T he award of a US Presidential Medal of Freedom is usually an uncontroversial affair. Yet President Donald Trump’s honouring of the “godfather of supply-side economics” Art Laffer sent some economists and the US left into apoplexy. Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman branded Laffer a “crank” and a “charlatan”. Others dismissed Laffer’s “theory”, or revived claims he represented “voodoo economics”. Reading the ensuing debate, neither Laffer’s biggest cheerleaders nor fiercest critics do justice to his ideas and impact. The effect on global tax policy of Laffer’s “supply-side” school is indisputable. Economies across the globe followed the US in slashing top tax rates on income and profits. The top US income tax rate was 70pc when Ronald Reagan was elected, but now stands at 37pc. In the UK, the top rate fell from 83pc in 1979 to 45pc today. Across the whole OECD, top income tax rates fell from an average of just under 70pc to 40pc, while the average corporate tax rate tumbled from … [Read more...] about We shouldn’t laugh at Laffer: Done right, tax cuts can grow an economy
Economics nobel prize winners
In 2012, the Eurozone was facing an existential crisis, with the future of the euro itself in doubt. Investors were seeking an ever-greater premium to lend to countries like Spain and Italy and there was real concern in European capitals that at least one country might have to be ejected from the single currency zone. Greece, in particular, was thought likely to default on its debts. It is no exaggeration to say that one man, more than any other, prevented that from happening. He telegraphed his intentions with a single phrase, uttered at a global investment conference at Lancaster House in London on 26 July, 2012: "Within our mandate, the European Central Bank is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough." That man was Mario Draghi. Advertisement Astonishingly, his comment was unscripted - his way of trying to pour water on the wildfire of speculation that was blazing in Eurozone sovereign debt markets at … [Read more...] about ‘Super’ Mario Draghi sworn in as Italy’s new PM – can he save its economy like he saved the euro?
Even by the savage standards of the Taliban, it was a sickening attempt to murder a teenager just for wanting an education. Now Malala Yousafzai says she is ‘grateful’ she cannot recall anything about the moment a gunman shot her in the head on a school bus in her native Pakistan . The 23-year-old, who won a Nobel Prize after she refused to be silenced by the attack, had to rely on a friend to tell her what happened that day in 2012, when she was just 15. Malala Yousafzai says she is ‘grateful’ she cannot recall anything about the moment a gunman shot her in the head on a school bus in her native Pakistan The friend told her: ‘You were just staring at [the gunman] and you squeezed my hand so tightly that I could feel the pain for days. Suddenly bullets were fired, and you fell in my lap.’ Speaking on today’s Desert Island Discs, Malala says: ‘I am grateful that I don’t remember the incident. I remember sitting in the school bus talking to my friends, just talking … [Read more...] about Malala Yousafzai says she’s ‘grateful’ she can’t remember being shot in the head by the Taliban