in the UK has...
Kristian Niemietz
6 December 2010
3 comments

The appropriate context for the term “breeding” is surely documentary films about wildlife, not welfare policy debates. Moreover, it is clear that the “return on investment...
Kristian Niemietz
30 November 2010
comments

There are lies, damned lies, and, the saying goes, statistics. And then there are statistical claims made by Polly Toynbee. Toynbee embraces the government’s plan to publish figures on the...
Kristian Niemietz
17 November 2010
1 comment

In a radio debate with Mark Littlewood, Adrian Sinfield, Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh, was critical of IEA proposals to replace the...
Kristian Niemietz
12 November 2010
3 comments

Finally, with the release of the DWP White Paper, Iain Duncan Smith has let the cat out of the bag. In the future, jobseekers who reject a job offer, a short-term community work placement, or who...
Kristian Niemietz
9 November 2010
8 comments

Even if the debate about Housing Benefit has gone wrong in many ways, it is a good thing that it is being held at all, if only to raise awareness about the issue. The HB bill is running at about...
Kristian Niemietz
3 November 2010
1 comment

Foreign observers reading the British press may be forgiven if they expect death squads roaming the streets of London from next April on, expelling the capital’s poor. There has been no...