Who owns the past?

We should privatize the past. We should take control of the nation's cultural treasures out of the hands of bureaucratic 'professionals' and give it to enthusiastic independents. That is the view of Andrew Selkirk in his Adam Smith Institute book, 'Who Owns the Past?'

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Public, Private and People

Despite a supportive government and half a century of above inflation inflation increases, the National Health Service is still under strain. In the past few weeks alone, doctors have criticised it for long waiting times, diagnostic mistakes and it's poor record of treating heart disease, cancer and other serious diseases. Everyone accepts that we need to upgrade and modernise Uk healthcare. But to do that most effectively we must develop a wider involvement in the process, with real partnerships between the NHS, the private sector and the patients themselves.

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Planning Rape

Britain's system of town and country planning has evolved in a way which gives immense political power to lobbies. It is incapable of renewing Britain's infrastructure or regenerating decaying habitats, and it cannot cope with projects of national importance. Instead, a National Planning Court should take proposals of national significance out of the local planning regime; the Uniform Business Rate should be abolished; and developers could be allowed to offer a tariff of compensation to local residents.

 

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The Next Leaders?

University students spend more on drink and on entertainment than on tuition fees, and twice as much on clothes as on books, according to this MORI survey. But they do not tolerate intolerance in their friends, and think that their investment in education will help them far more than any UK or EU government initiative.

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The Stakeholder Protection Account

With public budgets tight and negative incentives a concern, government is keen to focus its help on the most needy, letting others carry more of their own burden. This may be the start of a third way for welfare, in which individuals themselves are expected to take on more responsibility for insurable risks presently covered by the state. There is wide experience to draw on, both from within the uk and abroad, of how private insurance can take up some of the strain and tailor a better service to today's more diverse population.

Risky Business

Governments have completely mishandled risk issues such as BSE, GM foods and mobile telephones. People's reactions to risk depends on their own view of it, not on anything they hear from the government. Trying to make people avoid risk - by wearing seatbelts, for example - can easily backfire as people seek new ways to get back to their normal risk levels.

 

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Why the Global Economy Needs Nations

Francis Maude MP argues that globalization and the Internet will discriminate against high tax and high spending governments, so believers in state power are now turning to international government to impose international controls. The choice is between the American model that creates a million new jobs a year, and the high tax, high unemployment model of the continent. Britain should set low, simple, transparent taxes and low regulation, which are the conditions that reward success and encourage investment and risk-taking. Britain should embrace globalization and all that it offers, instead of retreating into protectionism.

 

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The Right Stuff

This analysis suggests that official economic statistics systematically understate increases in living standards. It makes the case that many statistics, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), might have been appropriate to the age of mass production, but fail to reflect accurately the new economy which is being created by the application of information technology.

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