The ASI’s proposal to roll back the green belt is featured in The Observer

The Adam Smith Institute’s proposal to roll back the green belt was featured in The Observer and The Guardian:

As one campaigner tells me: “It is the only universally popular part of the planning system.”

Yet it is being questioned. The libertarian thinktank the Adam Smith Institute has argued that, if a strip merely half a mile wide were shaved off the London green belt, 800,000 new homes could be built.

Read the full article here.

Sam Bowman’s comments in defence of Lord Freud feature in The Daily Express

Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, was quoted by The Daily Express on his defence of Lord Freud’s remarks concerning work and disabilities.
Yet the minister was not saying that the disabled should receive less take-home pay or that they were in any way “worth less” as humans. As Sam Bowman of the Adam Smith Institute pointed out, he was not placing “moral value on people with severe disabilities or learning difficulties”, only stating that “the value of a person’s labour is equivalent to what others will pay them for a given amount of time”.
There are good economic arguments for top-ups for the disabled and Labour actually suggested something similar in 2003, as well as reasons against. Either way the minister should not only be permitted to think aloud but encouraged to do so.
Read the full article here.

Patent trolls are a threat to competitive markets – and the UK may not be immune – Senior Fellow Keith Boyfield writes for CityAM

The Adam Smith Institute’s Senior Fellow, Keith Boyfield, wrote an op-ed for CityAM about the threat patent trolls pose to markets.

LONDON’s technology sector is booming. Driven by big venture capital investments (tech firms attracted a record $1bn in the first nine months of 2014), and encompassing everything from finance to fashion, it is one of our greatest recent success stories. But this nascent sector also faces a worrying potential threat. A fresh menace to the workings of efficient markets is rapidly gripping the global tech industry, and it threatens to stifle innovation, raise prices, and constrain choice for consumers across the globe. The threat has been dubbed “patent privateering” and its impact on effective competition is already alarming.

Patent privateering refers to the practice whereby corporations wanting to defend their market share enter into private agreements with patent assertion entities (PAEs), or patent trolls as they are more commonly dubbed. These PAEs are effectively special purpose vehicles with no manufacturing capabilities; they are created to enforce patent rights and sue people. The more, the better.

Read the full article here.

Sam Bowman discusses the ‘market-friendly’ way of tackling inequality on Voice of Russia

Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, spoke to Voice of Russia about the ‘market-friendly’ way of addressing inequality.

CEO salaries and banker bonuses came under particular scrutiny. Sam Bowman is Research Director at the Adam Smith Institute, a libertarian think tank. He doesn’t think inequality is the problem:

“What’s really important is how much wealth people at the bottom have. It’s not really relevant how much money people at the top have, as long as they aren’t exploiting people at the bottom, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Usually inequality is a product of economic growth. Wealth tends to grow a bit more quickly for those who own capital.

“The really interesting story is equality around the world. One of the phenomena of globalisation is that as inequality grows in individual countries in the developed world, it decreases across the world because people in poor countries tend to get a lot richer because jobs such as manufacturing are moved to poorer countries. I think that’s a good thing.”

Read the full article here.