The innocence principle

Like freedom of speech, the presumption of innocence before proof of guilt is something that almost everyone agrees is important in principle, but are occasionally reluctant to apply in practice. In recent weeks we have witnessed some examples of this reluctance that, to me, seem chilling. Eric Garner was an obese African-American who was killed by police […]

Why do people oppose immigration?

My Buzzfeed post on immigration generated a bit of traffic yesterday and a bit of disagreement, too. The most common objection to our approach to immigration is that it’s one-dimensional—OK, we might be right about the economics, but c’mon, who really cares? It’s culture that matters. This point was made to me a few times yesterday and there’s definitely […]

Nominal GDP targeting for dummies

Nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) targeting is a type of monetary policy that people like me think would give us a more stable economy than we currently have. It would replace the Bank of England’s current monetary policy, inflation targeting. Nominal GDP can be understood as sum of all spending in the economy. Total spending can increase […]

Don’t kill off the only industry that provides loans for low-earners

Wonga’s decision to write off £220m worth of debt for 330,000 customers and “voluntarily” embrace new regulations will been seen by many as a form of social justice and an obvious defeat for the big, bad, payday-lending wolf. Unfortunately, the Financial Conduct Authority’s attempt to further regulate the payday lending sector may end up harming […]

Two cheers for technocracy

Who needs experts? The minimum wage was once an example of the triumph of technocracy, where decisions are delegated to experts to depoliticise them. The Low Pay Commission was set up to balance competing priorities – increasing wages without creating too much unemployment. If you were a moderate who thought the minimum wage was a […]