Happiness: A measure of cheer

‘The welfare of a nation can … scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income.’ So the US Congress was warned in 1934 by Simon Kuznets, who thus continued a long tradition of pointing out that there is more to life than money. But the...

Christmas presence

Christmas looms. Personally, I’m delighted. I have young children, they love Christmas and, therefore, so do I. If you must, by all means moan about the stress and the expense and the orgy of greed. But you are surely compelled to acknowledge that Christmas, as...

Why education fails the poor

Students took to the streets of London last month to protest against a stiff increase in course fees. I can hardly blame them, but the fee increase is not the great injustice that they claim. In one sense it is unfair, of course: earlier generations of students paid...

One thing at a time, please

I just splashed out on a new widescreen monitor, which I have rotated and set alongside the near-identical widescreen monitor I already own. Now I have two tall screen monitors, side by side, and I feel like the operator of a nuclear power station. Publilius Syrus, a...

Putting pay in perspective

Like all good economists, I am both frugal and insensible to considerations of style, so my battered old spectacles are now more than a decade old. I’d be lost without them, quite literally. My unaided eyes are unable to read a book at a distance of more than four...

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