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 AvatarTynan 24th May - 4:06am
    Thekes-: Would you stop the F.A. cup final or the rugby cup final as being trivial noise, or draining resources ,risking safety etc ,whilst families...
  • User AvatarTynan 24th May - 3:48am
    Andrew McCaig-: I would suggest your statement says more about you than May or the conservative party.
  • User AvatarGlenn 24th May - 1:34am
    I think getting side tracked by arguments about the IRA misses the point. The IRA had a distinct organised chain of command, weapons stores and...
  • User Avatarmalc 24th May - 12:23am
    @Graham Evans ‘While the IRA did not explicitly set out to kill civilians,’ You obviously don't recall Gerry Adams saying the families of British servicemen/women...
  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 23rd May - 10:30pm
    @Graham Evans 'While the IRA did not explicitly set out to kill civilians,' That's a really fallacious argument. In the Northern Ireland troubles, all terrorist...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 23rd May - 9:47pm
    @Glenn " I must admit I just assumed that there was a mechanism that took into account the possibility of a national crisis." In 2001...