Chris Snowdon, author of The Spirit Level Delusion, spends an evening with the New Economics Foundation:
The NEF recently revived its idea of restricting working hours to 21 hours per week as a means of creating full employment and achieving the work-life balance that is so cherished by wealthy, middle-aged academics. This idea - which can be most charitably described as ‘eye-catching’ - revolves around ‘redistributing time’ to deal with ‘time poverty.’ The twist is that, unlike with income redistribution, it is the indolent poor who will be the ones handing over their spare time to the over-worked rich in this zero-sum, leisure-heavy Shangri-La. […]
A bit of banker-bashing yielded the one and only round of applause of the night after an elderly gentleman asked how a reduced economy is supposed to pay for geriatric services. [Professor Robert] Skidelsky side-stepped the question by diverting the discussion towards the evergreen issue of bankers’ bonuses... Never mind. It was all good sport and it took our minds off the fact that several hundred reasonably intelligent people were sitting in a room discussing the prospect of making people happier by halving their incomes.
Tim Worstall on the same:
They also recommend that we do more of our own housework, make and mend more, darn socks and so on. Essentially, live as the poor of our grandparents’ time did… The NEF are quite deliberately insisting that we turn our backs on the division and specialisation of labour and go back to doing everything, ourselves, in our own households. This isn’t just perverse or stupid, it’s ignorant.
I particularly like Chris’ observation that some contributors were happy to ignore the data presented on their own charts, busying themselves instead with a collective denunciation of advertising, which apparently should either be taxed or, if possible, banned altogether. (No doubt George Monbiot would approve, given his stated belief that “advertising is a pox on the planet… driving us towards destruction.”) Newcomers should note that the NEF thrilled us with their socialist brainstorming not too long ago. Oh, how they brainstormed. Oh, how we laughed.
Nothing sums up the demented nature of the modern left better than a soi-disant socialist party that supports taxing janitors in Leeds to give money to millionaire luvvies in London, so they can make films about how folk in Yorkshire are ignorant bigots.
And Tim also tackles the great question of our time:
By all means add your own.