I have been arguing with Tom Papworth on the IEA blog.  Tom believes that if savings increase, they are invested. I don’t.   I rudely sent him a link to Andy Harless’ brilliant exposition of how  the causality is the other way round.  This is a big dividing line.

Liberal Conspiracy  or Unity have a quite brilliant post about immigration. I have not read it all because the grave is only 40-60 years away and I have a cold.  But here is the killer conclusion:

As a result, around 75% of all new public sector jobs and 62% of new private sector jobs when to workers who were born in the UK. While errors of this kind are just what you’d expect from the Daily Mail, and they did churn this press release, they are perhaps not what many people would expect to see from a cross-party parliamentary group that lists its members as follows: The Rt Hon Frank Field MP and The Hon Nicholas Soames MP are Co-Chairmen of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration.

Charlotte Gore has quit the Lib Dems, because they are not being more libertarian, I think. Expect little change.

Scott Sumner has a useful post debunking mechanical monetarism. The ongoing discussion between him and Nick Rowe is a joy to eavesdrop upon: personally, I regard Nick Rowe’s ‘In praise of (a little bit of) fiscal dominance‘ as one of the most important of the year.   Against some pretty strong competition.

The Observer’s 50 best albums of the decade has restored some of my faith in the genre.  But again: where are the Killers?  Where is Noah and the Whale? And the best album of all (warning: provocative and irritating controversy).

This time I am getting it right.  Paul Sagar has written about Devalued Degrees.  Personally, as someone who has had to look at loads of CV’s, I would caution: no sensible employer looking to hire anyone into a productive job gives a monkey’s about what a masters degree was about.  Me, I was more interested in whether they had done bar work: if you can do that, you can work on a busy dealing floor.  The abuse, quick mathematics and need to remain polite to unpleasant people . .. whereas the talent of looking up textual facts and adapting them for an essay . . .  useful for journalism or policywonkhotairiness, but as I said, productive jobs . . .

I like Ed Glaeser’s finally optimistic take on Dubai.It’s kinda what I meant earlier.

Great cities have long been built by great gamblers, and Dubai’s sheik may well be the second greatest city-builder — after the Chinese government — of our age. Many of those gamblers have ended up bankrupt, but their structural legacies remain, providing the space that connects humanity and facilitates the success of our urban world . . .  Even if Dubai’s real estate prices continue to drop, which is certainly quite possible, there will remain a strong incentive to fill its buildings. If the structures remain occupied, then Dubai, and its sheik’s dream of a great metropolis, will survive.


One thought on “Savings, immigration, Dubai and Devalued Degrees

  1. The issue is not whether Dubai built anything worth having, it is whether it got $10 of value for every $10 spent. If it spent $10 to build something whose market value turns out to be $5 then sure it has something, but only something worth $5, which is not good value and means problems if more than $5 of the initial $10 was borrowed.

    For proof that not all infrastructure is worth building, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravina_Island_Bridge.

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