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Implementing the wishes of the minority

Before we start, I should make it clear: I feel that Brexit is a supremely bad idea, and if I had any say at all we would not be doing it.  It will mean huge economic and political upheaval and pain in the short term, for no gain in the long term.  The referendum was won on lies, misinformation, and encouraging ignorance.

But vote out the UK did, and the question ever since has been what form the break will take.  Economists have, in the main, been hoping for a ‘soft Brexit’, where access to the Single Market would be retained and the UK would suffer less of a financial shock.  However, recent reports from the government have indicated that a ‘hard Brexit’ is more likely – leaving the Single Market with the aim of controlling immigration and regulations. Continue reading

12 million Turks are not planning on moving to the UK

Part of a series looking at the spin behind a Daily Express article – see this post for details.

Now that we have established that Turkey is not about to join the EU, and even with the visa-free travel scheme which might be implemented for the Schengen Area, Turkish citizens are not allowed to move to the UK, it might seem a little pointless examining the Daily Express’s claims and survey findings.  However, comparing the newspaper article to the actual survey that was commissioned is a useful exercise in showing how statistics can be misleading and how, very often, journalists don’t understand the numbers they are reporting on. Continue reading

12 million Turks are not allowed to move to the UK

Part of a series looking at the spin behind a Daily Express article – see this post for details.

Having established that Turkey is not going to be joining the EU any time soon, it it should be a relatively simple step to say that we are not going to see an influx of Turkish migrants on the UK’s borders.  Unfortunately, the Express and Mail have been putting out misleading stories about Turkey for months, and their reporting is designed to be vague enough that their readership sort of assumes it’s all the same story. Continue reading

Turkey isn’t going to join the EU any time soon

Part of a series looking at the spin behind a Daily Express article – see this post for details.

The Daily Express is very sure of the future.  In their masthead, they state:

MORE than 12 million Turkish citizens are planning to move to Britain when the country joins the European Union, an explosive poll for Express.co.uk has revealed.

There are many things wrong with this single sentence, and over the next few posts we’ll look at some of them in depth – the number of Turks involved, what they are planning to do, and what the survey actually shows.  However, this post concerns the single word ‘when’. Continue reading

There’s no need to be worried about a Turkish invasion

The Daily Express has published a story about how 12 million Turks will come to the UK once ‘an EU deal is signed’ – the subheading indicates that this ‘EU deal’ is about Turkey joining the EU.

As a bit of background for those currently not up to speed with UK (and European) politics, the UK will shortly hold a referendum on whether to remain a member of the EU.  Many are concerned about a loss of sovereignty or the money that is sent to the EU; many more are concerned about immigration.  Those in favour of remaining tend to concentrate on economic benefits from membership of the single market (a free trade zone), benefits from harmonised regulation, and benefits from free movement of labour.  The arguments are too complex to cover in a short blog post. Continue reading

Is the US a secretly socialist nation?

If asked about the economic politics of the US, you’ll probably think of them as relatively conservative, right-wing, and capitalist.  You hear of the richer becoming richer, and a growing underclass of the very poor who do not have access to any sort of financial safety net.  To accompany this lack of social benefit, you hear of how wealthy, successful people are attracted to the US because of their favourable tax systems. Continue reading

The effect of inflation on loyalty schemes

Earlier today, Sainsbury’s supermarkets sent out an email informing people that they were reducing the rate at which they would earn reward points on the Nectar scheme – halving the amount, in fact, from 2 points per pound to one per pound.  They were also removing the bonus points available for reusing carrier bags. Continue reading

Can Scotland use Sterling?

A great deal of the Scottish independence referendum has centred on the question of currency and the economy – the ‘yes’ camp say they will enter a currency union with the rest of the UK, while the ‘no’ camp say that wouldn’t be in the best interests of other countries so would be blocked.

A currency union would be something similar to the euro – a common central bank, working for the benefit of all members.  It looks increasingly likely that Scotland, in the absence of a full currency union, would instead just either use Sterling as it is, or would peg its own currency to Sterling.  Some on the ‘no’ side have said that Scotland wouldn’t be allowed to do even this. Continue reading

Pareto improvements: a cautionary tale

I heard this week of a friend who was writing a paper on supermarket pricing.  Some of the research that the shop had carried out (which, unfortunately, remains confidential) showed that people were, at times, put off buying items if they were in a buy-one-get-one-free deal.  Indeed, there were a few items that actually sold worse when they were in a deal than when they were out of it, particularly when you looked at individual shopping habits – yes, those Clubcards are pretty useful from a econometrics point of view. Continue reading

New mobile site

With upgrades to WordPress’s standard tools, economic-truth now has a new look on mobile sites, enabling you to catch up on articles anywhere.  There area few features missing – search for one – which will be added over time.  Your comments are appreciated! Continue reading