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Theresa May's £1,000-per-year tax on smart people is the worst idea in economics right now

• Business Insider

Here is what's going on:

Employment rose to 74%, an historic record, and unemployment declined to a staggeringly low 5.1%. There are jobs for everyone, basically. It's the best of times!

The stock markets are going down worldwide. A lot of people think we are entering a global recession, with China, Asia and Europe all faltering at the same time. It's the worst of times!

So what is the best strategy for the UK to make itself even richer — or weather the storm — depending on how you see the next few years unfolding?

In both scenarios, the strategy is the same, economists of both left and right agree: You want to improve "labour productivity," which is the fancy academic term that refers to creating jobs that are higher paid and produce higher profits. A computer science researcher is more productive than a bartender because the engineer earns more money and the software she creates makes more profits, than pulling pints in a pub. To put it in real terms, the UK needs to be a nation of software coders rather than a nation of bartenders (even if the latter sounds like it might be more fun).

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