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The rise of the robots

What impact will automation – the so-called “rise of the robots” – have on wages and employment over the coming decades? Nowadays, this question crops up whenever unemployment rises. In…

Meeting our makers

In the early 1950s, Britain was an industrial giant. Today it is an industrial pygmy. Manufacturing was industry’s bedrock. In 1952 it produced a third of national output, employed 40%…

Models Behaving Badly

“Why did no one see the crisis coming?” Queen Elizabeth II asked economists during a visit to the London School of Economics at the end of 2008. Four years later,…

One more chance for Osborne to change course

On Wednesday in his Autumn Statement George Osborne, the chancellor, is expected to admit that it will take three more years of austerity than originally planned to bring borrowing under…

Inequality is killing capitalism

It is generally agreed that the crisis of 2008-2009 was caused by excessive bank lending, and that the failure to recover adequately from it stems from banks’ refusal to lend,…

Happiness is Equality

The king of Bhutan wants to make us all happier. Governments, he says, should aim to maximize their people’s Gross National Happiness rather than their Gross National Product. Does this…

Go left, go right… go downhill

Refreshed by his summer holiday, David Cam­eron vowed to “get Britain moving again”. A slew of kick-starting initiatives has followed, most of them the brainchild of his government’s one-man think…

Big Countries, Small Wars

LONDON – US President Barack Obama has vowed to avenge the murder of J. Christopher Stevens, America’s former ambassador to Libya. How he proposes to do this is unclear –…

Why we need weekends

Did you think that it was only in Victorian England that debtors were forced into the workhouse? Think again. This week a leaked letter revealed that Greece’s eurozone creditors are…

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