Tag Archives: tim harford

Why not scrap the annual Budget?

Budget 2010 photocallOne of my top 3 suggestions for this year’s budget was: “Scrap the absurd twice-yearly cycle of Budgets and Autumn Statements.” It wasn’t an original idea – the economist Tim Harford suggested it a couple of years ago, arguing “It may be an enjoyable political platform but there is no economic justification for the annual kaleidoscope of trivia.”

Tory peer and Times commentator Danny Finkelstein has tooted the same horn today:

I think one of the most useful reforms the Chancellor could make is to scrap the annual

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Your essential Easter weekend reader — my personal pick of the week’s must-reads

Papers - Some rights reserved by NS MewsflashIt’s Sunday afternoon, so here are a baker’s dozen of thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices, culled from all those I’ve linked to this past fortnight. You can follow me on Delicious here.

Even Britain has now abandoned austerity – Anatole Kaletsky highlights the abandonment of Plan A: “While Osborne repeated his mantra that “you can’t cure a crisis caused by debt with more debt,” he will now do exactly this by creating a British equivalent of government-guaranteed Fannie Mae mortgages to …

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Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from the 50+ I’ve linked to from my Delcicious account this last week…

Groundhog year – Peter Kellner examines the polls to find how 12 months’ political turmoil has shifted popular opinion. The answer — not at all: ‘public reaction this year to Britain’s continuing economic troubles has been remarkably static. 2012 has been groundhog year.’

What next? Osborne needs a change of direction – Adam Posen, a former …

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Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

The lottery of life: Where to be born in 2013The Economist‘s annual list of the top quality-of-life countries: ‘Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too.’ Britain comes 27th. (The Telegraph has a picture-only version here.)

The burdens that Israel should not have to bearBrendan

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Trial and error is the most successful problem solving technique

So said Tim Harford (known to many as the presenter of Radio 4′s More or Less as well as a distinguished economics writer) last night at the Royal Society of Arts. Harford was kicking-off a week long series of talks to promote his new book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure and was making the point that the modern world is too complex for us to hope to solve many problems by simply getting the best brains to think up the one answer. A far better route to take is to experiment with many different solutions and see …

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  • User Avatarmuxloe 29th Aug - 12:01am
    @malcolmwood Many people in England don't want regional devolution but that doesn't mean that it necessarily follows that they are content with the west lothian...
  • User Avatarmuxloe 28th Aug - 11:55pm
    @johnmc No party has offered that possibility. (And no mainstream party will; its againstTory instincts while Labour and Lib Dems need the celtic votes) Why...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 28th Aug - 11:52pm
    It's very simple. You check until you are satisfied that you can take full responsibility for the decisions you make and the reliability of the...
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    Danny I hope I was clear at the start of the piece that this is a stain on all Local Authorities and we all need...
  • User AvatarPatrick McAuley 28th Aug - 11:37pm
    Richard you are right, the issue is to what end do you take your checks. Undermining a qualified professional with more experience and knowledge than...
  • User AvatarSteveL 28th Aug - 11:33pm
    "A frequent and not unreasonable claim of nationalists is that Scottish voters care more about “social justice” than do those further south. " Scots care...