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What is Modern Monetary Theory? (II): A Critique

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What is Modern Monetary Theory? (II): A Critique

In the last months, the US political debate has revolved around a number of proposals (e.g., Bernie Sander’s Medicare for All or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal) that, if materialized, would send government expenditures through the roof. Most economists would tell you that, in the long run, these new programs must be financed either by increasing taxes or by trimming other…

What is Modern Monetary Theory? (I): Some Ideas

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What is Modern Monetary Theory? (I): Some Ideas

In an interview last January, Democratic Party’s rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brought attention to so-called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a theory that challenges the foundations of mainstream economics regarding fiscal and monetary policy. Whereas its supporters see in MMT a solid theoretical framework with which to justify the expansion of public spending, its detractors argue…

Burrowing into Books -"Uncle Dynamite" by P.G. Wodehouse

Burrowing into Books -"Uncle Dynamite" by P.G. Wodehouse

“He looked pleased with himself, and who shall blame him? A man whose  mission is to spread sweetness and light and to bring the young folk together may  surely be forgiven a touch of complacency when happy endings start going off like  crackers all around him and he sees the young folk coming together in droves.”…

Tech and achievement: a new "problem"

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Tech and achievement: a new "problem"

Recently, I attended a workshop given by a man who had obtained his PhD in the early 1990s. When he was a student he was the only person that to finish the entire programme and graduate, not only from his admission year but also from several groups on either side of him. The explanation was that the technological difficulty of doing research, assembling, organizing, and then publishing…

What's behind skyrocketing rental prices in Spain?

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What's behind skyrocketing rental prices in Spain?

Last month, Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez was forced to call a snap election after Congress rejected his budget proposal. The call for elections and subsequent dissolution of parliament has not, however, prevented Sánchez’s caretaker government from continuing legislating via executive orders. Even though these executive orders need to be approved by the…

Protecting the environment should be about being pro-human

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Protecting the environment should be about being pro-human

In figures released by Eurostat this month, it was reported that only 6.4% of energy consumed in the Grand Duchy in 2017 came from renewable sources, making Luxembourg stand more than ten percentage points below the EU average of 17.5%as well as the member state producing the least amount from renewable energy. Granted, this number is up from previous years, rising from 5.4% in 2016, 5% in…

Burrowing into Books - "My Twenty-Five Years in Provence" by Peter Mayle

Burrowing into Books - "My Twenty-Five Years in Provence" by Peter Mayle

  “After several months our luck finally changed. We found a house on a hillside, with several thousand acres of the Luberon Natural Regional Park at the end of the back garden, a modest vineyard and the fine old village of Ménerbes two minutes away.”…

What the Dutch air travel tax proposal reveals about our political class

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
What the Dutch air travel tax proposal reveals about our political class

The Netherlands is pushing for a new tax on air travel. The story is very under-reported in the media, even though it reveals something quite striking about the current political establishment.   The most important reason   Dutch Secretary of State for Finance Menno Snel presented a report to the Council of Ministers of the EU arguing for a €7 tax (per passenger, per flight…

Linguistic inclusion or social mobility?: A dilemma

Linguistic inclusion or social mobility?: A dilemma

Language and accents are a veritable passion for anglophones. Upon landing in the UK for the first time, my new comrades at university asked me to explain President Trump, but their curiosity was focused on his accent, not his policies. The power of linguistic tonality and musicality has long been a sore topic with those of a social justice inclination, who have long waged war on British Received…

Is the Romanian PM right about the EU's hypocrisy on corruption and civil liberties?

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Is the Romanian PM right about the EU's hypocrisy on corruption and civil liberties?

Romania's presidency isn't a smooth one for a number of reasons. For one, taking over the rotating Council presidency in a European election year means that the European Parliament will be missing as one of the institutional partners from April on. During this reduced time, the country will then be asked to finish a number of major-league legislative projects, such as the development aid…

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