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"Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice" - Adam Smith

Interesting lecture in London tonight

Written by Blog Administrator | Monday 14 June 2010

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club is holding their third 'London Lecture' tonight at the Royal Commonwealth Society. The details are below. Tickets are £20 for club members and £25 for other guests. You can book online at or email to confirm your place(s) and then pay on the door.

“Stable Afghanistan: Safer World”

Keynote Lecture by: Ambassador Mark Sedwill
NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan
& formerly British Ambassador to Afghanistan

Chaired by: Chaired by Air Commodore Clive Bairsto CBE
Head Of International Policy And Planning, Ministry of Defence

Monday 14th June 2010, 6.15pm: Drinks Reception, 7.00pm: Lecture and Q&A.

More information about the lecture is available here.

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Prepare to get schooled in my Austrian perspective

Written by Blog Administrator | Friday 19 February 2010

I'm sure many readers have already seen this video, but with Keynesianism apparently back in fashion among economists (see the letters page in today's FT), this Keynes v Hayek rap battle is well worth watching again...

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Global Go To Think Tanks

Written by Blog Administrator | Tuesday 02 February 2010

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania has just released their 2009 Global Go To Think Tanks survey, which ranks "The Leading Public Policy Research Organizations In The World". Once again, the ASI has done rather well:

Top 25 Think Tanks – Worldwide (US and Non-US) ranked no.24

Top 50 Think Tanks – Worldwide (Non-US) ranked no.7

Top 40 Think Tanks in Western Europe ranked no.2

Top 12 International Economic Policy Think Tanks ranked no.3

Top 10 Social Policy Think Tanks ranked no.6

The full report is available here (PDF).

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About blog comments

Written by Blog Administrator | Tuesday 02 February 2010

For some reason, all our blogs currently say "0 comments and 0 reactions", even when numerous comments have been posted and are displayed when you click through. We're working on fixing this problem, but in the meantime the comments system is still working, so please don't be put off posting.

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Tom Clougherty on business policies

Written by Blog Administrator | Thursday 21 January 2010

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Royal Mail: Universal Failure

Written by Blog Administrator | Tuesday 22 December 2009

In a new think piece, published today, ASI Fellow and communications expert Eben Wilson examines the future of the UK postal service, arguing that price controls and regulation has taken a heavy toll on the Royal Mail, preventing innovation, stopping them from matching revenue to costs, and letting the organisation be captured by special interest groups. In this context, he conciudes that a free market approach built around privatization, deregulation and competition is the only rational way forward. Click here to read to full article.

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Tom Clougherty reacts to the PBR

Written by Blog Administrator | Wednesday 09 December 2009

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Letter in today's Times

Written by Blog Administrator | Thursday 03 December 2009

Sir, Alistair Darling is too complacent. Strip out his spin and the facts support President Sarkozy’s boast, namely that the City in future will be regulated by Brussels, not London (“We are in charge now, Sarkozy tells the City", Dec 2). Indeed, the commissioner in charge will be French.

The Chancellor confirms that the UK will merely supervise the EU regulations. Undoubtedly, this supervision will itself be subject to EU oversight, and to the European Court of Justice, whenever Brussels is displeased with the way that London does things.

Tim Ambler
Fellow, Adam Smith Institute
London SW1

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Two new papers on tax competition

Written by Blog Administrator | Wednesday 02 December 2009

I’ve just uploaded a couple of new briefing papers in the publications section. Both of them were produced for our recent event Tax Competition: Economic Freedom and National Sovereignty. You can watch a video of the event here.

In The Economics of Tax Competition – Harmonization vs. Liberalization the Cato Institute’s Daniel J. Mitchell suggests that the arguments surrounding tax competition are ultimately a debate about the size of government. Tax harmonization means higher tax rates and bigger government: freed from the rigour of competition, politicians would cater to special interests and resist fiscal reforms. By contrast, international tax competition provides a much-needed check on the expansion of government, and encourages pro-growth tax reform.

In Tax Competition – How tax havens help the poor ASI Senior Fellow Richard Teather argues that tax competition brings benefits to all of society, not just to those that directly take advantage of it. By encouraging lower taxes and allowing greater efficiency in capital markets, tax competition encourages economic growth, the benefits of which often fall to the least well off. The unemployed are more able to find jobs as the economy expands, while low-paid jobs are made more productive (and therefore valuable) by increased investment.

Both papers are well worth reading. You can find them, along with all our other recent publications here.

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Tom Clougherty discusses public spending

Written by Blog Administrator | Thursday 17 September 2009

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