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Philip Booth is professor at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, and senior academic fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs
Is carbon the new calorie when it comes to product labelling and transparency? Bracken Darrell, chief executive of Logitech, says YES. Nutritional information on food and drink packaging has been empowering consumers for decades. Now, carbon is the new calorie. Consumers deserve to understand the carbon impact of the products they buy — the impact [...]
Is there any point to the World Economic Forum in Davos? Ella Robertson, managing director of One Young World, says YES. Now in its fiftieth year, it might look like business as usual at the World Economic Forum. But with public scrutiny mounting every year, the pressure to keep the mountain air-induced rhetoric real is [...]
The growth of financial regulation seems inexorable. Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, has noted that in 1980 there was one UK regulator for every 11,000 people employed in finance, compared to one for every 300 people by 2011. At that rate of growth, the number of regulators will overtake the number [...]
Should we charge clothing brands for the cost of recycling to combat the environmental impact of fast fashion? Mary Creagh, MP and chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, says YES. Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth. But our desire for fast fashion means that carbon emissions, water use, and chemical and plastic pollution are destroying our [...]
Famously, Michael Gove attacked experts in the EU referendum campaign. And, of course, the experts have fought back, leading Gove to add appropriate context to his remarks. Nobody wants brain surgery from a non-expert. At the same time, there is a paradox. On the one hand, we should use reason to try to improve the [...]
The financial crash knocked some of the stuffing out of the economics profession, though you wouldn’t know it given the confidence with which economists still parade their forecasts. A few – especially those with a monetarist or Austrian inclination – publicly expressed concern about policy in 2005-2007, but nobody from the mainstream predicted a financial meltdown. [...]
In some ways, the Brexit referendum settled a long-running question. However, it has also raised more profound issues that this government now needs to address. These include the question of whether we should adopt a policy of openness, free trade and liberalisation of regulation at home. And then, should we take the lead in promoting such [...]
To many people’s relief, there were not many big ideas in Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement last month. In so far as there was anything new, it was the widely-trailed extra investment in innovation, infrastructure and housing. The justification for spending money on these things is that it will raise productivity and growth. There is no question [...]
In the midst of much chaos, the victory of Francois Fillon in the French centre-right primary has restored some normality to politics. He is a mainstream social conservative and a mainstream economic liberal. He may not deliver the reforms France desperately needs – political leaders with great promise often disappoint. But certainly reform is needed. France is [...]
Every now and again we have a radical government that changes the way things are done. Lots of governments try to give the impression of being radical by implementing swathes of new legislation. But really radical governments that change the course of history are rare. In the post-war period, we have only had the 1945 [...]
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