Never mind measuring happiness, how about the misery index?

In the 1970s the US economist Arthur Okan came up with the concept to measure the social costs of simultaneous high inflation and unemployment, until then a relatively unknown phenomena. The idea is simple – add together the unemployment rate and the rate of price increases as a measure of how much ‘misery’ the people are suffering. Read the full story on False Economy blog


Teaching Public Administration to Tyrants? The LSE, Libya… and me.

The London School of Economics (LSE) has gotten into hot water over links it has to the Gaddafi regime, including some executive education courses it has been running there.
Confession time: I taught part of one the modules on the LSE run programme for aspiring Libyan civil servants a couple of years ago.
Continue reading “Teaching Public Administration to Tyrants? The LSE, Libya… and me.”

‘AV Leads to 2nd Best’ – You Should Know Mr Cameron

As the AV referendum campaign gets seriously under way the prime Minister has weighed in against AV. He said that “the principle of one person, one vote is what makes our democracy fair. AV flies in the face of that.” He went on to claim that AV can lead to getting the second best candidate elected and used a rather clumsy analogy with a 100 metres race. Continue reading “‘AV Leads to 2nd Best’ – You Should Know Mr Cameron”

Big Society and Egypt: be careful what you wish for, Mr Cameron

The level of self-organization exhibited by the Egyptian revolt has been stunning. The day after ousting Hosni Mubarak they turned up in Tahrir Square armed not with placards but brooms and paint brushes to clear the place up! Yet another example of the Egyptian Big Society in action. Continue reading “Big Society and Egypt: be careful what you wish for, Mr Cameron”

Supreme Autonomy?

The row that has erupted in Britain over the autonomy (or not) of the UK Supreme Court is an intriguing one. The President of the Court, Lord Phillips, has complained that the financial and administrative systems of the Court are too tied into the Ministry of Justice – for the full story see here – and this could undermine its independence. Continue reading “Supreme Autonomy?”