News over the weekend that Theresa May might be considering a customs union with the EU post-Brexit was baffling to life-long Eurosceptics. For years before the referendum, would-be Brexiteers painted two economic pictures of life outside the EU. The first was a Thatcherite Britain – one seeking to reverse swathes of EU regulation and immigration ... Continue reading
Are calls for greater government regulation of Facebook likely to succeed? If it does happen, a key factor will be the diverse coalition of interests pushing for greater government oversight, and their success or otherwise in agreeing a desired regulatory framework. From worriers about the use of the platform’s data to influence elections, to fake ... Continue reading
Imagine a version of history in which the National Health Service had never been created. What would healthcare in Britain look like today? Would we have luxury healthcare for the rich, and Wild West medicine for the poor? Would people live in fear of being bankrupted by medical bills? Would the poor have to choose between food ... Continue reading
David Ricardo, the classical economist has been dead for nearly 200 years – but his insights and theories remain immeasurably valuable today. Ricardo was, in many ways, an unlikely economist. Born into a large Sephardic Jewish family, he received little formal education, instead joining his father on the London Stock Exchange at the age of ... Continue reading
The United Kingdom’s House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence recently published the report, “AI in the UK: Ready, Willing and Able?” The recommendations on how the UK can become a global leader in Artificial Intelligence are off the mark. While the report contains numerous uncontroversial and welcome suggestions on such topics as increased use of ... Continue reading
Sajid Javid has recently announced that in future, estate agents will be required to hold a professional qualification, thus adding to the large numbers of people who cannot conduct business without government permission. Around a fifth of the workforce is already in this position. According to the EU Single Market Regulated Professions database, nowhere else in ... Continue reading
Socialism is extremely in vogue. Opinion pieces which tell us to stop obsessing over socialism’s past failures, and start to get excited about its future potential, have almost become a genre in its own right. For example, Bhaskhar Sunkara, the founder of Jacobin magazine, recently wrote a New York Times article, in which he claimed ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Yesterday, the Labour Party announced a plan to introduce free bus passes for people under the age of 25. According to their own estimates, the policy would cost £1.4bn. This was followed by the usual political bickering. The transport minister described the policy as “bribing young people”, and claimed that it would cost far more ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Among statisticians, economists, and business executives, “Big Data” is all the rage. Large and detailed data sets that, until recently, couldn’t even be stored on a computer are now managed and analysed using innovative statistical techniques. Hopes are high that these advances will improve scientists’ ability to predict human behaviour. Some enthusiasts even speculate that ... Continue reading
From fears that a trade agreement with the US will lead to an American takeover of the NHS, to hand-wringing over the “wrong” products entering our market, public hysteria about a US/UK trade deal has reached epidemic levels. And now, anti-American sentiment, long a hallmark of the chattering classes, has found its way into the ... Continue reading