Our resident economic illiterate, The Matchstick Man, likes to ask awkward questions. This month: if interest rates are 0.5%, why the hell is my bank charging 18.9%?
Our guest contributor Sam Juthani says austerity and ultra-low interest rates have trapped us in a dangerous loop of inequality and low growth.
Here’s our pick of the best economic(ish) stuff we’ve seen on the web in the last fortnight. Have a great weekend!
There’s no evidence that the internet revolution has made most of us better off. So was it all hype, or are the good times still just around the corner?
Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism: the new Marx or inherently faulty?
Two contrasting reviews of Paul Mason’s new book, Postcapitalism:
“As a spark to the imagination, with frequent x-ray flashes of insight into the way we live now, it is hard to beat. In that sense, Mason is a worthy successor to Marx.”
“Mason’s Postcapitalism fizzes with energy that spurs the reader on. But even so, the central premise of Mason’s argument – that capitalism is being or will be replaced – is inherently faulty.”
The public sector is expected to innovate and reform in response to failure. But however badly or frequently they fail, the basic model for private sector firms has stayed unreformed for 300 years.
In 2012’s Petite Poucette, the French philosopher Michel Serres set out a vision of the future that is both optimistic and disturbing at the same time. The digital revolution means knowledge is being freed from power structures like schools, universities, governments and corporations. This changes everything, he says.
First outing for our columnist The Matchstick Man, an economic illiterate who likes to ask awkward questions. This month: what is per capita GDP and how much do I get?
Kirsty Styles talks to Rethinking Economics co-founder Yuan Yang about the student insurgency against mainstream economics teaching.