Category Archives: Economics

The limits of celebrity power and the rise of selfie-nomics in one tweet

It was the tweet heard round the web. The selfie Ellen DeGeneres took during the Oscars became an internet sensation. First, it garnered the most retweets ever: as I write, Twitter reports 3.3m users have recommended it in this way. The previous record holder, President Barack Obama, had managed only 780,000 retweets, for a photograph celebrating his reelection on 7 November 2012. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Economics, Human nature, Innovation, Technology

The robots are coming – only the power of human ingenuity can save our jobs

I for one don’t welcome our new robot overlords. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all in favour of the liberating potential of new technology. I’m also conscious that worries about jobs lost to mechanisation have a history of being misplaced: the jobs go but new and even better-paying ones appear elsewhere. Continue reading

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Our digital technologies prove that freedom is more than just a rallying cry

Freedom isn’t just a rallying call, it is a practical way to transform the world for the better. Letting people make their own choices scorns the arrogance of narrow elites, preferring instead the riches found in every individual’s contribution. That seismic shift opens huge, untapped reserves of human potential. Continue reading

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Stop speaking like a corporate robot – for the sake of capitalism itself

Here’s a new year’s resolution for business: learn to speak human. The state of business language as a whole remains an abiding scandal. HSBC’s coinage of “demising” as a euphemism for “sacking” led last year’s pack, but corporate statements that resemble something delivered by an alien with a glitchy translator are hardly rare. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Economics, Liberal education

Why commercialism captures the true spirit of Christmas

It’s a shame all the shopping has to spoil the true meaning of Christmas. Or so we get told at this time of year, usually by the same prophets of good cheer who want us to celebrate the season by donning hair shirts and cutting back on the booze. Continue reading

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Filed under Christmas, Economics, Freedom, History, Human nature, Religion

Selfie-nomics: The world’s now a stage and we’re all performing

My smartphone has a feature I can’t ever imagine using – it promises to insert my live picture into any snapshot I take by turning on both front and rearfacing cameras at once. But I’m clearly behind the times. Even as I cling to my old-fashioned desire to take photographs of the things that I see, “selfie” – the new nickname for a photographic self-portrait – has been declared Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year, following a 17,000 per cent increase in usage year-on-year. Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, History, Human nature, Innovation, Publishing, Technology

Steampunk Economics and the future of leisure

There’s something repellent about the Conservative Party’s new slogan “For Hardworking People”. I can’t agree with those critics who think it is an empty promise. It reflects the values in which David Cameron believes. It suits the social incentives he is seeking to construct. But while encouraging people to work for their own betterment is unquestionably good, when it comes from the mouth of government it is impossible not to scent cynicism. For hard work is not an end in itself for people – only for a state keen to live off their backs. Continue reading

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