Tom Clougherty

Tom Clougherty is managing editor at the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Previously, he was executive director of the Adam Smith Institute.

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Weekend notes

Written by | Monday 12 March 2012

Detlev Schlichter is on typically forceful (and, yes, depressing) form over at Paper Money Collapse.

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Debt reduction and economic growth

Written by | Friday 24 February 2012

Here’s a letter I wrote to the Evening Standard last week. I’m not sure whether they published it or not.

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Savage spending cuts

Written by | Tuesday 21 February 2012

The chart above shows total UK public spending between 1997 and 2015 in constant 2005 £. Does that look like radical austerity to you?

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The third-party payment problem

Written by | Tuesday 21 February 2012

It will probably have passed most British readers by, but US politicians have been talking a lot about contraception recently. The short version is this. First, the Obama administration decided to mandate that church-affiliated employers offer insurance that covers contraception, regardless of their religious objections. Predictably, a political firestorm kicked off. So the Obama administration came up with a ‘compromise’ – church-affiliated employers won’t be charged for contraception coverage, but insurers have to provide it anyway.

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Healthcare reform must tackle funding

Written by | Wednesday 8 February 2012

The coalition government's healthcare reforms are in the news once again. My take on the proposals hasn't changed a great deal since I wrote the following for The Spectator last year:

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Hester's bonus

Written by | Friday 27 January 2012

I was on Sky News earlier today talking about Stephen Hester’s £1m RBS bonus. To tell the truth, it isn’t a subject I relish tackling – there’s more nuance there than it’s easy to communicate in a short TV debate. For one thing – and I made sure to stress this upfront – I don’t believe that RBS should exist today, at least not in its current form. Bailing it out in 2008 was a big mistake, and if we’d let it go to the wall, we’d be much better off now.

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Stuck in a rut

Written by | Friday 20 January 2012

The McKinsey Global Institute’s latest report on debt and deleveraging contains the following diagram, which shows combined public and private debt in the ten largest developed economies over the last 20 years:

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The anachronism of public service broadcasting

Written by | Monday 16 January 2012

In last week’s Spectator, Charles Moore bemoaned the dumbing down of BBC Radio 3. In this week’s issue, several letters to the editor make the same point. Now, you may dismiss this as the snobbery of classical music afficionados. Or you might agree that Radio 3 presenters are indeed ruining the listening experience by telling you how you should feel about particular pieces of music (e.g. “blown away”) and entreating you to to email, text or tweet about what you are hearing. Frankly, I’m too much of a musical moron to have an opinion on the subject.

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The runaway train

Written by | Friday 13 January 2012

I’m currently reading The Declaration of Independents, by Reason magazine’s Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie. It’s a good read with a compelling central thesis, and I’ll write a proper review once I’ve finished it. But for now, here’s one passage that leapt out at me.

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Anthony Evans on low interest rates and QE

Written by | Friday 13 January 2012

Professor Anthony Evans, of ESCP Europe, the Cobden Centre, and Kaledic Economics, has the given the following comment to Management Today, as part of their feature on whether the Bank of England should engage in more quantitative easing. I think he is absolutely spot on:

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