Edward Hadas

For growth, focus first on jobs

By Edward Hadas
May 23, 2012

In the labour market, there is a fine line between inefficiency and wastefulness. “This place is so inefficient,” it is said, often with justification, especially in rich economies. “We could do everything we’re supposed to with a third fewer people.” Factories can be streamlined, high quality new equipment can save on labour, and offices are prone to the incubation of worthless bureaucracy.

Bad ideas spawn Lesser Depression

By Edward Hadas
May 16, 2012

On September 15, 2008 Lehman Brothers collapsed in a heap, a bankruptcy that was followed by a recession in most rich countries. As time goes on, the severity of the disruption becomes both more apparent and more puzzling.

What price beauty?

By Edward Hadas
May 9, 2012

From a narrow economic perspective, the art world is working brilliantly. But the success shows just how narrow that perspective really is.  

What companies are good for

By Edward Hadas
May 2, 2012

The debate on executive pay is often just a shouting match, in part because there’s no agreement on what bosses are actually paid to do. The “shareholder value” approach provides a simple answer, but one that it is both practically and morally wrong. Aristotle had better ideas.

Prosperity need not kill religion

By Edward Hadas
April 25, 2012

Thomas Carlyle’s fulminations against the spiritual damage wrought by factories are almost two centuries old, but the sentiment is current wherever industrialisation is rampant. “The huge demon of Mechanism,” he wrote, “smokes and thunders, panting at his great task, oversetting whole multitudes of workmen … so that the wisest no longer knows his whereabout.”

Why “suzhi” should go global

By Edward Hadas
April 18, 2012

What’s the goal of development? A standard answer is higher gross domestic product. A few specialists prefer to talk about building capabilities. I have another idea: development should be about suzhi, a Chinese word usually translated as quality.

Towards a better society in China

By Edward Hadas
April 11, 2012

As a slogan, the Three Represents was puzzling. It was in 2000 that Jiang Zemin decided that the once revolutionary Chinese Communist Party would represent the private sector, which he called “advanced productive forces”; along with its traditional constituencies of intellectuals (“advanced culture”) and workers (“the overwhelming majority of the people”).

More charity, less bureaucracy

By Edward Hadas
March 21, 2012

“Charity is a cold, grey, loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at whim.” Clement Attlee wrote that in 1920. As British prime minister after World War Two, Attlee turned thought into policy. The welfare state that he helped create has decimated private charities for the poor.

What’s really wrong with Europe?

By Edward Hadas
March 14, 2012

The euro zone debt crisis shows that something is seriously wrong with Europe. But what is it?

The lesson of Fukushima

By Edward Hadas
March 7, 2012

The first anniversary of Japan’s nuclear disaster is a good time to take stock. Opponents and proponents of nuclear power are doing so, and they have come to the same conclusion: “We were right all along.”