Edward Hadas

Shhh – don’t talk about higher taxes

May 7, 2014

By Edward Hadas

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Inheritance can be less unequal

April 23, 2014

The children of the poor tend to end up poor. The children of the elite seem pre-ordained to inherit a good part of their parents’ status and income. Is that just?

Wealth buys less lifestyle, more power

April 2, 2014

Many serious people think economic inequality in the United States and other developed economies should be a hot political topic. But the general public hardly cares. There is a bad reason behind lack of public interest.

Russia and the unreliable West

March 12, 2014

The revival of East-West tension over Ukraine looks thoroughly geopolitical. But the context is bad economics. In the last century, Russia was damaged by flawed ideologies which originated in the West. And today it is damaged by Western economic policy.

How hunger and obesity go together

February 26, 2014

Global hunger is shrinking. Yet each winter operators of food banks in rich countries like the United States and Britain speak movingly of the plight of those who must choose between heating and eating. The desperation seen by Feeding America and the British Trussell Trust is real enough, but this is not a massive economic failure. The weakness is predominantly social.

Favour labour over consumption

November 13, 2013

Unemployment is a problem in most developed economies. Any politician, central banker or professional economist in the United States or Europe will admit that the published rates are unacceptably high, that too many people have left the paid labour force and that young people starting out have a particularly bad deal.

Economists overvalue stock markets

October 31, 2013

Is it possible to construct portfolios which perform better than the overall stock market? Two of the three recipients of the latest Nobel prize in economics have tried to answer that question. Roughly speaking, Eugene Fama said that all efforts are in vain, while Robert Shiller said that they are not.

America says it has got poorer. That’s rich

September 25, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau says the median American household’s income was 1.3 percent lower in 2012 than in 1989 after adjusting for inflation. That suggests stagnant American consumption for the last 24 years. That assertion is not as ridiculous as North Korean propaganda about the United States – “their houses blow down very easily and they have to live in tents” – but it’s still misleading.

A dangerous lie about debt

August 21, 2013

I have spent much of the last five years searching for financial villains. The 2008 crisis and the extremely slow subsequent economic recovery have exposed a deeply flawed system, and some people, groups or ideas must be responsible.

UK’s economic woes are basically social

August 14, 2013

Four decades ago, everyone knew that the UK had a social problem. Class divisions stunted the development of a substantial, well-educated middle class, leaving the economy in a strangely Victorian state – divided between a gruff working class, which was prone to strikes and obstruction; and the incompetent elite, which seemed unable to adjust to the end of Empire.