Category Archives: Social Policy

The worst bit of old age is not being extended. It’s being delayed.

You’ve heard it a million times: in developed nations, populations are ageing. But what does that mean? At the extremes, it could mean either of two quite different things. It could mean a host of frail elderly people stuck in … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Health, Social Policy | 14 Comments

Quirky cultural customs: the causes of death

Have you ever reflected on what a strange concept the notion of a ’cause of death’ really is? We use the term so often that it wouldn’t quickly register as a cultural oddity, but it really is a quirky beast … Continue reading

Posted in Death and taxes, Ethics, Geeky Musings, Health, History, Libertarian Musings, Medical, Science, Social Policy | 9 Comments

Things we won’t say about race

Until yesterday I had never heard of Trevor Phillips. He is a former chairman of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which means he was in charge of enforcing British anti-discrimination laws in the Blair years. The documentary … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Immigration and refugees, Politics - international, Race and indigenous, Social Policy | 4 Comments

Wellbeing: more please

The well-being or ‘happiness’ push has been rolling for more than a decade now. Though there were plenty of other voices like Bruno Frey, I date its take-off from around the turn of the 21st century when Richard Layard started … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Health, Inequality, Social Policy | 10 Comments

Could sortition help against corruption, part II

In part 1, I looked at whether it made sense to have random individuals inserted into parliament, or to let policies be decided by juries full of randomly chosen individuals. Both were argued to be unworkable and likely to lead … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Ethics, History, Information, IT and Internet, Journalism, Law, Libertarian Musings, Life, Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - national, Print media, regulation, Social Policy, Society, Web and Government 2.0 | 13 Comments

IMF Researchers on Inequality on Social Capital

Growing Apart, Losing Trust? The Impact of Inequality on Social Capital There is a widespread perception that trust and social capital have declined in United States as well as other advanced economies, while income inequality has tended to increase. While … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Philosophy, Political theory, Social, Social Policy | Leave a comment

Markets, supply chains, brains and human services

Below is an essay by me and Chris Vanstone (Chief Innovation Officer of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) published in two parts by The Mandarin. Devoutly confessing that you do not know is better than prematurely claiming that you … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Information, Philosophy, Political theory, Social Policy | 9 Comments