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Via City A.M. – Boris on Starbucks and DC on judicial review

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On the cover of City A.M. this morning, Boris Johnson argues that Starbucks must do more for the UK. Apparently, the Mayor said of Starbucks, “It needs to reflect very fast and very seriously on its position…Either it makes a change in its tax arrangements or does a lot more to visibly serve society.” Now, I was critical of Starbucks in the press myself, but the Mayor is mixing up two issues: paying tax and serving society. As I said […]

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Some Costs of the Great War: Nationalizing Private Life

Following comments on the immediate astronomical human cost of the Great War: Yet this essay has to do less with numbers of ended lives than it has to do with altered lives, or rather, with changes in the status of the private life of the modern individual, the modern family, the modern community. This essay is about private property, about the autonomy of the individual, and the disastrous trend, accelerated by World War I, of the state claiming the right […]

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C S Lewis’ moral busybodies

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. — C. S. Lewis Merry Christmas!

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Suffocation for business innovation

There is the potential for a long post here, but for the moment, I’ll stick to “Innovation grants”. A small client worked for weeks, hiring consultants, to obtain an innovation grant for part of one R&D effort. They won a grant, and then spent the duration of the  project accounting for its use in excruciating detail. The person who did that accounting was a key employee: there was no one else available in such a lean and effective company. By […]

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