With apologies to King Lear

Dear Economist, I am 72 and about to prepare my will. Knowing that some of my daughters have married well, and the other will probably remain single (and therefore be financially disadvantaged in comparison), there seems to be a moral justification to be more generous...

Teenage Kicks

The Undercover Economist – FT Magazine“Parents, brace yourselves.” With those words, Oprah Winfrey introduced news of a teenage oral-sex craze in the US. In Atlantic Monthly, Caitlin Flanagan wrote “The moms in my set are convinced – they’re certain; they...

Product sabotage

Why would a company deliberately hide its best product?Starbucks does.Why would a company deliberately damage its best product?Many high-tech companies do that, and even my favourite local restaurant does.It doesn’t sound like a winning formula, but it’s...

Shifting popcorn

Dear Economist,When I go to a restaurant a dish that costs more to make – perhaps lobster or the product of an expensive chef’s imagination – costs more to purchase. The same is true when I go to a clothes store.However, when I go to see a movie at my...

Knock-out blow

The Undercover Economist – FT MagazineThe view from my upstairs window in Hackney has changed a little now that the beautiful old neighbourhood church has been flattened. The church disappeared almost overnight despite attempts to preserve it – or, more...

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