Economic Theory
Book Review: Labour and the Gulag: Russia and the Seduction of the British Left, by Giles Udy When was the date of guilty knowledge for defenders of Soviet communism? At what point did western supporters of the regime cease to be merely naive and became knowingly complicit? Commenting on the ‘pyramid of corpses’ that the Bolsheviks ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The movie Good Bye Lenin! tells the story of a woman from East Berlin, Christiane Kerner, who falls into a coma just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and wakes up again just before Reunification. She thus misses out on all the crucial historical events that take place in the meantime, and is completely ... Continue reading
These past two weeks have been a grim time for economists. From Transport for London’s decision to revoke Uber’s licence, to Jeremy Corbyn’s call for rent controls, culminating in Theresa May’s commitment to pump more money into the Help to Buy scheme, policymaking shows a continual disregard for basic economic principles. Take housing. Britain has ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Socialism is popular in Britain, especially among the young. Survey after survey after survey confirms it. More precisely, socialism is popular in the abstract. It is popular as a nebulous ideal. But nothing gets a socialist’s hackles up as much as the mention of an actual (historical or contemporary) example of socialism in action. Mention the ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
What do landlords, foreign holiday resorts, Uber, and bottled water retailers in Houston have in common? In recent years, all have been criticised for charging “excessive” or “extortionate” prices for their products. Landlords are accused of greedy profiteering in London. Thousands signed petitions in 2014 criticising airlines and holiday companies for charging much more during ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
My report A Trade Policy for a Brexited Britain, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs last month, had a short section on EU tariffs. I gave the example of how in October last year EU tariffs on orange imports were quintupled from 3.2 percent to 16 percent. This example has been challenged by some on the Remain side, ... Continue reading
The left has a problem with public choice economics. The basis of public choice economics is that we should not assume that there are two types of human person. That is, we should not assume that people can act in their own self-interest in markets but that they always act in the general public interest ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The IEA’s video clip ‘Has ‘real socialism’ ever been tried?’, released three months ago, seems to have struck a chord. So far, it has been watched 37,900 times on Facebook, plus 5,300 times on YouTube, and who knows how many times on Twitter and on our own website. Had this video been released a couple ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The fast and furious rise of the alt-right in Europe, the UK, and the US has caught many people intellectually off-guard. I can speak for myself in this respect. My education and reading prepared me well to understand the statism of the left. My instincts became finely tuned. The threat to liberty from the right ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Now that this week’s solar eclipse mania is over, consumers who diligently shielded their eyes can refocus on a stark lesson in economics. Top vendors of solar eclipse safety glasses had been selling ten-packs for as little as $4 a month ago, but commanded as much as $150 for the identical product on the day of the ... Continue reading