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Towards a new ‘general intellect’.

A lot has been written about the potential of digital technology and AI to ‘upskill’ the workforce and raise standards of living, but as previous posts have argued, there’s little sign the ‘knowledge economy’ has developed in the way its advocates expected.  Digitalisation and AI have indeed become integral to new types of production. But … Continue reading Towards a new ‘general intellect’.

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Filling (or digging?) a ‘black hole’

With the economy slipping into recession, (by all accounts maybe the longest ever), you’d think it would be generally accepted that at the very least, as even right-wing Tory Ian Duncan-Smith acknowledged on TV at the weekend, a bit of ‘Keynesian’ public spending is necessary, if only to stop things getting significantly worse. But paving … Continue reading Filling (or digging?) a ‘black hole’

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Background paper for NEU post-16 Conference

                                                 Education without jobs? Martin Allen ‘Post-16’ education’ is a relatively new concept. Fifty years ago, 40 % of working class[i] students left school without any significant qualifications (many of these being ‘early leavers’ with no grades in anything).  At that time, there were clear transitions to local employment, especially for the boys. Though … Continue reading Background paper for NEU post-16 Conference

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Books Reviews – Whatever happened to the ‘Knowledge Economy’?

Over the last decade, several publications have provided uncompromising accounts of how technological progress will reshape economy and society. These changes (it has been claimed) have constituted either a Second Machine Age (Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2014)  or  a Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, 2017). While authors have been aware of the potential social upheavals resulting from … Continue reading Books Reviews – Whatever happened to the ‘Knowledge Economy’?

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PSE journal article. ‘A difficult summer for 18-year-olds’

It was a difficult summer for thousands of 18-year olds completing their post-16 education in either school sixth-forms or colleges. Arguably, this cohort had to endure more stress and uncertainty than the previous ‘Covid generation’ - when exams were cancelled and work was teacher-assessed. Read the article in full and download others from PSE issue … Continue reading PSE journal article. ‘A difficult summer for 18-year-olds’

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As Neo-liberal factions slug it out, how do we pay for energy and public services?

Recent days have seen two factions of Neo-liberalism going head-to-head in a bruising encounter, with mainstream Neo-liberalism moving quickly to crush a rebellious (and even more right wing) tendency led by Prime Minister Truss and Chancellor Kwarteng.  Mainstream Neo-liberalism ( in the UK, also referred to as ‘Treasury Orthodoxy’ and most recently associated with defeated … Continue reading As Neo-liberal factions slug it out, how do we pay for energy and public services?

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Think what £65 billion could be spent on!

With the pound still falling, the Bank of England has used its inflation mandate to restart Quantitative Easing – a process that, at least until a few days ago was being slowly reversed.  QE involves the Bank buying  government debt – mostly gilts –from private and institutional investors.  Of course, technically, QE doesn’t reduce the … Continue reading Think what £65 billion could be spent on!

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The Pound tumbles, but how would Labour pay for it?

Truss and Kwarteng’s tax cutting mini budget has caused disarray on the currency markets, with Sterling tumbling to its lowest ever, meaning rising import prices are likely to cause further inflation. The Bank of England has gone ahead with interest rate rises, warning of more to come – even if it has stopped short from … Continue reading The Pound tumbles, but how would Labour pay for it?

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‘Generation Rent’ now can’t afford to.

It’s true that many young people, especially those referred to as ’ millennials', say that don’t want to own their own homes – surveys put this as high as a third.  Young people give a range of responses from ‘I don’t want to be ‘tied down’ to ‘I’m thinking of going off travelling’. This is a … Continue reading ‘Generation Rent’ now can’t afford to.