The welfare state is out of date.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.
The NHS should enter into a range of partnerships and agreements and should commission services from private and voluntary providers.
Is it time to move towards Flat Tax? According to Eamonn Butler it is a good time for Scotland to go for it. Though they would need permission from Gordon Brown, it would be a great step for Scotland. He looks at how various countries have proven that having a Flat tax works.
What drives 750,000 people to the point of ruining everyone else's day by striking? PJ Byrne reflects on the "anger deriving from a wounded sense of self-worth" that drives so many people to strike.
NIkhil Arora argues that we need to radically reform that state pension, moving from the current pay-as-you-go model (a Madoff-style ponzi scheme) to a funded system based on personal pension accounts. Basing his proposals on a plan developed for the American Social Security system by the Cato Institute, Arora suggests allowing people to divert their employee National Insurance Contributions into private accounts (surrending their right to a state pension in the process), while employer National Insurance Contributions continue to be paid in order to finance the state pensions of current retirees.
The demand for private education is enormous - and not just from parents of the brightest students. But only a minority can afford it, because they already pay tax towards the state system. It's time to build a new system that supports parents who want the right school for their children's abilities - and needs - so that non-state education becomes accessible to all, says top private school teacher Chris Lambert in this ASI report.
This briefing paper, by lawyer and medical practitioner Anthony Barton, argues that both the legal aid and the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) systems are flawed in that they give rise to situations which are not economically sustainable or politically acceptable. This paper suggests scrapping civil legal aid in almost all cases, and reforming the CFA system to deter risk-free speculative litigation.
Prominent academics, journalists and politicians highlight the historical contribution of Adam Smith and the role of his ideas in the shaping of modern economic thinking. Includes contributions by Leo Rosten, Professors William Letwin and Edwin G West who speak to The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments specifically, Richard Vernier, Russell Lewis, writing about Adam Smith today, Rt Hon Nicholas Ridley, Professor Norman Barry with a piece about the ethics of capitalism, and Dr Jeremy Shearmur.
In this think piece, Karthik Reddy identifies the main problems in the UK aviation industry, particularly the government's regulation of airport slots which creates perverse incentives for airlines to waste these slots rather than sell or share them to use them efficiently. Reddy argues that deregulation of airport slots would reduce the artificial scarcity of these slots as well as other inefficiencies in the system caused by government regulation of aviation.