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Posts under ‘Economic affairs’

I am not an economist. Until early 2014, I took a fairly close interest in economic debates, and tended toward the free-market point of view, though with a healthy respect for canny government intervention, both as polities tried to produce stable growth, and as they considered redistribution of wealth. I also very closely followed the “Happiness Debate”, in which I argued that market choice and material affluence were large social, pyschological and even spiritual benefits.

BBC R4 Sunday show: faith and business ethics,

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / RDN's media outings on 15 May 2014. No comments.

I contributed to a pre-recorded “package” for BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme on an inter-faith initiative to produce (actually to update) a code of business ethics. This is the sort of thing I mulled-over as I prepared… More »

RDN on Michael J Sandel

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / On books on 1 May 2014. One comment.

I meant ages ago to write a note about Michael J Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy. I read it with mounting irritation and wanted just to mark people’s cards as best I could as to what to watch out for when they come to it…. More »

Ethics and capitalism, after the crash

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs on 1 May 2014. No comments.

The banking crash made us think about short-termism, the alignment of the interests of managers and shareholders, intellectual delusions and much else. At the heart of the problem is an almost philosophical issue as to the role of ethics and personal character at the heart of institutions. Characteristically, I think I have the answer to this…. More »

RDN on inequality on BBC R4 BH

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / RDN's media outings on 26 April 2014. No comments.

I was invited to debate inequality and bankers’ bonuses on BBC Radio 4 Broadcasting House, from the home of W1A. This is what I scribbled down to inform my outing… More »

“Scrap the BBC!” Mk II

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / Politics & campaigns / Uncategorized on 24 March 2014. No comments.

The BBC is likely to become very small, or even disappear, if not paying the TV Licence fee becomes a civil offence (is decriminalised, in the jargon). What an extraordinary turn-up for those of us who thought the BBC an absurdity but also thought that its dismemberment would probably have to wait a generation. That is roughly where I was when I wrote “Scrap the BBC!” in 2006. Here is how things might turn out…. More »

RDN on BBC R2 on Mega-farms

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / RDN's media outings on 28 February 2014. No comments.

I had a fairly decent outing on The Jeremy Vine Show, whose stand-in host, Vanessa Feltz asked me and Philip Lymbery, author of Farmageddon (with Isabel Oakeshott) to discuss the arrival of mega-farms in the UK. Naturally enough, I stuck up for them… More »

Somerset Levels flooding: who’s levelling with us?

Posted by RDN under Climate change / Economic affairs / Politics & campaigns on 12 February 2014. No comments.

It’s 30 years since I spent serious time researching the Somerset Levels and its precarious balance between farming and wildlife, which of course hinges on how much flooding to allow. That was for my book, Wild Britain. Where are we now? More »

RDN on “Call Kaye” BBC Radio Scotland

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / RDN's media outings on 28 October 2013. No comments.

On a brief outing this morning, I was asked what I thought about unions, especially in the wake of Unite’s Grangemouth climb-down. I love them, I said, but let’s not imagine the Germanic socialised (or a socialist) approach is going to work in the Anglosphere… More »

Murray’s “Coming Apart”: A fix for US inequality?

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / On books / Politics & campaigns on 9 February 2013. No comments.

This book bears a superficial resemblance to the rest of the angst literature on Anglosphere inequality, but it is much better than The New Few or The Spirit Level. Its use of evidence about the separations between top and bottom in US society seems fairer and brighter. Yet more to the point, though flawed where it most matters (in its proposed solutions), Charles Murray’s cultural and social arguments seem far more interesting than most. More »

RDN on Mount’s “The New Few”

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / On books / Politics & campaigns on 8 January 2013. One comment.

I had highish hopes of Ferdinand Mount’s book, The New Few. Here, after all, was a famously intelligent, civilised and well-informed conservative voice addressing a concern which is widespread: that Britain is badly run, and controlled by rather few people. Actually, the book made one wonder in what sense Mr Mount still feels he is of the right (if he does), not least since almost everything he says is commonly, and rather boringly, said by the left. The following looks at the book in some detail…. More »

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