Free Lunch!

What harm does running a European-style high-spending welfare state do to a country’s GDP? The answer, surprisingly, turns out to be “none at all”. Peter Lindert’s paper, “Why the Welfare State Looks Like A Free Lunch”, shows that a welfare state doesn’t depress GDP in the way that conventional economic analyses predict. Why not? Over to Lindert…
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Papists Under The Bed

There’s an utterly mad article in this week’s Spectator, in which a rather overheated Tory called Adrian Hilton argues, with apparent sincerity, that the EU is a grand Papist conspiracy to subject Protestant Britain to Roman Catholic tyranny. I mention it, not just to point and laugh, but because one passage in it illustrates a peculiar blind spot that is very common amongst UK Europhobes:
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