The Political Economy Review 2017

good. A private good is one which is rivalrous - the act of one person consuming a good decreases the quantity of it available to others - and excludable in consumption. On the other hand, private schools face a disadvantage in providing bursaries. One possibility would be that the school provided too many bursaries – a form of over-subsidising a merit good. In this case, the school is overestimating the external benefits of bursaries. One example of this could be if a private school is in a generally wealthier area and does not receive many requests for bursaries, it would be unwise for them to increase funds for bursaries, as this is a reduction in the school’s efficiency – there is now a greater welfare loss than under the free market solution. This money could be better spent within the school. A simpler problem that the school would face is that too many bursaries mean that the school makes less revenue, as less students are paying fees. The impact of this potentially includes a decreased standard of teaching, which would deter any prospective parent from considering a future for their child at the school. This in turn would lead to even less revenue for the school. If approached from a behavioural perspective and assuming rational self-interest, we may also question the reason for private schools providing bursaries at all. What is to stop them from abolishing bursaries altogether? Nothing. There is no form of legislation which dictates that private schools must finance the education of underprivileged children. However, due to the idea of altruism, one of the motivations for providing bursaries might be that schools gain utility and satisfaction from engaging in a charitable act. The long-held idea of humans being selfish individuals has slowly been worn away – we are no longer always expected to be profit maximisers. Bursaries also allow us to decrease the inequality gap, and prevent a good education from being off-limits to those from a poorer background. Although there may be a risk to a school through providing bursaries, the scenario of the over-provision of bursaries is unlikely to occur, as there will always be some forces of self-interest displaying themselves through a school’s decisions. Bursaries, of course, would not be necessary if private education were non- existent. However, they succeed in not only allowing brighter students to go to a school which was thought to be unaffordable, but they also succeed in breaking social barriers between the rich and the poor.



Only Economic Neo-Liberalism is the answer

The Great Inflation, IMF assistance, the top rate of income tax at 83%, economic and political mayhem. An era remembered for low productivity, minority governments, trade unionism and strikes, civil discord and the winter of discontent. The Lawson Boom, 5% economic growth, reduced income tax, prosperity generated through enterprise, a home-owning democracy. An era where harmony replaced discord, all-powerful and competition-destroying trade unions were brought under control, and an era which gave birth to the all-important financial sector. The days of consensus politics are long dead. The 2017 General Election Campaign was just further proof that the British people face a stark choice ahead, between very different visions of the future of our nation. As we look forward to what are undoubtedly the most crucial negotiations this country has faced in generations, negotiations which decide the fate and future of our nation, we must look back, and learn from the lessons of the


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