Paying people to dig up holes in the physical and cultural infrastructure of Iraq and Afghanistan

I was thinking about war and prosperity and the many odd relationships between economics and power, between power and destruction and between destruction and war.

I recently met someone who had been to Iraq, having been there before Saddam Hussein was in power and while Saddam Hussein was in power. He was well placed to comment on the effects of the war in Iraq which Mr Blair has said has proved a net benefit to the Iraqi people. Continue reading

What green taxes should do and how the oil price is rising

I am writing this before Mr Darling announces his budget, which according to the papers will be a “Green Budget” with “green” taxes. I have always been in favour of the polluter paying for his hers or its pollution. This is one of the four energy principles that I have written about in the Energy Age. 

 I think that Governments tend to waste money; it is rather astounding to realise that most of us spend 42% of our paid labour in working for the common purse, out of which we receive the benefits that the state offers. I rather suspect that whatever the Government we get rather poor value for our labour. In medieval times the people only paid a tithe – 10%.  Continue reading