May 20, 2017Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I returned to what is my fourth in a series¹·²·³ of articles on free trade. This week prompted by Monday’s article on a bank heist in Paraguay that made Oceans Eleven look like a walk in the park. This did however lead to some interesting articles the best of which — in my opinion — I’ve included this week. Interference by the State in the ability to trade and to use trade as an economic weapon amongst nations is not a new concept, historic caveats to trade are still used in notional free trade agreements. Read more of this post
May 13, 2017Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I thought the quote that Freedom meant freedom from material want too difficult to answer although I did try, but notions of freedom and material wants come with such a variance that any general answer would be virtually impossible and any specific answer dependant on how the quote was interpreted. This became apparent from an interesting exchange that developed between Colin and Scott in response to my published article on Monday. Read more of this post
April 22, 2017Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I was going to use an article on David Rieff’s book/essay In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies in my post on forgetfulness but decided against its inclusion. What I did find interesting though were the reviews of Rieff’s short work received (it is clearly an essay rather than a book). There is — to my mind — a significance in the references to historic memories that the authors selectively chose to include in their reviews and in those that they did not mention. Particularly the impact that their education had in fostering historical memory and the contemporary ironies it creates. Read more of this post
April 15, 2017Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I intended to take a break from my theme of robots and AI but on reflection thought that perhaps a week of utopian articles should be set against the largely dystopian ones vis-à-vis AI, robotics and humans that I had previously published. I was surprised to find that utopian articles on the relationship between AI and humans were quite difficult to find. Those utopian articles that I did find could — to my mind — be classified as Pollyannaish. Read more of this post
April 8, 2017Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I was expecting to move on from AI, or at least ignore it for a while, then I read about Elon Musk and Neuralink — a venture to merge the human brain with AI. This led to yet more thoughts on robotics and AI, which will become a never ending story in what remains of my lifetime. Perhaps I may be spared the realisation of what the Financial Times calls the Frankenstein fears hanging over AI, which can be read by clicking on the following image: Read more of this post
April 2, 2017Posted by on
A review of the UK’s Brexit options with the help of seven international databases
Michael Burrage, March 2017
The image of the EU’s Single Market as an economically successful project, membership of which is vital to the interests of the UK, has rested on the hopes and repeated assurances of politicians rather than any credible evidence.
No UK government has ever sought to monitor its impact until the rushed analysis, now widely held to be unreliable and untrustworthy, produced by the Treasury just before the referendum. There is, therefore, no authoritative evidence against which to assess the economic consequences of the Government’s decision to leave the Single Market and, potentially, trade with the EU under World Trade Organization rules.
In this new study, Michael Burrage uses seven international databases to assess the benefits of the Single Market for the UK, comparing its performance with that of other EU members, and with non-members who have traded with the EU. The data shows that the Single Market has not delivered the export growth it was expected to.
Michael Burrage also shows how other supposed benefits of the Single Market are largely imaginary. There is no evidence that Single Market membership has had a positive impact on UK GDP or productivity growth. The idea that the Single Market has been good for jobs is belied by the astonishing employment record of its members compared with other developed economies.
The benefits of Single Market membership have been illusory, while its costs are real, onerous, and unacceptable to a majority of the British people. Theresa May’s decision to withdraw the UK from the Single Market has been criticised by some for jeopardising the economy. But, as she and her ministers embark on negotiations over the UK’s future relationship with the EU, Michael Burrage shows that it is quite OK to walk away.