What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Recovery Mode? Britain Exits Recession

January 26, 2010, 8:48 AM
120px-p060708_22_03-02-retouched

Britain is out of recession. It’s official. The UK Treasury today confirmed what the Government had both predicted and hoped for, that the deepest recession since the 1930s is over. Well, it is over, but only just. While the City of London had forecast a 0.4% expansion that would bring to an end six consecutive months of contraction, the real figure is 0.1%. Britain is the last major Western economy to emerge from what has been a pretty desperate period. The economy has shrunk by between 6% to 10% from what it would have been without the slump. In the meantime, the Chinese economy powers ahead on 9% annual growth.

In truth the UK economy has only returned to growth because of very low interest rates – Britons in jobs with variable mortgages have never had it so good, but also because Gordon Brown’s Labour Government poured £200 billion of taxpayers’ money into shoring up the busted banks. This exercise in selfless generosity is described as “quantitative easing”, something no doubt that bank customers with overdrafts may soon be demanding from their bank managers.

That said, the Conservative Party led by David Cameron virtually alone amongst centre Right European political parties opposed the bank bail outs at the time, putting their emphasis on ballooning public debt as a reason not to back the British stimulus package. If truth be known, had Brown and his Chancellor, Alistair Darling not intervened as quickly as they did, high street cash dispensers or ATMs were within hours of drying up.

But with a General Election due in May, both major political parties have their eyes on the short term needs of floating voters, as opposed to the long term needs of British manufacturing and services. And both are promising cuts in public spending as a way of cutting the deficit.

As far as most voters are concerned, if they have been persuaded by the political and media consensus that cutting is the medicine that is needed, they are more likely to support the party traditionally associated with making them – the Conservatives. So Gordon Brown and the Labour Party have moved dangerously close to the terrain the Conservatives want to fight on.

Few in Britain – save the perennially ignored and patronised Trades Union Congress – are arguing against this strategy. The TUC say that cutting public expenditure now will nip demand in the ankle and choke off the unsteady recovery – and they are probably right.

Would that it could be a dose of much needed democracy to blow Britain’s recovery off course, but that sadly is the way it is beginning to look.

I suspect that Britain is now on the edge of a "double dip" recession, with continuing and rising unemployment, and possibly a long period of deflation. In which case the incoming new Government after the May General Election could soon become the most unpopular on record and in record time.

 

 

 

Recovery Mode? Britain Exit...

Newsletter: Share: