The welfare state is out of date. The principle of 'Free at the point of delivery' must be replaced by 'Paid for at the point of delivery', so that those who can afford to pay for their healthcare and children's education do so in proportion to their earnings. The result, argues Ross Harvey, would be huge savings as market efficiencies are introduced to moribund sectors, without leaving the country's poorest behind.
Some people might actually benefit from the nanny state, but the questions of who decides what is in people’s interests and whether individuals can be coerced will forever separate libertarians from paternalists, says Tom Papworth.
The Forestry Commission has failed in its duties, and the government is right to sell off some of its holdings. This report argues that the government could sell off 92% of the Commission's holdings without affecting the broadleaf forests that the public values for their amenity and scenery. Doing this could raise up to £4.3bn, and end the woeful mismanagement of the country's woodland that the Forestry Commission has delivered.
In this think piece, Jan Iwanik gives a response to the public consultation on the commitments to restrict the use of “What-If” and access to market information on the UK insurance market. The government cannot artificially engineer competition by restricting information between firms.
Two pictures comparing the Shanghai skyline between 1990 and 2010 have been making the rounds online – we posted them on the blog the other day. In this piece, Dr Richard Ebeling discusses the economic history of Shanghai's skyline, which thrived during the pre-Second World War years and, thanks to the laissez-faire economic policies it enjoyed as a virtual city-state, grew to become Asia's answer to New York City.
The US has effectively dropped the term 'War on Drugs', a tacit admission of that policy's failure. Here, Henry Oliver argues that Britain should learn from the rest of the world and its own history. The government should rethink its policies on drugs and find new policies that work.
The coalition government’s health proposals are a mixed bag, and much will depend on the final legislation and implementation process. But whatever happens, they will not create a real market in healthcare…
In this think piece Ruth Lea, Economic Advisor to the Arbuthnot Banking Group and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, discusses what 2011 holds for the British and global economies. There is some room for optimism, she says, but overall the near future isn't bright.
Who is to blame for the Irish crisis? The question goes to the heart of Ireland's current situation and offers guidance to policymakers in Britain who wish to avoid a similar fate. David Howden argues that the blame lies both with the European Central Bank, which created perverse incentives for investment through low interest rates, and with the Irish investors who reacted to those incentives.
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".