The American bank robber, Willie Sutton, was asked why he persisted in robbing banks.
"That's where the money is," was his rather puzzled reply.
And why do our museums spend so much time dogging the heels of
politicians? Because in their world, government is where the money is.
After all, if you can't charge people to come in, then visitors become
no more than a necessary nuisance, wearing out the carpets and
fingering the exhibits.
The Left's policy wonks have come up with another great wheeze to divide Britain's hard-working classes from their cash. Namely Inheritance Tax (IHT) changes which will (says the spin) 'cut tax in 87% of cases' – but which aim to rake in another £147 million by raising the tax on the other 13%.
Britain levies IHT at an already punitive rate of 40% on all estates over £263,000. And giving away your assets to your kids before you die is no protection either. Unless you live for seven years, the Treasury still demands a slice.
Our illusions about the National Health Service are breaking down. We used to call it 'the envy of the world'. Not any more. We now recognise that our health service is actually pretty poor compared with other developed countries. It has wonderful and dedicated people in it; but they are let down by a system which creaks with incompetence
One of the old NHS principles has been that GP services, including surgery appointments and house calls must be free.
In a new ASI paper, distinguished energy expert Prof Ian Fells says the government's energy policy is 'timid, complacent, and reckless'.
Media entrepreneur Eben Wilson says that a state-supported BBC is simply out of date in a world of 2500 digital channels. Politicians love the free airtime, but why should we pay? Time to sell Auntie and give every family a £200 cashback.
Tim Ambler of the London Business School says that up to £1b a year is being wasted on unnecessary bureaucracy in the research councils - and that we would get better science at less cost by allocating the research budget directly to the universities.
Do we need regulation, rule-books and new codes of practice to keep boardroom executives in check? Corporate-governance specialist Elaine Sternberg says not. The keys to getting on-the-ball, responsible management are competition and shareholder empowerment. Her punchy report takes on the regulationists and shows how to achieve good governance without politics.
The only booming sector in the UK seems to be the public sector. We've skimmed the Guardian's jobs pages and added up the cost of all those community awareness co-ordinators (30,000 of them each year, at nearly a billion quid in salaries). Our report, by Jonathan Woolham, shows exactly where your hard-earned tax money is going.
Britain's electricity supply has been left dangerously vulnerable by the government's plans to phase out nuclear power and rely more on gas and renewable energy. Wind and solar power are costly and intermittent sources of energy that cannot fill the gap left by nuclear, while planned gas imports rely on a complex cross-national network that is easily disrupted by political upheavals in any one of a number of countries.
Local authority officers, backed by proposals from Brussels, want to end the 20 year old deregulation of buses and bring bus operations back under their control, says transport executive Prof. John Hibbs OBE in a new ASI report. But that could mean less competition and higher taxes...