How much should we worry about inequality? With ongoing Corbyn-mania in UK politics, and the popularity of books like Thomas Piketty’s Capital in The 21st Century, it seems like we’ve never cared more about promoting equality of outcome. But is our concern justified? Is economic disparity a characteristic of modernity – or a persistent feature of human civilisation? On our podcast this week, Dr Steve Davies, Head of Education at the IEA, and News Editor Kate Andrews, examine this controversial topic.
Exactly one year from today, Britain will officially quit the EU. But what do we know so far, and what happens next?
Today joined by Julian Jessop, Head of the IEA’s Brexit Unit, and Shanker Singham, Director of the IEA’s new International Trade and Competition Unit. Interviewed by Digital Officer Madeline Grant, the pair answer some of the most pressing questions about Brexit – including what, if anything, we’ve managed to negotiate so far, how our economy has fared until now, the future of the Irish border, and whether there is any chance of Brexit being overturned.
UK politics is experiencing a realignment – with the old divides of left and right gradually giving way to new fault lines, based on social values, attitudes to immigration and a sense of national identity. That’s the view of Dr Steve Davies, who believes that the political parties of Britain are, increasingly, at odds with the electorate and their own core voters. This situation, he argues, has been exposed and exacerbated by the results of the EU referendum in 2016. A realignment in British politics is now inevitable.
Today, the IEA’s News Editor sat down with Steve to discuss his theory, what it means for UK politics, and how the two major parties will navigate these momentous changes over the next few years.
In the latest instalment of our podcast series, Live From Lord North Street, News Editor Kate Andrews discusses trade arrangements and customs unions post-Brexit with Shanker Singham, who is joining the IEA as the director of our new International Trade and Competition unit. The pair examine Theresa May’s recent speech – one of six in a series dubbed the ‘Road to Brexit’ – in which the PM set out five key tests with which to judge an eventual deal with the EU. They also examine the future of regulation outside of the European Union, and potential alternatives to full regulatory alignment.
Hastened by sluggish productivity growth, the once unfashionable idea of a centrally planned Industrial Strategy is back on the political agenda in Britain. But will it have the desired effect? Joining us today is the IEA’s Head of Transport Dr Richard Wellings, along with Head of Tech Policy Diego Zuluaga.
The pair take a look at how industrial strategies have historically fared around the world, and examine the extent to which we can rely on the free market to deliver the infrastructure we need – and where government should fit into all this.
Britain takes a uniquely restrictive approach to occupational licensing. Around one in five UK employees requires a licence from government to practice their chosen occupation – a proportion which has doubled in the last fifteen years.
Len Shackleton, IEA editorial fellow and author of a recent report into occupational licensing, sat down with us this week to discuss the current situation. He examines whether the government’s approach is necessary or desirable – particularly in a world of technological change, with algorithms, robotics and artificial intelligence increasingly able to perform some of the functions of the established professions.
The question of whether Britain should stay in the EU’s customs union has dominated the news cycle recently – with the CBI and other high profile voices suggesting that remaining in the Customs Union would be consistent with Britain’s vote to Leave the EU.
But would this be a political possibility? And would it be wise?We’re joined by Julian Jessop, the IEA’s Chief Economist and Head of the Brexit Unit, to give us update on these developments. Julian explains what the Customs Union is, how it differs from the Single Market, and explores some of the pros and cons of staying in it.
“Fake news” – a favourite term of Donald Trump – was voted 2017’s ‘word of the year’. Indeed, the spread of fake news has been cited as a serious threat to democracy, free debate and the Western order – with many believing it’s made further regulation of social media inevitable. And yet, in a world where social media has allowed anyone to create and disseminate information, there is still little agreement on what it is, how much of a problem it is, and what to do about it.
Today the IEA’s Chief Economist Julian Jessop and News Editor Kate Andrews discuss the new media landscape – which has shifted dramatically in recent years with the growth of hugely influential tech companies like Apple and Google.
The pair discuss, what, if anything, governments and Tech Giants should do to address the spread of fake news, and what the future regulatory landscape will look like.
The IEA’s Head of Health and Welfare Dr Kristian Niemietz discusses the UK’s national treasure- also known as the National Health Service. In the wake of yet another winter crisis, Kristian explains how other countries manage to avoid system shutdowns every year, mainly through the use of market mechanisms that lead to better efficiencies, and in turn, better patient outcomes. Interviewed by the IEA’s News Editor Kate Andrews, Kristian also addresses the issue of funding, noting that more cash can lead to a more generous healthcare system, but it is not obvious that it would help to solve the bread-and-butter issues facing the NHS, like A&E waiting times and cancer survival rates. Kristian lays out his ideal healthcare system, which he thinks could be a legitimate contender for ‘envy of the world’.
In our first podcast of 2018, we look at one of the most critical areas in public policy – housing. The Institute of Economic Affairs’s Kristian Niemietz and former Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute Ben Southwood discuss the housing shortage, its supply-side nature and the politics which underpin it. Interviewed by the IEA’s Kate Andrews, the pair examine the historical origins of the housing crisis, which date back to legislation introduced under Clement Attlee’s government in the 1940s. They also look at the well-organised NIMBY movement (short for “Not In My Back Yard”), and its influence on government policy.