Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Productivity

Britain: For the Love of God, Please Stop Theresa May

On June 8 (this Thursday), Britain has a general election. I care deeply about British politics–I’m doing my PhD at Cambridge. But more importantly, Theresa May’s government has managed the country’s economy and public services with stunning fecklessness, and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do my part to point this out.

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Don’t Vote for the Tories: Labour Offers a Serious Alternative

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans for a snap election on 8 June. She’s way ahead in the polls, and the Conservatives may win–they may win by a lot. But they shouldn’t. So I’m continuing a blog series called “Don’t Vote for the Tories.” Each post gives you a new reason to reject the Tories at the polls this June, grounded in research and data. I aim to do at least one of these each week until the vote. Today we’re taking a break from criticising the Conservatives and exploring what Labour has to offer.

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Don’t Vote for the Tories: They’re Clueless on Wages

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans for a snap election on 8 June. She’s way ahead in the polls, but her opponents demanded an election when she came to power, and cannot credibly oppose it now. The Conservatives may win–they may win by a lot. But they shouldn’t. So I’m starting a blog series called “Don’t Vote for the Tories.” Each post will give you a new reason to reject the Tories at the polls this June, grounded in research and data. I aim to do at least one of these each week until the vote. Today we’re talking about wages.

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Brexit is the Right Nationalist Response to Austerity

Like many people, I initially responded to Brexit with outrage at the terrible consequences of the result for the British people. Among other things, they may lose crucial worker, consumer, and environmental protections, they may lose access to the European market, they may lose the opportunity to work with other European countries on climate change and tax avoidance, and they may even lose Scotland. It is critical that the British Parliament assert its sovereignty and decline to implement the results of the non-binding advisory referendum, which was a mistake to hold in the first place. After all, by asserting UK sovereignty, Brexiteers are asserting the sovereignty of Parliament, so if Parliament declines to invoke Article 50 and chooses to stay in the EU it is merely exercising the very powers the Brexiteers wished to assert for it. But today I want to take a step back and look at the big picture–why the vote went the way it did and what that says about where we’re at. Many people have been happy to chalk the Leave win up to bigotry and leave it at that, but this response is too reductive and doesn’t give us enough to work with. If bigotry is the problem, why is bigotry the problem now? There have been bigoted people in Britain and in the EU and all over the world forever, but Brexit didn’t happen in 1996 or 2006, it happened in 2016. What’s different about now? Brexit is not the result of some culture war between the nice people and the nasty people, it is a consequence of economic stagnation and inequality and of a voting public that is unable to correctly identify the causes of that stagnation and inequality or confront them with meaningful and effective policy.

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Jeremy Corbyn’s Economic Plan is Not Crazy

Over the past week, I’ve been hearing the rumors. They’re saying that Jeremy Corbyn is crazy–that he’s released an economic plan so radical, so incendiary, so madcap that no reasonable person could possibly support him for Labour leader. I thought to myself “Oh no Jeremy, what could you possibly have done to get these folks so riled up?” So I read the plan. It’s not crazy–indeed, there is significant support in the literature and in recent experience for what Corbyn is proposing.

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