A new Adam Smith Institute briefing paper based on a YouGov poll commissioned by the Institute reveals that large majorities of the British public reject many aspects of the nanny state and prefer to make their own decisions.
Tim Ambler and Eamonn Butler review the government's plans to reform financial regulation, and argue for a more streamlined approach that does not inhibit competition by smothering new market entrants with costly regulatory requirements.
Politicians claim that a single government block is needed to safeguard children online. However, as Dominique Lazanski argues, this ignores the wide range of market-based solutions that already exist.
We need a real market for corporate control, argues Elaine Sternberg. Private firms may have good reason to pay their executives highly, and shareholder sovereignty should be protected. The most important thing the government can do is to remove state restrictions on shareholder power — and stop meddling in how private companies are run.
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.
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.
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.
Adam Smith and David Ricardo explained the benefits of trade, based on specialisation 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 favour of an alternative paradigm, which he calls patterns of sustainable specialisation and trade (PSST).
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.
Accurate accounting is at the root of the legal and scrutiny framework; without accurate accounts basic laws are incapable of enforcement. This report argues that international accounting rules have given the impression of illusory profits on bank balance sheets, inflating bonuses and creating perverse incentives for banks to act recklessly.