What we learned this week

This is a headline to warm the heart: Oil companies wonder if it’s worth looking for oil any more.

Why garbage men should be paid more than bankers. Rutger Bregman writes about the difference between creating wealth and accumulating it in typically forthright fashion.

After an absence of 6,000 years, wild bison are due to be re-introduced to Britain in a rewilding project in the Blean Woods, Kent. It’s always great to see a missing species back where it belongs, but bison are also useful in regenerating woodlands. If Britain is serious about recovering its lost forest cover, bison could have a part to play.

More details are emerging of the British government’s Green Homes Grant, which will support homeowners in making their houses more efficient. We’ve been waiting years for something like this, and if you’ve been holding off on some more expensive improvements, take a look.



  1. Rutger Bregman’s article is based in a flawed assertion. Working time is not increasing, it’s trend is down. If he’s got that basic fact wrong it rather undermines his thesis.

    1. Bregman’s is a generalisation that is worth unpicking yes, but it depends on what you’re measuring and where. If you’re counting hours at work, then that is on a downward trend in most developing countries. If you count leisure time though, people often have less than they used to because more time is going on things like unpaid work, care or commuting. So it’s more complicated than either Bregman’s or your one line summary. (See the Resolution Foundation on this)

      However, that is rather a moot point, because Bregman’s article really isn’t ‘based’ on working hours as a central argument. It’s a passing mention in an article that’s about other things. If that’s your only complaint, I rather think you’re missing the point.

      Though he doesn’t use the term, the actual point is much more to do with economic rent, which is unearned income and is a distortion of free markets.

      1. His article is basically saying that society (whoever they might be) should decide that some jobs should be abolished and public sector employees paid more. Not sure who is going to pay the tax for those salaries if your cutting the high wages.

        Also as Bergman virtually admits when you get into the nitty gritty of each jobs he doesn’t like you actually find they do have value to those who employ them.

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