On 15 September 2020, the Adam Smith Institute hosted a webinar on rationing in healthcare during the pandemic. One of the panellists was the IEA’s Kristian Niemietz. The article below is based on his opening remarks.   If we want to know which countries are coping well with the pandemic, and which ones are struggling, ... Continue reading
Last week, the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, released the 24th edition of its annual Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) report. The publication found that global economic freedom in 2018 (the most recent year data is available) reached an all-time high. Although the United Kingdom's score has steadily declined since its high in 2000 and ... Continue reading
The hit to the UK economy and the public finances from the pandemic and the persistent weakness of both investment and productivity have underlined the importance of finding policies that promote growth. Could engineering a substantial fall in the exchange rate be part of the solution?   YES – says John Mills Why does the ... Continue reading
Society and Culture
A common misunderstanding about “wokeness” is that it is not about censorship, or silencing unfashionable opinions, but merely about good manners. The “woke”, in this naïve interpretation, are not trying force a particular ideology on anyone; they are not trying to “cancel” people they disagree with. They just want to stop us from making disparaging, ... Continue reading
If, like me, you celebrated the downfall of the useless, bossy quango Public Health England, you may be unable to shake the fear that it is a pyrrhic victory. Its replacement, the National Institute for Health Protection, might make a better stab at tackling the next viral outbreak, but there is a danger that PHE’s ... Continue reading
The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the plight of low-paid workers, with a focus on low pay and insecure conditions that they face. The major policy lever for addressing this has for the last two decades been the national minimum wage system. The government has pledged to raise the National Living Wage (NLW) ... Continue reading
Society and Culture
The coronavirus lockdown has brought to the fore a socio-economic divide that in normal times goes often unnoticed. It is not the obvious one between the rich and the poor. Rather it reflects by analogy John Stuart Mill saying that not only should there be no taxation without representation, there should also be no representation ... Continue reading
The BBC has come under severe criticism recently for the way in which some of its senior figures seem to be keen to ditch the nation’s history, apparently because many of the party pieces at the Last Night of the Proms are anachronistic. As many people who understand the origin of the words of “Rule, ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The reactions of much of the commentariat in the UK and elsewhere to the policy challenge represented by the coronavirus seem to reflect the polarised state of contemporary political discourse. Some maintain that governments were too slow in responding to the pandemic and that lockdowns when they came should have been more rigorously enforced. Then ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
There is a lively debate among economists about the ways in which UK statisticians have estimated the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown on the public sector’s contribution to GDP. This is a relatively arcane topic, but important. As David Smith has put it, “did the official statisticians exaggerate the UK’s coronavirus recession by incorporating ... Continue reading