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Book review: The Golden Revolution – How to prepare for the coming global gold standard, Butler

Conservative economic policy is easily recognised when stated as balanced budgets, low taxes and sound money. Today, these are a distant prospect. For all the work the Government have done, this year’s net financing requirement is £144.9 billion, larger than the health budget (£140bn) or education (£98bn). As my weekend brief explains, “The Government have delivered a typical tax cut of £705 for over 25 million people and taken over 3 million people out of [income] tax altogether”, however, please contact […]

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How choice and competition improve society

Writing today for City AM, Paul Ormerod argues “It’s time to fight the claim that consumer choice doesn’t improve public services”. Quite right. Ormerod indicates one of the trends of our time: The new Labour shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh said last week that she was “open” to the idea of returning all train services to state control. Damaging reports into the Al-Madinah free school in Derby have led to sustained attacks on the idea of freeing schools from local […]

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Introducing the Exporting is GREAT Campaign

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has launched a new pilot marketing campaign called Exporting is GREAT that will run throughout May 2013 to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) grow internationally. Exporting is GREAT is designed to increase understanding of the benefits of exporting and to drive awareness, and take-up, of the many sources of support and help available. The UKTI knows from research that international trade offers a significant boost to a company’s success. Yet less than 25% […]

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Why do we exchange things? Because it makes us happier.

Via LearnLiberty, Why Do We Exchange Things? The answer is simple. In voluntary exchange, both parties benefit. We exchange things because it makes us happier. Gifts are often wonderful but the giver’s reward is the warm glow of altruism. Only the recipient is better off and only if they received something they wanted. In voluntary exchange, both people swap something they want less for something they want more: they are both better off.

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Taxes, currency debasement and the OFT report on pump prices

Via the Office of Fair Trading, Rises in pump prices for petrol and diesel over the last 10 years have been caused largely by higher crude oil prices and increases in tax and duty and not a lack of competition, an OFT report has found. and, emphasis mine, The OFT found that, pre-tax, the UK has some of the cheapest road fuel prices in Europe. In the 10 years between 2003 and 2012 pump prices increased from 76 pence per […]

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Tomorrow’s most important political event?

Tomorrow, the BBC Radio 4 programme Analysis features Jamie Whyte’s Keeping the Free Market Faith at 20:30: The financial crisis has made many on the political right question their faith in free market capitalism. Jamie Whyte is unaffected by such doubts. The financial crisis, he argues, was caused by too much state interference and an unhealthy collusion between government and corporate power. Interviewees include Luigi Zingales, author of Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity and a professor at […]

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Ending crony capitalism – how markets work

Crony capitalism — businesses capturing the state for commercial advantage, serving politicians and officials instead of the public — ought to be brought to an end. A prerequisite to that is a good understanding of how social cooperation in the market works. Israel Kirzner’s, How Markets Work: Disequilibrium, Entrepreneurship and Discovery (PDF) provides a brief and readable explanation. From the book’s page at the IEA: Human action consists of ‘grappling with an essentially unknown future’, not being confronted with clearly-specified […]

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Will the Chancellor back a Competition Commission inquiry into LIBOR setting?

Before I left Westminster on Thursday, I submitted this written question to the Chancellor for answer on 2 July: Steve Baker (Wycombe): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the need for a Competition Commission inquiry into the routine procedures for setting LIBOR. via the Order Book Combined [2 July 2012 (the ‘Questions Book’)]. With Sir Mervyn King calling for the key market price of LIBOR to be set by a market, there is […]

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Luigi Zingales – Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity

This morning, I had breakfast with the engaging and insightful Luigi Zingales, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at Chicago Booth and author of Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity. Via Amazon: A rising star in economics takes a forceful and sometimes personal look at how pro-business forces overwhelmed the pro-market principles that made American capitalism great, and how to get it back on track. Born in Italy, University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales witnessed firsthand […]

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Cutting Red Tape: the Government’s Progress

The Government claim progress on cutting red tape for businesses. They have provided the ticker, right, which gives a running update of the red tape scrapped. Under the previous Government, the equivalent of six new regulations every working day were passed, or over 1,500 in a year. In 2011, the Government cut that flow to 89 measures of which just 19 imposed any cost to business. In addition the Government have: Capped the cost of new regulations, through the One […]

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