What is the "Servant Economy"?


Screenshot from the FT. "Farewell to the servant economy ‘On-demand’ services might have made people feel wealthy, but now the model is in jeopardy."

With the collapse of VC subsidised convenience firms - for example instant grocery delivery apps - the modern world is facing a minor meltdown. No more biscuits on demand! No more cheap drivers at your beck and call! Calamity! Some have dubbed this The End of the Servant Economy. Perhaps it is. But what do…

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Second Hand Books Are Theft


Whenever you buy a second-hand book, you are stealing revenue from the author and publisher. It makes no difference whether you buy from a charity shop or a for-profit store. All the money goes to the seller of the book, and none of it flows back to the copyright holders. (The situation is slightly different…

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Book Review: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism


A boring book cover.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a deeply-reasoned examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from democratic oversight. As it explores this new capitalism's impact on society, politics, business, and technology, it exposes the struggles that will decide both the next chapter of capitalism and the meaning of information civilization. It shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities and ensure we are the masters of the digital rather than its slaves.

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Book Review: The Entrepreneurial State


Book cover with a lion on it.

This book debunks the myth of the State as a large bureaucratic organization that can at best facilitate the creative innovation which happens in the dynamic private sector. It argues that in the history of modern capitalism the State has not only fixed market failures but also shaped and created markets, actively investing in new technologies and sectors that private investors only later find the courage to move into.

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Some criticisms of "I, Pencil"


I am not an economist - so perhaps someone more intellectually equipped than me has already written a better version of this blog post. "I, Pencil" by Leonard E. Read is an influential essay on the nature of free-market capitalism. It correctly points out that the modern world is so complex and interdependent that no…

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Ignore Percentage-Based Cost Savings


I was reading an article in The Guardian about a new "no frills" transatlantic airline. The author talked about the various costs, and whether the cost savings were worth it. So, how much cheaper is it really? BA wanted a minimum of £709.31, while Virgin's cheapest was £689.31. Norwegian offered us a flight at £579.20…

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