Month: February 2015

The Bear’s Lair: Robots are not us, they serve us

An NBER paper “Robots are us – Some Economics of Human Replacement” paints a grim picture of our robotic future, in which the robots undermine their customer base, making the vast majority of humanity redundant. As good academic-institution social democrats, the paper’s authors Seth G. Benzell, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Guillermo LaGarda, and Jeffrey D. Sachs […]

How Charles Jenkinson turned a Whig government Tory

When William Pitt the younger formed his government in December 1783, it was a Whig one. Pitt himself, his two Secretaries of State and most of his Cabinet were Whigs. Yet by his death in 1806, his long-standing administration was generally accepted as a Tory government, and its direct successors were to continue ruling as […]

About the True Blue Will Never Stain blog

This blog contains the self-directed writings of Martin Hutchinson, mostly on history, political economy and finance. It does not include those writings on economics and finance that are produced to order, heavily edited, and published primarily elsewhere.

The Bear’s Lair: The productivity death spiral

Fourth quarter U.S. labor productivity growth surprised markets last week by coming in at minus 1.8%. Over the past four years, annual productivity growth has averaged only 0.7% per annum. That’s far below the historical average of around 2% annually. The productivity growth shortfall has highly negative implications for U.S. living standards. Contrary to the […]

The Bear’s Lair: Constraints are the foundations of civilized life

President Obama’s budget, global post-2008 monetary policy and Greece’s election of the leftist Syriza government all reflect the same impulse: the desire to remove constraints that had previously been thought mandatory. Just as in our social existence we are seeing the merits of some of the constraints the baby boomers so enthusiastically discarded in the […]

The Bear’s Lair: Beware of Greeks demanding gifts

“We are not worried. Our team is strong. We have Icarus in the wings” chortled Greek leftist Alexis Tsipras after his election victory. You’d think a Greek would remember that Icarus fell to a watery grave when his wings melted – the country’s education system is clearly not what it was. All the same, apart […]