Tasmania's proposed smoking ban is another sign that anti-smoking campaigners are ready to come out of the closet and admit that they are prohibitionists, says Chris Snowdon.Read more...
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 critised 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 ond 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.
Dr Eamonn Butler takes a closer look at the Queen's speech. He believes that apart from the obvious subjects of crime and terrorism, the speech seemed to be more about reforming the the boring reforms from seven yeas ago.
Ahead of the VAT rise to 20% in January 2011, Tom Clougherty wrote this article arguing that the hike is a regrettable step in the wrong direction. It will dent consumer confidence and undermine economic growth.
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.
In Re-energizing Britain Nigel Hawkins warns the UK faces blackouts unless the six major energy companies invest. New nuclear plant should be encouraged by replacing the existing Renewables Obligation with a new Low Carbon Obligation, which would include nuclear power. The three key aims of energy policy – security of supply, reduced carbon emissions, and lower prices – would all benefit from this change, since nuclear energy is both low-carbon and less expensive than many other ways of generating electricity, and does not depend on risky supplies of gas from Russia. The government also needs to work with the energy companies to make sure that they have both planning approval and access to finance to increase Britain's gas storage facilities substantially. The UK has only one-tenth of the gas storage of Germany, and is dangerously exposed to interruptions in supply.
Classic and essential texts from Locke, Smith, Bastiat, Burke, Mill, Hume, Hayek, Mises, and others on the fundamental tennents of liberal thought such as Freedom, Compeition, and Tolerance.
In this report, five ex-regulators discuss their experiences and reflect on the successes and failures of the regulatory framework that followed the privatizations of the 1980s and 1990s. Regulation expert Tim Ambler concludes by discussing the future of regulation, and outlining the different paths that may be taken to reform the sector.
In this think piece, ASI executive director Tom Clougherty reacts to each of the policies contained in the Lib Dem-Conservative coalition agreement.
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.