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The Condensed Wealth of Nations

Type: BooksWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Wednesday 03 August 2011

Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations is one of the most important books ever written. Smith recognised that economic specialization and cooperation was the key to improving living standards. He shattered old ways of thinking about trade, commerce and public policy, and led to the foundation of a new field of study: economics. And yet, his book is rarely read today. It is written in a dense and archaic style that is inaccessible to many modern readers. The Condensed Wealth of Nations condenses Smith’s work and explains the key concepts in The Wealth of Nations clearly. It is accessible and readable to any intelligent layman. This book also contains a primer on The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith’s other great work that explores the nature of ethics.

 

Britain's Borrowed-Time Bomb

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Tuesday 04 January 2011

In this article, Dr Eamonn Butler warns that the UK needs to get a grip on its welfare spending if it wants to avoid fiscal crisis. His exploration of our debt problem and possible solutions follows the release of Miles Saltiel's report for the ASI "On Borrowed Time".

The Adam Smith Institute assesses when Britain might go bust

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Monday 29 November 2010

In this article, Dr Eamonn Butler argues that the UK is facing another financial crisis as early as 2019. He claims the next crisis will be caused by us promising ourselves state healthcare, pensions, and other benefits that our taxpaying children won't be able to afford to pay off. 

Ed Miliband's New Labour economics

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Tuesday 26 October 2010

In this article Eamonn analyses Ed Miliband's speech to the CBI and argues that Ed's solutions to encouraging economic growth are very much along the same lines as Gordon Brown's. Eamonn proposes instead that in order to re-skill Britain we need politicians to let business people get on with the job of wealth-creation, whilst cutting the burden of regulation and taxation. 

Austrian Economics - A Primer

Type: BooksWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Thursday 19 August 2010

Austrian School economists gave us the ideas of marginal utility, opportunity cost, and the importance of time and ignorance in shaping human choices and the markets, prices and production systems that stem from them. 'Austrian' economics has revolutionised our understanding of what money is, why economic booms invariably turn to damaging busts, why government intervention in the economy is a mistake, the importance of time and information in economic decision-making, the crucial role of entrepreneurship, and how much economic policy is just plain wrong. Eamonn Butler explains these ideas in straightforward, non-technical language, making this Primer the ideal introduction for anyone who wants to understand the key insights of the Austrian School and their relevance and importance to our economic situation today. Now updated with an additional chapter on Contemporary Austrian thinking.

 

The hidden debt is the real monster

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Saturday 12 June 2010

Dr Eamonn Butler warns of the hidden debt which may be five times what the government lets on, as a result of healthcare, welfare and pensions. He proposes that like New Zealand the government should stick to strict accounting standards and start planning for future pension costs. It is also argued in the article that the government needs to be more transparent about its finances and future financial commitments.

Re-Booting Government

Type: ReportsWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Wednesday 09 June 2010

In Re-Booting Government: How to deal with the deficit without cutting vital services, Dr Eamonn Butler argues that reducing deficits and debt is essential. Debt imposes a large interest-payments tax on citizens, limits the options open to governments, and it weakens political leaders both at home and abroad. But in the long run, a cheese-slicer approach to cutting spending is not going to be enough. We need to completely rethink the role of the state, what it does, and how it does it. In short, we need to reboot government.

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A law to stop the splurge

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Sunday 16 May 2010

A new economic responsibility act is needed to prevent future governments spending and borrowing too much, according to Dr Eamonn Butler. He outlines the rules that would be needed to protect the public finances and secure Britain's future economic growth. 

Why Britain needs an Economic Responsibility Act

Type: ReportsWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Wednesday 28 April 2010

This briefing calls on the next government to pass an Economic Responsibility Act, which would place legally binding restraints on government’s fiscal policies. Specifically, it would: (1) cap government spending at one-third of GDP; (2) cap the budget deficit at 3% of GDP; (3) cap the national debt at 40% of GDP; (4) require that off-balance-sheet obligations were fully calculated and openly stated; and (5) allow government to borrow only to invest in capital projects, not to fund current expenditure. This briefing also recommends that new rules be introduced to limit government’s ability to raise taxes.

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From paedophilia to speeding, bureaucrats need a sense of proportion over the risks

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Thursday 29 October 2009

The Government is overcautious about the risks not just from paedophiles but from all aspects of modern life.

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The Adam Smith Institute is the UK’s leading libertarian think tank...

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