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Hipsters need nametags

Wellington is a small place. Everybody complains they’re always running into people they know, that it’s hard for young people to date people who haven’t been dated by their friends already, and that it’s impossible to have an impromptu coffee at Astoria without being recognised by some journalist. Maybe that’s what’s behind the hipster drive for anonymity through identical non-conformity. Two weeks ago, MIT Technology Review wrote a piece explaining an older research article claiming to show why non-conformists, hipsters... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
15 March, 2019

Faking a wellbeing focus?

The government is hyping Budget 2019 as a world-leading “Wellbeing Budget”. The December 2018 Budget Policy Statement proclaims the government’s key focus on improving the wellbeing and living standards of New Zealanders. Do the public have any real evidence of any substance behind such froth? It appears not. Government policies can be expected to improve overall community wellbeing if an authoritative analysis demonstrates that the benefits will exceed the costs to those affected, in some overall sense. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
8 March, 2019

News that isn’t news

Scroll down your news feed, what do you see? Trump’s latest dumb tweet, an update on the crisis in Venezuela, maybe something on Brexit? Unless you’re on the Economist, probably not. If you jump on any mainstream news website, you’re more likely to see something about the latest drama on Married at First Sight (MAFS), unruly tourists, or the latest limited-edition Cadbury or Whittaker’s chocolate bar. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
1 March, 2019

The poverty of inequality reports

Everything has its season. The slow January news period brings Oxfam’s annual condemnation of wealth inequality and calls for redistribution. And every January, economists go through their figures to show that, once again, Oxfam has played fast and loose with the numbers. Oxfam combined Credit Suisse data on the decline in wealth for New Zealand’s least wealthy with Forbes data on the only two Kiwis who made it onto the Forbes list of billionaires. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
25 January, 2019

Expurgating our inner animal

We have to take the flower by the thorns and cut the animalism out of our everyday language. That is the message this week from PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Good on them. More ethical treatment of millions of humans in totalitarian countries would be a good thing, too. So when you want to motivate your colleagues to real action, PETA does not want you to talk about taking the bull by the horns. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
14 December, 2018

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