On approaching 80


This week of Facebook: Is pure self-indulgence — a birthday present to myself if you will — I was born on Sunday 21 May 1939 and today I became 78 years old. I shall be 84 and then 89 the next time my birthday falls on a Sunday, which looks about as far ahead as I have planned the crop rotation in my garden.

As a change I have indulged myself with an advance of my own articles (reprises) that didn’t have a social media, political or economic theme. Finding them turned out to be quite difficult but 20012 was a good year for this. Since then I have (perhaps) become increasingly curmudgeonly. I was surprised — although I shouldn’t have been — at the influence of rhyming verse! Read more of this post

Why Free Trade?


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

On Visiting Myopia


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

Zero Hours Contracts


This week on Facebook: At one of my monthly pie and a pint meetings with a friend (who is also ex-colleague), experiences in our own families had made us both aware of the difficulty in finding some form of permanent or at least longer term re-employment. This led to the subject of zero hour contracts and my subsequent research into them. For a couple of retired ex-civil servants who remembered the post WWII boom in full employment, the realities confronting those seeking employment in today’s commercial climate were brought home (quite literally) to both of us.  Read more of this post

Plus ça change


This week on Facebook: My five reprises this week reflect the epigram Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The epigram is probably familiar to most of my generation and needs no translation (Google it), but perhaps some of my family may read my reflections so it was a somewhat cynical remark that translates as, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1808-1890) wrote this epigram in the January 1849 issue of Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”), the year following the European 1848 Revolutions.  A number of broadsheets¹ at the time extolled or attacked the presidential candidates General Cavaignac and (most of them) Louis-Napoleon, both of whom Karr described as Les Guêpes.

Read more of this post

In Praise of Forgetting


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

AGI & CEV


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

AI & Humans


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

It’s Quite OK to Walk Away:


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.

EU Civitas

click image for pdf report

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.

Forgetfulness!


This week on Facebook: I decided to return to the brain which, in the case of mine — despite my brain being (supposedly) like a computer — seems to behave much like that of Homer Simpson. Read more of this post

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The Bulletin

This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

TCWG Short Stories

Join our monthly competition and share story ideas...

The Real Economy

Hello, I’m Ed Conway, Economics Editor of Sky News, and this is my website. Blogposts, stuff about my books and a little bit of music

Public Law for Everyone

Professor Mark Elliott

Bleda

Am I my Brothers keeper?

An Anthology of Short Stories

Selected by other writers

davidgoodwin935

The Short Stories of David Goodwin (Capucin)

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