An international development policy that works

In 'An international development policy that works: Why the Conservative Party should rethink its commitment to development aid' Sam Bowman argues that the UK Conservatives have failed to propose the radical policy overhaul needed to make the Department for International Development (DFID) an effective body. He suggests scrapping the pledge to spend 0.7% of national GDP on international development aid each year, and focusing instead on private donations, economic migration and unilateral tariff reduction.

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The Lesson of a Levy on Banks

According to this briefing paper from Miles Saltiel, proposals to introduce a new ‘bank levy’ would do little to correct the problems in the banking sector, and act as a distraction from other, more pressing reforms. Politicians ought to reject populist calls for new taxes and punitive regulation and instead focus on a few key issues: breaking up the nationalized banks; ensuring greater transparency and more honest accounting; requiring tougher capital and liquidity ratios; mandating living wills so banks can be run down in an orderly fashion; and moving derivative contracts onto regulated exchanges.

 

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/default/files/resources/a-levy-on-banks.pdf"]

The Broken University

In The Broken University, education expert James Stanfield examines what is seen and what is not seen in the UK higher education sector. In contrast to the conventional wisdom, he finds no compelling evidence to suggest that public subsidies to higher education have any economic benefit. Moreover, Stanfield convincingly argues that once its hidden costs and unintended consequences are taken into account, government intervention in higher education is doing far more harm than good, and is holding back the development of one of the UK’s most important service sectors.

 

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/the-broken-university.pdf"]

Arts Subsidies - A New Approach

Government support for the arts is currently provided as a subsidy to producers. This system suffers from four major problems: it relies on an expensive bureaucracy; it distributes subsidies unequally between regions and income groups; it distorts producers' incentives through corruption, politicisation and arbitrary criteria; and it reduces competition, innovation and efficiency. This paper proposes a new system for arts funding: consumer-side subsidies delivered as vouchers to all citizens, which would alleviate the four problems outlined above, and better fulfil the central objectives of art funding.

 

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/arts-subsidies.pdf"]

A Beginner’s Guide to Liberty

  • Introduction by Richard Wellings
  • The importance of liberty by JC Lester
  • How markets work by Eamonn Butler
  • Free trade by Daniel Griswold
  • Taxation and government spending by Daniel J. Mitchell
  • Property rights by Karol Boudreaux
  • Why government fails by Peter J. Boettke & Douglas B. Rogers
  • Sex, drugs and liberty by John Meadowcroft
  • Welfare without the state by Kristian Niemietz
  • Banking, inflation and recessions by Anthony J. Evans
  • The role of government by Stephen Davies

This short book is an accessible introduction to liberty – one of the key concepts of political and economic thought. It explains why liberty is so important and sets out in clear language the benefits of freeing individuals from big government. The guide consists of ten concise chapters, each focusing on a particular aspect of liberty and written by an expert in the field. The authors show why liberty is essential if people are to lead prosperous and fulfilling lives, and also point to the terrible consequences when politicians and officials get too much power. At a time when our freedom is threatened by a rising tide of government controls, A Beginner’s Guide to Liberty is essential reading.

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/beginnersguide-final.pdf"]

Digital Dirigisme

Digital Dirigisme, which responds to the government’s Digital Britain report, attacks the proposals for ‘industrial activism’ in the communications sector, and lays out its own vision for a highly competitive, enterprise-driven industry based on a clear framework of property rights and strengthened privacy protection. The report also calls for the phased privatization of the BBC, and the eventual abolition of the TV licence fee.

 

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/digital-dirigisme.pdf"]

The Economics of Tax Competition

In The Economics of Tax Competition – Harmonization vs. Liberalization Daniel J. Mitchell argues that the arguments surrounding tax competition are ultimately a debate about the size of government. Harmonization means higher tax rates and bigger government: freed from the rigour of competition, politicians would cater to special interests and resist fiscal reforms. By contrast, tax competition provides a much-needed check on the growth of government, and encourages pro-growth tax reform.

 

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/tax-competition.pdf"]

Tax Competition

In Tax Competition – How tax havens help the poor Richard Teather argues that tax competition brings benefits to all of society, not just to those that directly take advantage of it. By encouraging lower taxes and allowing greater efficiency in capital markets, tax competition encourages economic growth, the benefits of which often fall to the least well off. The unemployed are more able to find jobs as the economy expands, while low-paid jobs are made more productive (and therefore valuable) by increased investment.

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/teather-tax-comp.pdf"]

Knaves and Fawkes

In Knaves and Fawkes: Should we reform Parliament or just blow it up? Tim Ambler and Keith Boyfield argue that Parliament should re-assert its role as the UK's primary legislative authority and as the place where ministers  are called to account. They suggest that parliamentary time should be better allocated so as to give better attention to EU legislation and legislative statutory instruments, and that all regulators should be accountable to House of Commons select committees, not the government. Under their plans, the overall number of MPs would be reduced, but new "assistant MPs" would be empowered to deal directly with government departments on behalf of MPs' constituents.

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/knaves-and-fawkes.pdf"]

Credit Crunch: The anatomy of a crisis

Published one year on from the part-nationalizations of Lloyds-HBOS and RBS, this report by John Redwood MP pins the blame for the financial crisis squarely on bad monetary policy from the Bank of England and misguided regulation and inadequate crisis management by the UK government . Redwood attacks the notion that the UK economy was well run in the period leading up to the crisis, and that its problems were imported from the US, making clear that while Britain's crisis may have had much in common with America's, it was in fact very much home grown. In addition to analyzing the financial crisis and its causes, Redwood also makes a series of recommendations for the future of the banking sector, as well the broader economic policies of the next government.

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/credit-crunch.pdf"]