Tuesday , September 22 2020
Home / Robert Skidelsky

Robert Skidelsky

The Crowding-Out Myth

The argument that public investment invariably “crowds out” private capital is wrong both theoretically and empirically. States have always played a leading role in allocating capital, either through direct investments, or by deliberately encouraging certain types of private investment.LONDON – Three economic effects of COVID-19 seem to be generally agreed upon. First, the developed world is on the brink of a severe recession. Second, there will be no automatic V-shaped recovery. And...

Read More »

Will COVID-19 Put Us Right With Nature?

The COVID-19 virus, as frightening as it now seems, may ultimately fail to jolt humanity out of its profligate habits. But instead of regarding the pandemic as merely another problem requiring a technical fix, the world should see it as an opportunity to rethink humanity’s relationship with the planet.LONDON – One of the few things not in short supply in the COVID-19 era is commentary on the pandemic. Understandably enough, the virus has generated a non-stop flow of news about its spread,...

Read More »

The Monetarist Fantasy Is Over

Feb 17, 2020 ROBERT SKIDELSKYUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, determined to overcome Treasury resistance to his vast spending ambitions, has ousted Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid. But Johnson’s latest coup also is indicative of a global shift from monetary to fiscal policy.LONDON – The forced resignation of the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, is the latest sign that macroeconomic policy is being upended, and not only in the UK. In addition to completing...

Read More »

The Terrorism Paradox

There was, all too predictably, no shortage of political profiteering in the wake of November’s London Bridge terror attack, in which Usman Khan fatally stabbed two people before being shot dead by police. In particular, the United Kingdom’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, swiftly called for longer prison sentences and an end to “automatic early release” for convicted terrorists. In the two decades since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States, terrorism has become the...

Read More »

For a public sector job guarantee

My Lords, I think I am the only macroeconomist contributing to this debate, which is perhaps rather odd as it is a debate on economic affairs. As instructive and important as the other contributions have been, I want to talk about economic policy, because unless the economy works a lot better than it has in the last 10 years, none of the spending pledges, to be quite honest, will be worth the paper that they are written on, and how well it works will largely depend on economic policy. The...

Read More »

Economic Possibilities for Ourselves

The most depressing feature of the current explosion in robot-apocalypse literature is that it rarely transcends the world of work. Almost every day, news articles appear detailing some new round of layoffs. In the broader debate, there are apparently only two camps: those who believe that automation will usher in a world of enriched jobs for all, and those who fear it will make most of the workforce redundant. This bifurcation reflects the fact that “working for a living” has been the...

Read More »

A Post-Election Reckoning for British Politics

Leaving the European Union on January 31, 2020, will be UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s repayment of the debt he owes to the many Labour supporters who “lent” his Conservatives their votes. But “getting Brexit done” won’t be enough for the Tories to hold on to their parliamentary seats.LONDON – Speaking outside No. 10 Downing Street following his emphatic election victory, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked long-time Labour supporters for having “lent” his Conservative Party...

Read More »

China’s Quest for Legitimacy

December 3, 2019 The conventional Western view is that China faces the alternatives of integrating with the West, trying to destroy it, or succumbing to domestic violence and chaos. But the Chinese scholar Lanxin Xiang instead proposes a constitutional regime based on a modernized Confucianism.LONDON – Liberal democracy faces a legitimacy crisis, or so we are repeatedly told. People distrust government by liberal elites, and increasingly believe that the democracy on offer is a sham. This...

Read More »

Placido Domingo: cancel culture?

‘People who do really good stuff have flaws’ said Barack Obama in a recent talk.  About the same time I read: ‘Placido Domingo has withdrawn from all future engagements at New York’s Metropolittan Opera [after 51 consecutive years] following allegations of sexual harrassment made by several women, including a soprano who said he reached down her robe and grabbed her bare breast’.[The Week,5 October 2019] Domingo’s burnished tenor and acting ability has thrilled generations of opera...

Read More »

How to Achieve Shorter Working Hours

I have great pleasure in presenting this report on shorter working hours, which John McDonnell asked me to prepare, and which I have written with the valuable assistance of Rachel Kay. I accepted John’s invitation because shorter working hours is something I believe in. In fact, I wrote a book with my son, How Much is Enough?, which made the case for reducing the burden of work as part of the good life. The philosophy of this Report is quite simple. The advance of technology – the...

Read More »