The thermodynamic roots of economics

The first and second laws of thermodynamics should also be called the first and second laws of economics. Why? Because without them there would be no scarcity, and without scarcity, no economics. Consider the first law: if we could create useful energy and matter as we needed it, as well as destroy waste matter and energy as it got in our way, we would have superabundant sources and sinks, no depletion, no pollution, more of everything we want without having to find a place for stuff we don’t want. More

The post offices and the guilds

When the new economics marks up a small victory, it seems to me we should claim it – even though others have been involved.  And there is no doubt that the decision by consumer affairs minister Ed Davey to end the programme of post office closures is a victory.

More

73 months and counting…

Coincidence? It must be. It just feels that the world is trying to tell you something. Beware that point when you see patterns everywhere. Cue, on the same day in late October: a) a staged photograph of celebrities, wealthy retailers including Philip Green, and defender of City excess the London mayor, Boris Johnson, all smiling and walking boldly through the London West End laden with expensive-looking bags of shopping; b) a More

Hey, NCVO! Wake up at the back there!

Hureai Kippu (‘ticket for a caring relationship’) is a kind of credit system that recognises the efforts people to support each other with a ‘ticket’ which is worth the price of a home-cooked meal, and which can be banked until later.  It is one of the biggest examples of co-production anywhere in the world.  It certainly deserves scrutiny, and I’m very glad that is now happening.

More

Addressing inequality in cities

1. Transport More

Book review: The Return of the Public

It is becoming a cliché to say that we live in a time of crisis. Whether it’s catastrophic climate change, financial meltdown or collapse of trust in our political representatives, disaster is already upon us and the state seems powerless to construct a meaningful response.

More

Two very small victories from the Spending Review

There are arguments to be had (and we are having them) about the overall impact of the comprehensive spending review announced yesterday. You would certainly have to be insane not to worry a little about the impact of the Treasury’s approach to everything: austerity.

More

A better world is possible

I haven’t really changed since I was in the sixth form. I was an idealist then with a passion for justice. I still am. I didn’t know what to do or how. I’ve been finding out ever since. After working in businesses for a long time I am pragmatic and practical as well as idealistic. Satish Kumar says: 'It’s time to give idealism a chance.'

I know what it is like on the ground in a poor country. I worked in Jamaica for over five years and revisited several times recently.

More

The dialogue of the blind

In his response to the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review on Wednesday, the Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson made a very sobering observation.  “If countries around the world hadn’t run up debts to sustain their economies,” he said, “people would not have lost their credit cards, they’d have lost their houses, their savings and their jobs.“

More

Government has ignored the value of prevention

The tremors from Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review are still being felt in local authorities across the UK, nurses, teachers, regeneration officers, anyone who receives benefits, and people – like myself, who are wondering if it was naïve to expect the CSR to at least hint at a vision for what our future might look like.

More

‹ First  < 91 92 93 94 95 >  Last ›