Friday, 20 July 2012


I've got behind again:

1. Planet Money did a lovely podcast the other day explaining a set of policies which economists across the political spectrum would all endorse, and also why politicians can't even propose them. (People who can afford houses tend to vote and they don't like to be told they can't have the tax breaks that let them buy bigger houses, even if these tax breaks happen to be regressive.) It's riveting, and Planet Money are planning to try in the coming weeks to work out a way a politician might conceivably sell these policies. (One key problem, it seemed to me, is that to rationalise the system you kind of need to change everything at once, and that would be practical nightmare.)

2. For some reason had never heard of Rentadick, a Cold War sex comedy originally written by Chapman and Cleese, and then rewritten by John Fortune and John Wells. It's more reasonable that I'd never heard of Penny Gold, which looks better, and features young Penelope Keith, Una Stubbs and John Rhys-Davies ('Rugger Player #2').*

3. This article about the NY Knicks' crazy decision to Jeremy Lin sign for Houston is a classic piece of writing about how disfunctional organisations are run.

4. And this one, about an American footballer called Joe Delaney, is old but it is a great antidote to all your endless suspicions, endlessly confirmed, about your heroes having feet of clay.

* Rentadick also featured Penelope Keith. She was rejected from Central School of Speech and Drama because she is 5'10" and that's too tall for an actress.


Matthew said...

It should perhaps be emphasised that there is no mortgage interest tax relief on home mortgages in England. It seems that the position in the US is different.

Robert Hudson said...

Sorry, yes, to clarify, this was a podcast re US. But the shape of the problems are very familiar. Stuff costs money; lots of stuff economists agree on across the board is politically unviable for historical rather than rational reasons.