Dr. Eamonn Butler

Laws, power, tax and servitude

Written by | Wednesday 23 October 2013

One of the least well known British classical liberals was Thomas Hodgskin, who flourished in the early nineteenth century. I have been reading about him in George H Smith's new book, The System of Liberty. Something of a precursor to the Public Choice School thinkers of the twentieth century, Hodgskin critiqued the political process and despaired of getting much liberal change out of it:

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Markets are solving the food waste problem

Written by | Monday 21 October 2013

Tesco, one of Britain's largest supermarkets, has revealed that it threw out 30,000 tonnes of food in the last six months. Customers throw out yet more. Appalling waste caused by the 'pile it high, sell it cheap' capitalist ethic?

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IMF: "Don't balance budgets—steal wealth!"

Written by | Friday 18 October 2013

A disturbing Forbes piece reporting the latest IMF thinking.

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Would US default be so bad?

Written by | Thursday 17 October 2013

The fact that the American government is up and running again is very bad news. Not for the obvious reason that the American government is bloated, self-serving, unproductive, and completely incapable of spending the nation's money efficiently. But for the fact that the budget deal simply postpones problems that should be squared up to.

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Is democracy killing Indian growth?

Written by | Wednesday 16 October 2013

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Privatisation, nationalisation and jobs

Written by | Monday 14 October 2013

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Regulation, big government, public debt: not so benign

Written by | Friday 11 October 2013

What is it about Cambridge University economists? They've always been bad, but they seem to be waging some kind of orchestrated campaign right now. Every time one speaks (like Michael Kitson at this week's Economic Research Council Hayek-Keynes debate), they seem to produce the same sound-bites, designed to assure us that regulation, big government and public debt aren't so bad.

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Royal Mail privatisation shares not too cheap

Written by | Thursday 10 October 2013

Around 700,000 people have applied for shares in Royal Mail, the letters and parcels business being sold off by the British government. This means that the share issue is around seven times oversubscribed, leading to calls that the government has sold the enterprise 'too cheaply'.

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Rest in Peace Ronald Coase

Written by | Tuesday 3 September 2013

Ronald H Coase, the Chicago-based British Nobel economist, has died at the age of 102. I first met him in 1976 at the Mont Pelerin Society meeting in St Andrews, where he delivered a paper on 'Adam Smith's View Of Man'. But he was best known for his work on transaction costs and social costs.

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