Think Pieces

How to survive in the age of the free-lunch economy

Written by | Thursday 31 August 2006

The libertarian science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein famously observed that “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch," but today’s producers and retailers are increasingly faced by a public which expects one. Our economy has a habit of turning what was once an item of value into a throwaway freebie, and the economics of this are making people rethink their ideas.

The Practicalities of Flat Tax

Written by | Thursday 30 June 2005

1. Doesn’t flat tax simply mean cutting taxes?

On the contrary, it usually involves increasing the total amount of taxation. It involves setting a single rate of income tax, which in practice is almost always lower than most of the existing graduated rates. But a lower rate does not mean a lower yield. In practice countries which have introduced flat tax have increased tax revenues.

2. Surely a flat tax will give the government less to spend on social needs?

Deregulation: What Actions Need to Be Taken

Written by | Friday 27 May 2005

My father was a trustee of the Lancashire miners’ convalescence home, located in Blackpool. Jo Gormley, the miners’ leader - who you may recall used to tip off MI5 about the activities of Arthur Scargill - appointed his own brother (a classic example of nepotism) to run this luxurious palace, which my father would regularly visit.

Bearing in mind these memories of my youth, it was alarming to discover the fuss earlier this month that centred around the regulation of the beach donkeys in Blackpool.

Why recycling can be utter garbage

Written by | Tuesday 24 May 2005

A four-year study by the Environment Agency has confirmed what many of us, with our back-of-the-envelope calculations, had already worked out: that disposable nappies are no worse for the environment than washable ones.


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