Economic Theory
Two reports published in the last few days have advocated the benefits of free trade. You might have expected them to be well received by the economics commentariat. In fact, many responses have been sceptical, with some downright hostile. What on earth has gone wrong? The first paper, written by Prof Kevin Dowd and published ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
So the Left is finally talking about Venezuela again. That is a good thing. For about a decade, large sections of the Left were in the grip of Venezuelamania. We would not hear the end of it. Venezuela’s version of socialism was their shining example, the model which the rest of the world should emulate. When the country’s meltdown could ... Continue reading
Many experts predicted dire economic consequences if Britons should go against their advice and vote for Brexit. Prof Barry Eichengreen began his recent Guardian comment article – The experts strike back! How economists are being proved right on Brexit – by conceding that “The early post-referendum evidence suggested, to the surprise of many – or ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Several economists have claimed that “austerity” is not only cruel but based on faulty economic theory. They accuse its supporters of committing the Household Fallacy. Writing in The Guardian earlier this year, Ann Pettifor, director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics, claimed that it is a “fallacy that government budgets conform to ‘the household analogy’: that, ... Continue reading
Given Progressives’ oft-stated love of humankind, you’d think they would avoid hankering for the good old days of WWII, when a large proportion of humanity bent their efforts towards killing one another. But that is to forget something. When leaders decide it is time for “the continuation of politics by other means”, then central planning ... Continue reading
In these uncertain economic times, there is no better way for a lobbyist to get politicians' attention than by promising to save taxpayers billions of pounds. 'Public health' campaigners have long claimed that unhealthy lifestyles are a burden on the state, and their cost estimates seem to rise every year. The temperance lobby currently claims ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
One of the few but crucial advantages that economists have over others in attempting to navigate the world is the recognition that the optimal amount of a ‘bad’ – such as pollution, crime, and obnoxious advertising – is rarely zero. This is at first a shocking statement – how could one dare suggest that it ... Continue reading
Between 3 – 8 July 2017, the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Adam Smith Institute jointly held Freedom Week, a series of seminars aimed at students with an interest in classical liberalism, at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. The IEA’s Dr Kristian Niemietz gave a talk on the ongoing appeal of socialism. The article below ... Continue reading
George Osborne was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2010 until July 2016. Now he is, among other things, editor of the Evening Standard. In last night’s editorial he gave his view on how the sluggish economic growth of the UK could be improved. It gave me an idea about why the current generation of senior ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Between 3 – 8 July 2017, the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Adam Smith Institute jointly held Freedom Week, a series of seminars aimed at students with an interest in classical liberalism, at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. The IEA’s Dr Kristian Niemietz gave a talk on the ongoing appeal of socialism. The article below ... Continue reading