Huge Self-Employment Surge

The number of people opting to work for themselves increased by almost a quarter across the past decade.

Does increased self-employment match unemployment rates?

According to data analysis released today by business insurance provider Direct Line for Business, Britain saw a 23 per cent increase in self-employment from just before the start of the credit crunch until now. Figures rose from 3.8 million to nearly 4.7 million.

One in seven UK employees (15 per cent) are currently self-employed consultants or other forms of contractor. According to the research, 91 per cent of UK businesses hire outside help.

Disability benefits aside, is it not better to encourage people into self-employment rather than squander their potential, and probably that of their offspring, on state handouts?

Small businesses still form the backbone of the UK’s economy. Many grow to employ others.

Positive Money?

Positive Money is a national campaign for banking and monetary reform in the UK enjoying a deal of support.

It is an organisation that highlights social and economic injustices, offering remedial arguments for solutions based on a Keynesian model of economic theory.

“At Positive Money we believe the best course of action would be for the BoE to cooperate with the Treasury in order to finance a fiscal stimulus with newly created money.” – From the Positive Money website.

Below is an insightful audio interview with members of the Sheffield branch covering fractional reserve banking and much more. The interviewees are clearly passionate, and their campaign certainly deserves respect for consistency.

I can find common ground with many of the problems that Positive Money identifies, but definitely disagree with the solutions on offer (e.g., printing money).

(Vive la difference.) 😎

Is Universal Basic Income a Good Idea?

Earlier this year the World Economic Forum called for a Universal Basic Income payable almost unconditionally to citizens. Is this a realistic aspiration?

The idea had been discussed at Davos and the WEF dutifully promoted the idea:

World Economic Forum
Scott Santens, 15 January 2017

Consider for a moment that from this day forward, on the first day of every month, around $1,000 is deposited into your bank account – because you are a citizen. This income is independent of every other source of income and guarantees you a monthly starting salary above the poverty line for the rest of your life.


The idea of providing citizens with a livable, basic income certainly has its attractions and might render welfare benefits obsolete if implemented as a simple addition to any actual earnings. Continue reading

Labour’s Proposed £10 Minimum Wage

The Labour Party just announced proposals to increase the UK minimum wage to £10 per hour.

Of course, Labour has many blind spots when it comes to economics. The “party of the workers” doesn’t understand that smaller businesses will stop hiring and will instead bring in automation where possible – and many firms may even go bust.

Nor does Labour understand that those businesses able to continue trading will merely increase prices of their services and goods to consumers. Think too about care home staff, many on minimum wage and overworked due to cutbacks from existing wage legislation.

Anyone who knows simple arithmetic (let alone economics) realises that a company with, say, ten low-skilled employees will have to make £100 an hour to cover their wages – and much more than that in order to cover business overheads such as renting premises, business rates, stock purchase, etc, etc.

None of this should come as any surprise. UK Labour’s Leader Jeremy Corbyn has never held down a job outside of politics let alone run a business. Indeed, he did not even complete his higher education course.

Click on the image below to read the Evening Standard story.

Quality economics and money journalism from Russell Cavanagh.

Cashless Society Steps Closer?

Cash is disappearing as contactless payments – cards, mobile devices, etc – become more popular with consumers. What are the implications for businesses?

“Think of those leisure days, perhaps out strolling across Prague’s Charles Bridge and waiting for the busker to …”

Cash has been under attack since American Express introduced the US to general purpose card payments in the 1950s. The ‘plastic’ revolution escalated when Barclaycard was introduced to Britain in 1966. The rest is history.

Approximately 80 per cent of transactions in Germany are still made using cash. However, this figure falls across EU member states.


But over in the US, four out of every five people use non-cash payments for their everyday purchases today, This figure leaps to 100% in the 18-24 age group. Continue reading