My earliest memories of frustration about the economic and social performance of the UK, my home country, date back to childhood. Even then I could sense that something was not going well, and that the UK was somehow falling behind, but I couldn't put my finger on it.
I was raised at a time when people in the western world were not taught to feel shame about their history, but pride in its accomplishments. That's not to deny the awful wrongdoings that occurred during the dark days of empire, but the blame for that sits primarily with a tiny minority of people (i.e., the political elites, not with regular working-class Brits).
With regard to the UK's accomplishments, its two crowning glories have to be the rollout of the industrial revolution, and of parliamentary government, the first representative-democracy in the world.
For all 5,000 years or so of human civilization, the way of life for the vast majority of people, no matter where or when they lived, was based on meager subsistence farming.
Most children died before the age of 10, average life-expectancy was 40, sanitation levels were atrocious, medical procedures were barbaric, education levels were nil, and most people would spend their entire lives on a small patch of dirt, never venturing more than a few miles from home. They had no voice in government, and were totally subservient to their masters.
The industrial revolution changed everything, and the UK can claim credit for starting it.
I do feel pride for my country's greatest accomplishments, but that pride relates to a bygone era. There's little that springs to mind that fills me with pride about the modern accomplishments of my country, and it seems that all the best UK institutions have their origins in the distant past.
In many areas decay and decline has overtaken us. Not in an absolute sense, no one can argue that the UK is materially worse off today than at any time in its past, but in a relative sense things have deteriorated... but relative to what? I don't mean relative to other developing countries (although some have fully caught up and far exceeded us), but relative to the growth that the UK should have achieved were it not for the excessive, incompetent hand of government interference.
Stagflation in the 1970s came with de-industrialization and real poverty, and it led to a great deal of resentment among many who felt that free market capitalism had failed them. I can't say that their concerns were totally without merit, but I do regret that the free-thinking, proud, personally-responsible, and enterprising attitudes of the past have been somewhat replaced by a culture of entitlement, where every little thing is the responsibility of the government to provide, rather than the self to earn.
Every great movement has its nemesis, and the great accomplishments of the industrial revolution did sow the seeds of our potential downfall i.e. socialism. Whilst the economic standard of living has grown exponentially, it has not grown equally, and a more equitable distribution of income is a cornerstone of my own economic philosophy, but it will not come from socialism.
Even though we cannot estimate to the nearest 10 million, the deaths that have resulted as a direct consequence of socialism, still it continues to gain support. As always I put the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of our political elites, and the so called 'establishment' i.e. the mass-media, the major corporations, the main political parties, the civil service, the judiciary, and most of all the academia.
This modern disease of the mind is widespread throughout the developed world.
The madness that flows from it is a dangerous threat to the future prosperity of all our societies. Our big-government, nanny-state, political-elites are paving the way for our descent into serfdom, a descent that was long ago predicted by one of our greatest economists, Friedrich Hayek, and I'd encourage anyone to get a copy of his most famous book, 'The Road to Serfdom'.
I've been influenced by many of the great economists of the past, and by some of our more recent thinkers. To name a few: Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, George Stigler, Irving Fisher, Murray Rothbard, and of course the father of them all, the great Adam Smith.
Their invaluable contributions to the field of Economics, and my own personal experiences, are the inspiration and driving-force behind DyingEconomy.com.
The chance to devote oneself to the full-time study of a subject that you love is truly a fine thing, and I'm grateful to have had that opportunity. I gained my degree in Economics in 2002 from the:
University of Essex
Tel. +44 (0)1206 873666
I remember my time in education fondly.
My personal contact details are:
Tel: +44 (0)1623 846656
My career started in 2004 with my first position at Mansfield District Council in Nottinghamshire. I worked in the Urban Regeneration department, a department which was charged with the promotion of economic development initiatives to create jobs, skills, and infrastructure.
By 2005 I had moved to a new position at Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council in Merseyside. I worked in the Department for Regeneration and Neighbourhoods, focusing on employment, skills & inclusion.
Finally, in 2008, I moved to an organization that worked solely on economic development. It was a government funded agency that controlled a budget of over £1 billion for projects located all over the Northwest of England. It was called the Northwest Development Agency, and whilst the people who worked there were the most hard-working, professional people you could hope to meet, the bureaucracy under which the agency operated made success impossible.
My years in employment gave me a huge dose of reality, but it was a great disappointment. In all the years and in all of the three venues in which I worked, I can tell you that I never once met anyone else who held an influential position who was also qualified in Economics. That should tell you something about competency levels in public sector economic development teams and organizations!
At various points throughout this website I'll give some amusing stories about the inefficiency, incompetence and outright corruption that these organizations were mired in.
I most definitely do not remember my time in employment fondly.