Press Release: Fat Cat Tuesday is pub economics, not serious analysis

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: | 07584 778207. Commenting on the High Pay Centre's promotion of 'Fat Cat Tuesday', Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, said:

Despite consistent attacks on chief executive pay, the High Pay Centre has never told us how much they think CEOs are actually worth. Their complaints are the hand-waving of pub economics, not serious analysis – “Surely you don’t think executives can be this valuable to firms?”, or “Surely you don’t think executives are more important now than they were forty years ago?”.

None of these complaints are valid unless the High Pay Centre thinks it has a better way of estimating the value of executives to firms than those firms themselves. Can the High Pay Centre tell us how much CEOs are worth? If not, how can they say that they are overpaid?

Chief executives can be worth quite a lot to firms, as is shown by huge moves in company share prices when good CEOs are hired, or bad CEOs are fired. Steve Jobs can make a firm; Steve Ballmer can break a firm. The High Pay Commission’s complaints only make sense if you assume firms don’t actually care about making money – which is to say, they don’t make sense at all.

Notes to Editors:

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

ASI comments on sales tax feature in The Scotsman

The Adam Smith Institute's comments advocating a local sales tax have been featured in The Scotsman:

Ten years ago, the Adam Smith Institute called for council tax and VAT to be scrapped and replaced with one local sales tax. It was claimed at the time this could supply the resources councils need while renewing interest in local government. It came amid public demonstrations following major rises in council tax before freezes were implemented in Scotland and England.

Read the full article here.

Trumpmania has gone global | Kate Andrews writes for City AM

Kate Andrews, Head of Communications at the ASI, has written for City AM on why Trumpmania is threatening liberalism all over the world.

I fear Trumpmania. It is a sickness, and it is spreading far beyond the world of political punditry. It has turned rational political discourse in the United States into a frenzy, while his comments seem to have a negative effect on everything they touch.
Indeed, the UK has not been immune from Trump’s illiberal thinking. A petition calling for him to be banned from entering Britain has gained over 300,000 signatures in just a few days, backed by people who, I believe, have been swept away by the force of Trump too. Those signatures implicitly endorse Trump’s original statement: that it is quite legitimate to ban people from travelling to or entering a country because of the beliefs they hold.


The dark side of the anti-Heathrow campaign | Kate Andrews writes for the Telegraph

Head of Communications at the ASI, Kate Andrews, has written for the Telegraph on her experience when taking part in a debate with anti-Heathrow expansion campaigners.

After being asked by presenter and producer Fatima Manji for the "economic perspective", It seemed obvious to start by mentioning that the expansion of Heathrow is estimated to generate £100-200 billion in economic benefits (specifically £147bn in the latest report).

Who knew a sentence could be so powerful – or provocative. Sure, some people have a knack for creating outrage succinctly. Donald Trump comes to mind, but even he usually takes more than one sentence to do his thing.

No, apparently my sentence was bad enough to drive some "campaigners" and pub-goers to intimidation and shouting thing like "people like you killed my husband" once the filming stopped. One of the men got in my face, but didn’t put his hands on me. Fortunately, it was only an old woman who actually grabbed me.

Sometimes we call people like this Bananas – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone – but these guys? They were just bananas.

Read the full article here. 

ASI paper 'Free Market Welfare' features in a letter to the Guardian

An ASI paper 'Free Market Welfare: The Case for a Negative Income Tax' has featured in a letter written to the Guardian by the Citizen's Income Trust on the feasibility of guaranteeing a universal basic income.

The Adam Smith Institute has recently published a paper on a variant, negative income tax; and Compass, the Fabian Society, and Royal Society of Arts are researching the feasibility. The debate on citizen’s income has shifted from being a debate about its desirability to being one about its feasibility. The next stage might be a debate about how to implement it in the UK before everyone else beats us to it.

Read the full letter here.

Executive Director Sam Bowman's comments on a Negative Income Tax feature on the Mail Online

Executive Director of the ASI, Sam Bowman, has had his comments on a negative income tax featured on the Mail Online.

Sam Bowman at the Adam Smith Institute explains that NIT is ‘a form of welfare that replaces most existing welfare schemes with a single payment that supplements the income of the unemployed and low-paid’.

‘The payment is withdrawn as your earnings increase, ideally at a gradual enough rate that increasing your earnings (and hence reducing leisure time) is always worthwhile,' he adds.

Read the full article here.