It was Giles Wilkes who point out that NEF stands not for the New Economics Foundation but rather not economics frankly. The latest evidence being this suggestion of theirs that more paid time off will increase productivity:
Earlier this month, the New Economics Foundation also argued that giving workers more paid holiday would help drive up spending power in the whole economy and could give firms a greater incentive to raise their productivity, as confidence about demand increased.
There being a slight problem with this. Which is that labour productivity is defined as how much is produced compared to how much it costs (yes, we often use hours worked, but it’s still he cost that matters) to get the labour to do the production. Meaning that if we decide that all should get paid for more days of not producing then productivity declines.
There’s more here:
Alfie Stirling, the head of economics at the foundation, said: “Raising demand by putting more cash in the pockets of the UK’s poorest workers, while giving people more paid time off from work to spend it, should now be part of a radical mix of options for any government that is serious about increasing productivity in a way that works for people and society.”
Their statement really is that increasing the costs of production is the way to increase productivity. This can be all sorts of things but it ain’t economics, is it?