Nor do entry barriers guarantee quality. Indeed, many of the faults blogs are accused of apply as much to old media, where they played out in elephantine slow motion and with a tenured complacency symptomatic of a medium blessed with too much protection from competition. Some of the most questionable analysis I have ever read came dressed in academic clothing, and is all the more dangerous for that. One paper from Sheffield academics, for example, purported to prove that Britain doled out £93bn of corporate welfare and had Labour politicians hopping with excitement. Another I recall from 2009 was an analysis issuing from a “radical” think-tank, claiming to show that childcare workers generated £7 for every pound they are paid, while advertising executives destroyed £11.
That seond was described by Giles himself as “not economics frankly” and I was one of those who leapt in upon the first.