Dr Madsen Pirie

Dr Madsen Pirie is President of the Adam Smith Institute.  He subscribes to a broadly empirical and libertarian philosophy and values the insights of the Austrian School of Economics.  He has written books on logic, philosophy, economics, and children's science fiction.  His own website is at www.madsen-pirie.com

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Congratulations to Sam Bowman!

Written by | Monday 14 January 2013

The ASI's Sam Bowman has topped Lib Dem Voice's poll to select "Liberal Voice of the Year," beating off stiff competition from rivals such as Hugh Grant and Rowan Williams.  While this is by no means a Nobel Peace Prize (such as was won by Al Gore, Barack Obama and the European Union), it is nonetheless important recognition of Sam's brave stance for free market social justice, immigration, drugs law reform, equal marriage, and his opposition to bank bailouts.  Sam has tir

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50,000 views for our "Economics is Fun" videos

Written by | Friday 14 December 2012

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Sun, wind and tax

Written by | Monday 3 December 2012

In the old fairytale the wind and sun wagered which of them might get the man's cloak off.  The wind blew with all his might, but the man fastened his cloak more tightly around him, so it stayed on despite the wind's full fury.  Then the sun came out and the man took his cloak off.

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What is wrong with tax avoidance?

Written by | Wednesday 28 November 2012

I was on Channel Four News commenting on so-called tax avoidance yesterday evening, putting across some points that I think are important to the recent discussion.

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Tax facts

Written by | Wednesday 21 November 2012

Those who think that all our problems can be solved by taxing the rich more would do well to study this year's tax facts mentioned by City AM editor, Allister Heath, in Tuesday's edition.

1.  The top 1% of earners earn 10.8% of all income, but will pay 24.2% of all income tax.

2.  The top 10% earn 33.2% of all income but will pay 55.3% of all income tax.

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What a Bank Governor should understand

Written by | Tuesday 20 November 2012

I had a letter published in the Business section of Monday's Telegraph.  It had to be abbreviated for lack of space, but I think the full text is worth repeating here because it explains what it is that the incoming Governor should understand.

Dear Sir,

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Beyond fiat currencies

Written by | Monday 19 November 2012

There's a new way to by-pass fiat currencies that governments can debase.  From Euro Pacific Bank come two new cards, one gold and one silver.  Instead of drawing from your cash reserves held in sterling or dollars or whatever, or of spending on credit and paying the bills in such currencies, these cards draw on bullion.  You own gold and silver in a vault, and what you spend is converted into bullion and drawn from your stock:

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Speaking to the IREF in Paris

Written by | Friday 16 November 2012

In Paris on Thursday I addressed a meeting of IREF, the Institute for Research into Economic and Fiscal Issues, which is a French free market and broadly libertarian outfit whose scholarly research and press briefings try to nudge France in the general direction of soundness.  Given Francois Hollande, they face a tough task.

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Adam Darwin

Written by | Wednesday 14 November 2012

Matt Ridley, author of "Genome" and more recently "The Rational Optimist," gave Tuesday's annual Adam Smith Lecture before a packed audience at St Stephen's Club.  His title, "Adam Darwin," explored similarities between the insights and observations of Charles Darwin with those of Adam Smith who had written a century earlier.

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Risky business

Written by | Tuesday 13 November 2012

Those who think that responsibility for the financial crisis lies mainly at the door of governments and central banks might like to consider the following.  The policy of easy money and cheap credit, designed at the behest of politicians to smooth the down side of the business cycle, had one unexpected result.  by depressing interest rates it was made difficult for fund managers to gain decent returns on relatively low-risk investments such as bonds.

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