Thanks for your reply. I don't know what your complaint is about El Reg though. If you don't like Worstall, don't click on his articles. It's an IT site, so I don't know how he persuaded the editor to let him write about economics on here, but then he gets comments (and interesting discussions in them), so he obviously attracts readers. But were El Reg a newspaper, little of his stuff would appear in the news pages, as it's often comment, rather than news reporting.
However, I wouldn't call this an Op Ed piece. He's just talking about economics and stupidly expensive Apple watches. Saying that it's a Veblen good isn't "off economics", it's just economics. Like Giffen goods, it's one of those areas where price and demand don't relate in the normal way - but it's someting that's continually observed, so I guess someone wrote a paper, and got the credit for the "discovery". I don't see what's not to like about this piece. Or even what's controversial. More it's a look at this new thing, here's how it's seen in economic terms.
Anyway he works for the Adam Smith Institute. Which gives him some credibility, even if it suggests quite a lot about his economics and politics. He's also a kipper. But that's no reason not to take his economics seriously. It's a long time since I studied it, but I've not seen him make a mistake on El Reg, and he's made me think quite a lot. Obvoiusly there's an ongoing academic debate in economics, but he's quite good at telling you which view he's going with, who disagrees, what the mainstream view is (if there is one). And he's also unusually good at saying when he's giving his own opinion, and when he's using standard economics to make a point.
FWIW UKIP is not just about being anti-Euro and anti-EU. Those are handy fig leaves for some fairly reactionary ideas which Worstal's articles typify. A pox on all populists. And a pox on the mainstream for giving them air to breathe.
This however is unacceptable. I agree with you about a pox on populists. But giving them air to breath is a fundamental freedom of our political system. It's a fundamental right too. I would argue that it was the lack of space allowed for discussion on Europe that directly caused the rise of UKIP. And allowed them to continue in the unhealth 'anti-politics' platform they now use. The closing down of debate on immigration, the euro and the like damaged our political discourse, and led more people to look to to the extremes, as the mainstream media (and some politicians) shouted them down.
Look at the eurozone debate in Southern europe. Because there's a media and political consensus on staying in, no matter the damage it's inflicting, voters are starting to move to the extremes. So you get Syriza and Podemos, who can play the populist card, because they've never had to make the comopromised required to govern. And look how well it's worked out so-far for Syriza, as they've run their impossible election pledges into the brick wall of reality. To be fair, I think Syriza may have been willing to make a reasonable compromise, but it looks like the rest of the eurozone aren't. And also, Syriza didn't tell it how it really is to the voters.
UKIP is a mess. According to the polls there are quite a few ex Lib Dem supporters who now say they'll vote UKIP! So they've moved from a pro-EU, pro-Euro socially liberal party, to one that isn't. They're probably the flipside of the coin to the voters who say they're going Green, as Labour aren't left enough. But I guess that's as much an anti-politics, "bollocks to the lot of you", vote.
Obviously UKIP started as a single-issue party. But they've gained support and members from everywhere, which makes it very hard for them to come to a consensus. How to you make a manifesto to please a libertarian free-marketeer like Worstall and an ex-Labour northern working class lefty/protectionist? Let alone the ex BNP lot, the older worried-about-social-change voters etc.
AfD in Germany are having the same problem. A pro-EU but anti euro party, founded by economics professors and business people as a reaction to the seemingly insoluable euro-crisis. Suddenly they started getting popular, so they've now been joined by lots of people who don't like the euro or the EU, and quite a lot of them because of the large growth of immigration in Germany and/or the drop in wages for lower skilled workers. So they're now having the same fight as to who dominates the party agenda. I think Syriza are a bit of mirror of this problem, from the left.
Anyway, I believe in politics. It works better than the alternatives. And that means open debate, and not dismissing someone just because they disagree with you. But trying to find some common ground. I don't think terms like reactionary help. If you think he's wrong, argue your case.