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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Hauling down the kite

Written by | Monday 18 June 2012

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Wealth and democracy

Written by | Thursday 31 May 2012

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Why I think voting matters

Written by | Thursday 3 May 2012

I disagree with Sam's view on voting.  I think I might be more Popperian than Sam, in that I never expect to find a candidate whose views correspond with mine.  We're all different, and the best I can hope for is some agreement.  That's not why I vote.  I vote to turf out, or keep out, the bad guys, the ones I don't want to see holding office.  This follows Popper's view that democracy helps us to prevent bad or incompetent rulers from doing too much damage.

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Economic ideas and politics

Written by | Thursday 3 May 2012

I addressed a meeting of Cambridge University's Marshall Society in King's College last night.  It was in Keynes Hall, with a bronze bust of Keynes looking in from the side of the stage.  My theme was "The Influence of Economic Ideas on Politics," and I began with Adam Smith, the Scottish economist who overturned the prevailing view that nations became rich by exporting more than they imported.

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A mansion built upon the sand

Written by | Monday 19 March 2012

In the speculation about possible Budget ideas, one of the very worst is the proposal for a mansion tax.  Originally favoured by Vince Cable, the proposal has been to tax expensive homes, with homes valued at over £1m initially targeted, and with subsequent proposals suggesting £2m. 

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Is Britain good for business?

Written by | Sunday 4 March 2012

Is Britain good for business?

On Thursday I debated in the Cambridge Union alongside Damian Reece and Willie Walsh.  The motion was that "This house believes Britain is no longer a capital for business."  I asked for four facts to be entered in evidence.

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Engineering works

Written by | Tuesday 28 February 2012

When explaining what think tanks do, their members often quote the words of F A Hayek about "dealers in second-hand ideas."  It's a good phrase, because popularizing and explaining the key insights of thinkers such as Hayek, Popper and von Mises is very important. 

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Economics is fun, part 2: Price

Written by | Monday 30 January 2012

Madsen's new book, Understanding Economics: How Money, Trade and Markets Really Work, is available now.

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Review: The Iron Lady

Written by | Tuesday 10 January 2012

The Iron Lady interweaves two compelling themes.  One is of a love story, romantic and endearing, played out against a backdrop of great events.  The other tells of a struggle against the odds, of a woman facing the supercilious and dismissive ranks of a male establishment.

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The growth agenda: The self-employment option

Written by | Monday 9 January 2012

How one small change in mindset could free millions of SMEs from onerous regulation and tax by allowing more of their employees to register as self-employed. 

 

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