The question of a universal basic income

The question of a universal basic income

UNIVERSAL basic incomes are one of the hottest topics in economics today. The idea has the backing of people from quite different parts of the ideological spectrum, from Charles Murray, a libertarian-minded scholar, to Andy Stern, an American labour leader.  Over the past decade interest in basic incomes has grown alongside worries that the wages…

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Is Italy the new Greece? We should be so lucky

Is Italy the new Greece? We should be so lucky

For those with long memories, the mess in Italy this week might not seem like such an aberration. Turmoil in electoral politics is the norm. As recently as two years ago, Matteo Renzi, the youngest prime minister in Italy’s history, resigned after losing a perhaps justified and completely ill-advised referendum on constitutional reform. Or go…

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What is an audit for?

What is an audit for?

AUDITS get noticed only when things go wrong. Last week British MPs issued a scathing attack on KPMG, an auditor, for failing to avert the collapse of Carillion, a contracting company. South African authorities are looking into Deloitte’s audit of Steinhoff, a retailer. PwC, another auditor, could face a court-damages verdict for hundreds of millions…

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How Ethiopia is building a social safety-net

How Ethiopia is building a social safety-net

TSIDE ZEWIDE has lived in the shadow of the national palace in Addis Ababa for more than fifty years. Since her husband died four years ago the 73 year-old has cared for three orphans, the grandchildren of her late sister, alone in a rundown government-owned shack. She has no pension, and, until recently, had no…

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