Category Archives: Economics

The misdirection in the ‘elites’ discourse.

There are respectable ways of knowing how things are run and who the beneficiaries are. Over-indulged misdirection about ‘elites’ isn’t one of them.

If you’re looking for good answers to the big old questions around “who runs things around here, and who do they aim to serve?”, then Anthony Downs’ work on ‘rational ignorance’, or Mancur Olson’s on productivity and the logic of collective action from the 1960s and ’70s is a great place to start. Continue reading here.

The Muggle-headed politics of Trout-Dipping

Trout Dipping - the future

I’ve kept this quiet up until now, but it’s time that I came out as a Trout Dipper.

I’ve read detailed studies and shown that it would be very good for our ecosystem if we were to catch every freshwater Trout in British waters, quickly dip them in a harmless green dye, and then throw them back in the water alive. Personally, I’m convinced.

I’m not writing about it here to convince you that ‘Trout-Dipping’ is a good idea, but I hope it illustrates another point that I’d like to make.

It is a counter-intuitive argument. I won’t go into the very sound scientific data behind it (links to follow if I get round to it), and I don’t expect you to think that it’s a good idea until you’ve read the whole thing. I can see the practical problems, and the expense, but if you understood the great arguments, I’m sure you’d realise that it’s worth doing. Continue reading