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Booting Economics

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Perhaps because I have recently been referring to my start in Loughborough as getting feet or boots on the ground, my attention was caught by a Facebook post about the Vimes Boots Theory. It comes from one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels but, like a surprising amount of other stuff from the series, belies much deeper thinking about issues like social justice than you might expect from comic fantasy.

In a nutshell, Captain Samuel Vines of the City Watch ponders (in Men at Arms) on how poor people end up being forced to spend a lot more on the basics of life – like footwear – because they buy cheap and are forced to replace often. I dove further down the rabbit hole with a link to a fascinating analysis from siderea, which explores how this works out in real life and the ramifications, which go far beyond footwear.

With a General Election looming in the UK (pish – obviously my post from last week didn’t make it to the Commons in time), it is a good season to be thinking about economics, sustainability and justice and following Sir Terry’s thread is not a bad place to start.