Think Pieces

Bitcoin is poised to shake the world: are you paying attention?

Written by | Thursday 7 November 2013

If you thought technology was already disruptive enough, here’s the news. We’re just getting started.

The government's new doomsmonger case for HS2

Written by | Friday 1 November 2013

John Burton shows how the government's new case for HS2 is even less convincing than the last.

The Government -- or rather the Department for Transport (DfT), and its offspring, HS2 Ltd -- have  (once again) today published "new, updated" reworkings1 of their strategic, business and economic cases for the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail mega-project; which is forecast for full completion (if eventually approved by Parliament) in 2037.

Thatcherism, trade unionism and all that

Written by | Wednesday 16 October 2013

Dr. Charles Hanson explains the importance of Thatcher's union-taming policies for analysing her influence and impact, which he believes have been underplayed or ignored in many conventional histories.

There have been many retrospective analyses of Margaret Thatcher and her influence and legacy since her death on 8th April 2013, but I doubt that any of them have given her sufficient credit for her greatest achievement - the taming of the trade unions.  In this short piece I want to ensure that this omission is fully rectified.

The life and legacy of Ronald Coase

Written by | Wednesday 4 September 2013

Yesterday, at the age of 103, one of the greatest minds of our time, Nobel prize winner and emeritus professor at University of Chicago Law School Ronald Coase passed away.

His contributions to and influence on economic science are of monumental importance. His groundbreaking research has set the stage for a joint field of law and economics, and has also influenced the new institutional revolution in addition to a number of other fields and areas of research in economic theory.

Good and bad objections to positive discrimination

Written by | Thursday 27 June 2013

The US Supreme Court has just left one Texan affirmative action scheme in place, but it has recently busted schemes elsewhere. I discuss what libertarians should think about positive discrimination and affirmative action.

If it ain't broke, break it: how to increase prices and profits in the GB retail energy market

Written by | Wednesday 22 May 2013

Britain’s competitive retail energy market was the first in the world, and for many years the most competitive. It had the most active suppliers, and the most active customer switching. This competition and choice brought better offers for customers. It may not seem like it because of recent energy price increases. But these reflect increases in fuel costs like gas, higher costs of renewable energy and other obligations on suppliers, not a lack of retail competition.

Busting welfare myths

Written by | Monday 20 May 2013

The welfare debate has roused emotions on both the left and right, and has led to some outlandish claims. Myth needs to be separated from reality. Geoffrey Taunton-Collins gives his take on what we should and shouldn’t believe.

Myth: Welfare spending that goes on pensions is unreformable.

Reality: The state pension eligibility age has risen too slowly.

The Keynesian bias in A-level economics

Written by | Friday 19 April 2013

I have taught A-Level Economics for twenty-five years. The economic crisis has pushed macroeconomics into the spotlight. Non-teaching friends often say that it must be a really interesting time to teach Economics. They are right, it is. However, it is also a frustrating time to be an A-Level Economics teacher. The source of my frustration pertains to the Keynesian bias that exists within the A-Level Economics specification, examination papers and marks schemes.   

Why Marx was wrong about capitalism

Written by | Thursday 11 April 2013

Dr Madsen Pirie's speech in opposition to the motion: "Karl Marx was right. Capitalism post-2008 is falling apart under Its own contradictions."

Like many public figures who leave a legacy, either in their writings or their deeds, Karl Marx was sometimes right and sometimes wrong.  I concentrate on some of the things about which he was wrong.

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