Stephen MacLean

Article: If elections have consequences, then so does economics

Written by | Thursday 3 January 2013

Speaking on Fox News Sunday following the U.S. presidential election, Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, said that Republicans, having lost to the Democrats, could no longer hold out free market principles with respect to taxation.  ‘I think there is a very good chance that [President Obama will] pass major consequential legislation in the second term, and people like me won’t like it that much.  I think Republicans will have to give in much more than they think,’ he said.

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If elections have consequences, then so does economics

Written by | Thursday 3 January 2013

Speaking on Fox News Sunday following the U.S.

America’s Chief Magistrate and the Spirit of ’76

Written by | Thursday 8 November 2012

The year 1776 was a revolutionary milestone for individual liberty, with the publication of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations setting forth the path of economic freedom and a Declaration proclaimed by thirteen American colonies ringing the tocsin for political independence.

But a solemn spectre of ’76 hung over the United States this November as Americans voted for representatives and senators in Congress and a Chief Magistrate to occupy the White House — for the promise of economic and political liberty has turned dark.

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America’s Chief Magistrate and the Spirit of ’76

Written by | Thursday 8 November 2012

The year 1776 was a revolutionary milestone for individual liberty, with the publication of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations setting forth the path of economic freedom and a Declaration proclaimed by thirteen American colonies ringing the tocsin for political independence.

But a solemn spectre of ’76 hung over the United States this November as Americans voted for representatives and senators in Congress and a Chief Magistrate to occupy the White House — for the promise of economic and political liberty has turned dark.

Individual liberty

Tax freedom for the poor!

Written by | Tuesday 2 October 2012

Establishing a higher threshold for personal income tax was under much discussion last month — a precursor for conference season debate.  Under the banner of ‘Fairer Tax in Tough Times’, the Liberal Democrats presented plans to increase the scheduled threshold of £9,205 to a suggested rise of £10,000.

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Tax freedom for the poor!

Written by | Tuesday 2 October 2012

Establishing a higher threshold for personal income tax was under much discussion last month — a precursor for conference season debate.  Under the banner of ‘Fairer Tax in Tough Times’, the Liberal Democrats presented plans to increase the scheduled threshold of £9,205 to a suggested rise of £10,000.

The organic roots of oaks and free markets

Written by | Friday 7 September 2012

‘David Cameron will announce tomorrow that the oak tree has been dropped and the torch of freedom will once again be the Conservative party logo.’  So wrote Benedict Brogan for a tongue-in-cheek Telegraph blog.  Brogan’s mirthful explanation for this ‘back to the future’ change?

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New at AdamSmith.org: 'We built it together, Mr President, through the division of labour.’

Written by | Wednesday 1 August 2012

Is Barack Obama right that entrepreneurs 'didn't build it' when they look at their own achievements? No, says Stephen MacLean - he should re-read his Adam Smith.

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‘We built it together, Mr President, through the division of labour.’

Written by | Wednesday 1 August 2012

Friday the thirteenth wasn’t kind to Barack Obama.  In a speech in Roanoke, Virginia earlier this month, it was the American president’s bad luck to proclaim a howler heard round the world:  ‘If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’ — An affront to sound economics and Adam Smith, for whom Malthus’s ‘dismal science’ was instead a path to personal freedom and prosperity for all.

A cheer for constitutional monarchy's restraint on government

Written by | Wednesday 6 June 2012

As the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations wind down, it may be well to reflect on an aspect of public choice theory which supports constitutional monarchy — principally its rôle as a brake upon self-aggrandising politicians.

Public choice argues that, contrary to the myths propagated about the selfless motives of public servants, politicians and bureaucrats can be as self-interested in their public personas as they are as private citizens.

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