Trade, Development, and Immigration
Today marks the 155th anniversary of the death of one of the most important figures in the history of free trade and classical liberalism. Few have heard the name Richard Cobden, but his work changed the entire the global economy forever. Cobden was a 19th century British politician and textile manufacturer who was born in ... Continue reading
Tax and Fiscal Policy
Every pillar of a free society is under threat during the current pandemic. To avoid bad long-term economic outcomes and further threats to our liberty, we need to diagnose what kind of economic event this is. Covid-19 is a supply shock. Huge amounts of capacity are being taken out of the economy. It would not ... Continue reading
We don’t know what the future holds, but we still need to make far reaching decisions.  Unlike F. A. Hayek, who said the he preferred true but imperfect knowledge to a pretence of exact knowledge that is likely to be false, we seek certainties that don’t exist and invent knowledge that we can’t have to ... Continue reading
The government has said it will “do whatever it takes” over the coronavirus outbreak. That might have been thought to be mere rhetoric but the government’s unprecedented actions – amounting almost to a national house arrest – suggest that they actually mean it. But is this the right approach? I don’t mean has the government ... Continue reading
The COVID-19 pandemic is delivering a deep, severe shock to the global economy. Millions of people face an uncertain future, with no idea when (or, indeed, if) they will be able to return to work or see family members again. The effects will be felt in every home across Britain. Current measures are rightly focused on the physical health of the nation. Lockdowns, school closures, handwashing advice, ... Continue reading
Society and Culture
I promise that this isn’t one of those schmaltzy “Look on the bright side”/”There is a silver lining to all this” articles. Coronavirus has no bright side, and there is no silver lining. But over the past couple of days, I have become a bit more grateful for the technologies and technology-based services that are ... Continue reading
No-one can have failed to notice the half-empty supermarket shelves and long queues for essentials. Loo rolls even rivalled flowers as the Mother’s Day gift of choice. Fortunately, this is one phase of the coronavirus crisis which should be over soon. There has been a marked difference between what people say is socially acceptable and ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Apart from concerns for our neighbours, friends, families and mankind, it goes without saying that the current pandemic and the responses of individuals, families, communities and governments pose challenges for thinkers of different political and economic traditions, especially classical liberals. Among classical liberals there is a natural scepticism of government intervention, but to different degrees.  ... Continue reading