Anton Howes

Anton Howes is the Director of the Liberty League, a network for liberal and libertarian students and organizations.

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The end of loneliness

Written by | Thursday 26 September 2013

There's a video doing the rounds by Shimi Cohen, called the "Innovation of Loneliness". The thesis is that modern, internet-based social networking results in more loneliness. Impersonal communication displaces the intimacy of conversation. This, combined with the ability to tailor those communications to promote our self-image, results in us claiming "to have many friends while actually being lonely", while technology's promise of constant interconnectedness, causes us to constantly share our experiences in a desperate bid to not feel alone.

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Link the personal allowance to inflation

Written by | Friday 12 April 2013

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Freedom Forum 2013

Written by | Friday 1 March 2013

It's that time of year again. After the roaring success of last year's inaugural conference, the Liberty League Freedom Forum 2013 is only weeks away.

For just £35 per ticket, they've booked out the UCL School of Pharmacy in central London, and will be providing your accommodation, meals, drink and books for the entire weekend, as well as giving you the chance to meet other young pro-liberty activists from all over the UK. If you're based in London, it's £25 without accommodation.

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Reviewing the LSE Growth Commission

Written by | Tuesday 5 February 2013

The London School of Economics' much-vaunted "Growth Commission" has finally released its report, after a year of discussion, debate and work. Unfortunately, the policies it advocates are unoriginal and underwhelming.

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The broken Withywindle fallacy

Written by | Tuesday 22 January 2013

Over on the Guerrilla Economist blog, Ust Oldfield discusses the economic consequences of the dragon Smaug on Tolkien's fictional universe, Middle Earth. He argues that the net effect on Middle Earth's economy may well have been positive. Both Dwarves and dragons hoarded the gold, so there would have been no monetary shock from the rapid withdrawal of so much precious metal from the economy.

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The mercantilists strike back

Written by | Friday 18 January 2013

Professor Dani Rodrik at Harvard University has offered up a challenge for free market liberals. He is openly, and unashamedly mercantilist: the very ideology that Adam Smith originally set out to defeat back in 1776. While rejecting the historical obsession with amassing precious metals, Rodrik proposes a mercantilist alliance of government with corporations towards common objectives like economic growth.

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Out-innovate the state

Written by | Friday 7 December 2012

Even in the face of high taxes, borrowing and debt, the history of modernity gives us every reason to be optimistic. Economic growth and the rise in living standards since around 1780 has been immense. In Britain, not even accounting for improvements in the quality and choice of consumer products, the average person is 1500% wealthier than their ancestor in 1780.

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Remember innovation

Written by | Thursday 6 December 2012

For the first time in decades, Britain's economic growth is stagnant. With a predicted -0.1% for 2012, Treasury forecasts for the years ahead look wildly optimistic. Yet the Chancellor's tinkering around the edges is unlikely to achieve much. The problem is that the debate over achieving higher economic growth totally ignores its causes. It forgets the important distinction between what the Nobel Laureates Kenneth Arrow and Robert Lucas Jnr. describe as "level effects" and "growth effects".

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Forget competitive exam boards, we should abolish O-Levels altogether

Written by | Wednesday 27 June 2012

Michael Gove’s proposal to abolish competing exam boards for his new O-levels has sparked an important debate within the free-market movement. On the one hand, Liz Truss MP leads the approving side, while Dale Bassett of Reform, James Croft of the Centre for Market Reform of Education, and I, have all cautioned against the dangers of establishing subject-by-subject exam board monopolies.

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