Latest posts

2016

Wanted: A counter-populism strategy

It is too simplistic to only warn of populism. Populist messages may be distasteful, ill-informed or just plain wrong. But they are only symptoms of an underlying malaise of Western democracies. [...]

Our moral, digital future

There are ethical and legal issues regarding most future innovations. Some may be resolved by applying existing legal principles. Some will require us to rethink what civil and criminal liability means in a world in which machines make decisions on our behalf. [...]

Of mice, men and constitutions

To make my own position perfectly clear: I am fundamentally ambivalent about whether New Zealand would be better off with a written constitution. [...]

America’s agony of choice

The in-flight entertainment on our domestic flight to LA was excellent: we had live TV, and the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was on. It was gripping television. Not because it was so good but because it was so bad. [...]

The Human Cost of Welfare

What beneficiaries actually wanted to do was to regain control over their lives and enjoy the fruits of their achievements – just like everyone else. The tragedy of the US welfare system is that it often prevents just that. [...]

Is icing sugar the new cocaine?

A health minister caught snorting cocaine would be news. A health minister seen snorting fake cocaine might be news. But a health minister spotted at an event where others may have snorted fake cocaine is no news at all. [...]

A penny saved is a penny earned

When it comes to regulatory burdens, it is not necessarily the cost of a specific regulation that matters. It is the fact that many such seemingly trivial regulations taken together impose substantial costs on businesses. [...]