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The case for single-issue activism

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Whig | Thursday 31 May 2012

In recent years, believers in a small state have largely failed to convert good intellectual arguments against interventionism into concrete political achievements. Whig argues for a change of gears by liberals, away from politics and towards a focus on single-issue group campaigning.

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The Wages of Sin Taxes

Type: ReportsWritten by Chris Snowdon | Tuesday 15 May 2012

What is the true aim of taxes on alcohol, tobacco, fatty foods, and other "vices"? Are smokers, drinkers and fat people burdens on society who should be discouraged from enjoying their habits by taxation? Do these "sin taxes" actually work? In The Wages of Sin Taxes, Chris Snowdon tackles these questions and shows that sin taxes do not achieve their stated aim, offer no tangible benefit to society, and hit the poorest hardest.

Review: Keynes Hayek, The clash that defined modern economics

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Mikko I Arevuo | Tuesday 03 April 2012

Keynes Hayek: The clash that defined modern economics’ is a commendable effort to bring economic thought to the attention of the general reading public, says Mikko I Arevuo. Its publication is also well timed, but readers should not expect any great insight into how Keynesian or Hayekian economics could be applied in today’s economic situation.

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A critique of the GAAR Report

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Terry Arthur | Thursday 15 March 2012

The government is considering the introduction of a general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR). In this article, writer and retired actuary Terry Arthur considers the case for this measure. He argues that the GAAR would hurt living standards and its advocates fundamentally misunderstand the nature of taxation.

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Planning in a free society

Type: ReportsWritten by Tom Papworth | Thursday 08 March 2012

London as a case study for a spontaneously planned future.

The Town and Country Planning Act has failed. Restrictions on development, the Green Belt and the nationalized planning permission system have all helped to create a national housing crisis. In this report, an advance paper from the forthcoming Adam Smith Institute book A Manifesto for London, Tom Papworth argues for a radical reform of the British planning system, replacing it with a local, contractual and pluralist system to allow development whilst conserving areas of natural beauty and national heritage.

The global economics of corporate tax cuts

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Stephen MacLean | Wednesday 29 February 2012

Canada's government is proposing to raise corporation tax rates. Some simple, but crucial, lessons from economics and history tell us why this is a bad idea.

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Plain packaging

Type: ReportsWritten by Chris Snowdon | Monday 20 February 2012

Commercial expression, anti-smoking extremism and the risks of hyper-regulation.

Christopher Snowdon examines the case for plain packaging of cigarettes, including examples from around the world. He finds that its supposed benefits are, in fact, nonexistant, and plain packaging laws may have significant unintended consequences as well, including making counterfeiting of cigarettes more common. Plain packaging laws could lead us down a slippery slope where alcohol and even fatty foods are also controlled by the government.

The triumph of global capitalism

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Jacob Lundberg | Friday 17 February 2012

The rise of global capitalism since 1980 has been the central factor in the massive rise in global quality of life. In this article, Jacob Lundberg explains why more liberalized global markets have meant richer and freer people.

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Patterns of sustainable specialization and trade

Type: ReportsWritten by Arnold Kling | Friday 03 February 2012

Adam Smith and David Ricardo explained the benefits of trade, based on specialization and comparative advantage. These concepts, says Arnold Kling, also can provide the basis for explaining fluctuations in employment. In this paper Kling proposes that we jettison the Keynesian paradigm of aggregate supply and demand (AS-AD) in favor of an alternative paradigm, which he calls patterns of sustainable specialization and trade (PSST).

The future of European Monetary Union

Type: Think PiecesWritten by John Chown | Thursday 02 February 2012

John Chown, principal in Chown Dewhurst LLP and co-founder of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, discusses the background to the Eurozone crisis and the prospects for Euro members in 2012 and beyond.

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