The real problem of three-parent families

In a world first, MPs recently voted to permit IVF babies created using biological material from three different people, in order to prevent serious genetic diseases caused by faulty mitochondria passed on by the mother. This looks set to benefit around 2,500 UK families. Much has been made of the creation of ‘three parent babies’. […]

The ethics and practice of blood donation

We’ve one of those lovely Guardian discussions over the morality of commercial practices. You can guess the tone just from the headline: Blood money: is it wrong to pay donors? And we of course observe the comments section filling up with outraged screams that of course it’s morally wrong. Which isn’t actually the point that […]

It’s the absence of markets that causes poverty

There’s an excellent discussion of a recent finding in development economics over here. If markets are missing completely, or so unreliable as to effectively be missing, then household separation fails. The extreme case is easiest to think of. If a household is completely autarkic, and can trade with no one else, then it can only […]

Two cheers for Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman says that this (from this Branco Milanovic paper) gives you recent history in one chart, and it’s hard to disagree: Everyone got richer in real terms, although some a lot more than others – and this doesn’t fully include technological developments that make pocket supercomputers cheap enough that even people on quite low incomes (for […]

It’s terribly difficult to argue that markets are too short term

There’s lovely little essay talking about how difficult it is to believe that financial markets are too short term in their outlook. To do so demands that said markets are entirely inefficient in their processing of information. And as this is something that no one but would be commissars still believes then it isn’t really […]