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THD Young
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Isn't the work preference part of keeping up with the Joneses? Look all that guff advertising that's a bit like this: "As our lives get busier and busier, we've found a way to make yours just a little bit you can spend a bit more time doing the things that matter ..."(picture of hamster frolicking in fluff)
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2015 on Keynes' error at Stumbling and Mumbling
Call me a "toul" but please have only one "large" in the second sentence of the second para. I think Blairites are also suspect at a micro level which speaks to the unknown future (on which we depend). Policy should foster as much small scale business so we're prepared for the future. Fiscal policy as a macro lever to get things going today might imply calling the future hence investment in green tech. Or even "a Manhattan project for solar power". Might. But won't. It'll be housing, motorways and the like. A wasted crisis. Fiscal policy could be decisive but not if it resembles the Spanish or Chinese construction booms.
Toggle Commented Nov 7, 2015 on Blairism vs the left at Stumbling and Mumbling
Regional disparities. Are they real? Or is London quite as inefficient as the provinces? Is London's "success" just consolidation? One metaphor for this is the Grand Bank fisheries which produced colossal catches just before complete collapse because the remaining fish congregated in a last (terminal) super-shoal. Is London the terminal super-shoal? I think the political class is happy to go on trawling it. Consolidation of employment in the Central Business District in London is a fact. Dispersal of employment is reducing. The Just Space planning group seeks to highlight this phenomenon as it campaigns for more attention to be paid to employment and enterprise located in industrial parks, high streets and other scattered so called "non-strategic" sites in Victorian and outer suburban areas. Planning or town-planning is what we're talking about here. The schism between market believers and Statist interventionists familiar from economics is paralleled in Planning. The issue in both cases is appropriate liberty. Current Planning and London consolidation impact ordinary liberty very poorly despite Ganesh's claim that the capital is some paragon of liberalism. Edmund Phelps is interested in the quality of liberty that's available or understood culturally. His recent article in the NYRB refers to it. And it's liberty, he has in mind, available across the society. Our Planning tendencies are to de-risk space - mostly for the sake of main asset values (homes) and big developers (long term investment in so-called new "business quarters"). By doing so we have radically reduced the ordinary availability of space to entrepreneurialism and experimentation. By now, with so much at stake in the form of property value, this pattern is socially embraced. Certainly it is politically. The extraordinary aerial photography of Britain in the 20s, 30s, 40s and early 50s available at the Britain From Above website shows the vast diffusion of employment activity across the country then. It's possible to compare now and then because contemporary aerial photography is freely available on mapping sites like Bing. I recommend it. The assumption behind your piece is presumably there should be State action to promote productivity via Planning. I'd suggest Planning needs to focus less on "solutions" and more on the condition of genuine liberty.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2015 on The London paradox at Stumbling and Mumbling
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Aug 11, 2015