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 AvatarEd Wilson 18th Apr - 10:12pm
    Let's try again. "...power 4 million homes..." means onshore wind produces a number of kilowatt hours which, when divided by the notional power consumption of...
  • User AvatarRoland 18th Apr - 9:56pm
    A scary thought has just occurred - the Pensions Minister either doesn't actually know or want us to know, just how much pension tax relief...
  • User AvatarRoland 18th Apr - 9:46pm
    Ed Davey's defense of on-shore wind is totally undermined by the hard data coming out of NETA... Whilst there might be sufficient capacity to provide...
  • User AvatarRoland 18th Apr - 9:39pm
    Whilst Steve Webb (deliberately?) overlooks the simple fact that the low pay receive disproportionally more from the state than the higher paid, I think the...
  • User Avatariain bb 18th Apr - 9:29pm
    If Greaves says 1950 then I guess he's right. By chance I was handed a Manchester Guardian for 25 February 1950 the other day and...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 18th Apr - 8:44pm
    Here is David Lloyd George speaking in 1931: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/mr-lloyd-george-speaks-to-the-nation