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
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
Economic Theory
Even if not a technical recession (two quarters of negative growth), a severe coronavirus-induced downturn looks certain across major economies. Markets signal it. Top economists predict it (a recent IGM poll showed 62% to 8% “agreeing” it would happen.) And many “feel it” already – from disruptions to supply chains and work arrangements, to collapsing ... Continue reading

Christopher Snowdon writes for the Telegraph

"Mass quarantines as a last resort are still perfectly consistent with a philosophy that prizes personal freedom", says the IEA's head of lifestyle economics Christopher Snowdon. Writing for the Telegraph, Christopher argued that while we want to keep both restrictions on liberty and economic damage to a minimum, we may have to accept a bit of ... Continue reading
The revelation that higher incomes have been under-reported in official data has led to predictable calls for higher taxes. Oliver Kamm in The Times, for example, thinks that the 45% top rate of income tax could be pushed up further, perhaps to Swedish levels. It is worth remembering that top earners face a 2% employee ... Continue reading

Kirstian Niemietz writes for Free Market Conservatives

Modern socialists have a perception of voters that contradicts itself, says Dr Kristian Niemietz, Head of Political Economy at the Institute of Economic Affairs. Writing for the Free Market Conservatives website, Kristian notes that socialists simultaneously believe that a modern voter is "largely apolitical and disengaged" yet under their version of democratic socialism will engage ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The British left continues to be torn between continuity socialism and a return to a broad church approach, under which left-liberals, social democrats and centrists would be welcomed back into the tent. We can see this play out most obviously in the current Labour leadership contest, but it is an ideological clash which reverberates far ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
As Fidel Castro progressed slowly toward Havana in the first days of 1959, he was met by huge crowds of enthusiastic supporters. The ex-president, Fulgencio Batista, had fled in the early hours of New Year’s Day to the Dominican Republic, accompanied by various supporters and an estimated $700 million in cash, art and bullion. With ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
As World War II drew to a close, few visitors to Hong Kong would have predicted that this “barren island” would be the setting for one of the most impressive surges of human progress that the world has yet seen. Four years of Japanese occupation had more than halved the population, left factories stripped bare, ... Continue reading

Christopher Snowdon writes for CapX

Far from being a boost to the local economy, the Bristol Pound has more likely been a drain on it, says the IEA's Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon. Writing for CapX, Chris argues that the logic of local currencies rests on the economic fallacy of mercantilism and the assumption that the route to prosperity ... Continue reading