Have Bankers Been Practising Socialism? The Debate About the Top 1 Per Cent

Boris Johnson has got into trouble for his statement that it is “surely relevant to a conversation about equality” that just 2 per cent of “our species” has an IQ over 130. Over the past couple of years, the Occupy movement has made headlines by attacking the top 1 per cent. The summer 2013 edition […]

Is the ‘rent-seeker’ dying out?

The concept of the “rent seeker” is one of the most valuable in the whole of economics. The activity of rent-seeking involves obtaining money by manipulating the social or political environment in which economic activity takes place, instead of getting paid for creating new wealth. It is a part of public choice theory, for which […]

Nick Bosanquet: I was wrong to criticise Thatcher in 1981 – but she didn’t go far enough

IF ANYONE doubts Margaret Thatcher’s contribution to reversing decline, they should read Sir Douglas Wass’s remarkable book Decline to Fall. Sir Douglas, formerly permanent secretary to the Treasury, wrote extensively on the 1976 IMF crisis, when Britain was forced to beg for a £2.3bn bailout. It presents a frightening picture of policymakers living in a […]

Entrepreneurship and the filthy rich

Peter Mandelson famously said that he was ‘intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich’. As was the case with many aspects of New Labour, he was working firmly in the Leninist intellectual tradition. Some 20 years earlier, the then leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Deng Xiaoping, stated that ‘to get rich is glorious’. The […]

Tax cuts, public spending and morality

Kier Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has vowed to ‘ramp up’ prosecutions against individuals for tax evasion five-fold in two years. He has made clear his plan to target middle-class earners, citing as examples ‘lawyers, tax consultants and plumbers’, an intriguing perspective on the British class system, or perhaps we are all middle-class now. […]

A stitch in time. We need smarter government, but less of it

What is the connection between the content of Boris Johnson’s speech this week to the CBI, tax avoidance and evasion, executive pay, petty crime and plagiarism by students?  This is yet another one where economics can help us with the solution. Economists have long used the example of a factory which imposes costs on other […]

Pharmaceuticals and Taxation: International Experience

Here is a summary of a presentation that Volterra associate Nick Bosanquet recently delivered in Sao Paulo at a  conference sponsored by Interfarma – the Brazilian Research-based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.   Brazil can look forward to a very positive development period between now and the next Olympics There is a shift in global economic growth with a key hub […]