Sam Bowman

Sam Bowman is Research Director at the Adam Smith Institute. He writes on immigration, Bleeding Heart Libertarianism, and complexity in public policy.

Tweet of the day

Written by | Friday 12 October 2012

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Why Hayek matters

Written by | Wednesday 10 October 2012

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Keynes in action

Written by | Tuesday 9 October 2012

David Boaz recently mentioned a pretty extraordinary anecdote about Lord Keynes, mentioned in the Wall Street Journal in 2009:

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On National Poetry Day...

Written by | Thursday 4 October 2012

...here is one of my favourite poems by Ogden Nash, which is as appropriate now as it was when he wrote it in the midst of the US government's measures to prevent 'overproduction' during the Great Depression.

One From One Leaves Two

Higgledy piggledy, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen.
Gentlemen come every day
To count what my black hen doth lay.
If perchance she lays too many,
They fine my hen a pretty penny;
If perchance she fails to lay,
The gentlemen a bonus pay.

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A solution to the exams dilemma

Written by | Wednesday 19 September 2012

James Croft, author of our superb report on profit-making free schools, is now head honcho of the Centre for Market Reform of Education, and has today released a paper that raises serious questions about the government's plans to replace GCSEs. The recommendations are refreshingly innovative, harnessing the innovative properties of the market to try to solve some of the problems that the government's plans are aimed at addressing:

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Making the case for open borders

Written by | Monday 17 September 2012

I've got a post on the New Statesman's website today, beating the drum for open borders. I open with the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, an Indian mathematician born into abject poverty a century ago:

Born to a poor family in southern India in the late nineteenth century, Ramanujan displayed a remarkable mathematical mind from an early age, developing complex theorems as a teenager.

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Individualism is not atomism

Written by | Friday 7 September 2012

A post on ConservativeHome this morning wrote about the differences between individualism and conservatism:

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Don't budge against nudge

Written by | Thursday 6 September 2012

Last night I debated at the first Sp!ked Drinks event about 'nudge' policy. Here is what I prepared for my opening statement against 'nudging'. It's worth bearing in mind that this is an attack on nudge policy as it has been promoted and implemented by governments, not necessarily on the book by Sunstein and Thaler. 

Nudging is a new way of talking about an old idea: that people do not act in ways that are best for them, and should be helped along by their betters.

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Nobody would (willingly) invest in a government-run bank

Written by | Friday 31 August 2012

I am in City AM this morning, debating with Keynes's biographer Lord Skidelsky about whether we should have a government-run investment bank, as Nick Clegg has proposed. Skidelsky says yes:

Showing the government is willing to invest in the right project would lift business expectations, and the contracts from large projects would flow down to small and medium-sized enterprise.

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Even drug prohibitionists should be embarrassed by Peter Hitchens

Written by | Wednesday 29 August 2012

Peter Hitchens has been around a lot promoting his new book, Drugs: The War We Never Fought. I have not read his book, nor do I intend to – unless it is significantly better than the extracts he has published from it, I would rather not waste my time. Hitchens’s thesis is that it is misleading to talk about a ‘war on drugs’ in the British context.

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