The Financial Times reviews Dr Madsen Pirie’s upcoming book “How To Win Every Argument”

The Financial Times gave a glowing review of Dr Madsen Pirie’s upcoming book “How To Win Every Argument: The Use And Abuse of Logic“, soon to be released.

All this is not only entertaining: it is genuinely useful when it comes to thinking about how arguments work. Mr Pirie’s contention is that, if you master the fallacies, you are not only better equipped to expose them in your opponents’ arguments, but will be able yourself “to perpetrate fallacies with mischief at heart and malice aforethought”. This is a low and sneaky tactic but an undoubtedly effective one.

Mr Pirie adds: “It is well worth the reader’s trouble to learn the Latin tags wherever possible. When an opponent is accused of perpetrating something with a Latin name it sounds as if he is suffering from a rare tropical disease. It has the added effect of making the accuser seem both erudite and authoritative.”

Read the full review here.

Author of ASI paper “The Green Noose” writes for Public Sector Executive

Tom Papworth – Senior Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute and author of ASI paper “The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform” – wrote a comment piece for Public Sector Executive calling for radical overhaul of the UK’s planning structure:

Voltaire once quipped that the Holy Roman Empire was not holy, was not Roman and was not an empire. In light of the fact that they are neither particularly green, nor are they exactly belts, one might say something similar about England’s green belts.

Originally conceived to prevent urban sprawl, preserve a rural/urban distinction, stop the agglomeration of towns and encourage city-centre renewal, the green belt designation has come to encompass far more land than we have actually developed.

Green belts are twice as big as the cities they aim to contain and 50% bigger than the total amount of developed land in England.

Yet, as I discuss in ‘The Green Noose’, my recent report for the Adam Smith Institute, the fundamental premises of green belt policy are confused, ambiguous and flawed.

Read the full article here.

The ASI report, The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform, looks at the Green Belt’s impact on England’s housing shortage. After a comprehensive review of the causes of the housing crisis, it concludes that the planning structure is out of date and in need of radical reform.

ASI Paper “The Real Problem was Nominal” is quoted in The Daily Telegraph

The ASI’s paper “The Real Problem was Nominal” was quoted in The Daily Telegraph.

Some experts have already warned that the ECB is not doing enough. Scott Sumner, a leading monetary economist, said that “European officials have not learned any of the lessons offered by the Japanese experience” of prolonged economic stagnation.

“The [QE] policy would have been far more effective if done a year or two ago,” he wrote in a paper published by the Adam Smith Institute.

Read the full article here.

The Real Problem was Nominal” - written by Prof Scott Sumner, a leading economist who was a key inspiration for the Federal Reserve’s QE3 programme - explains how the European Central Bank  is repeating the mistakes that the Fed and Bank of England made in the 2008 crisis—trying to plan credit and micromanage the financial sector, when the real issue is excessively tight monetary policy.

The paper argues that Eurozone quantitative easing will not reverse the Eurozone’s decline unless it is open-ended and tied more explicitly to the ECB’s inflation target. Targeting nominal GDP—the total amount of spending in the economy, also known as aggregate demand—would be even better, the paper argues, guaranteeing more stability when unexpected supply-side shocks like oil price movements make inflation targeting trickier.

Download “The Real Problem was Nominal” for free here.

Ben Southwood discusses incentives to curb obesity on BBC World News

Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, Ben Southwood, spoke to BBC World News about Mexico City’s new scheme to incentivise people to exercise by subsidising their travel service; he also argued that the proposals in the UK to curb obesity are too intrusive into individual’s lives.