Why the 2005 Gambling Act never paid off

The IEA is asking a panel why the 2005 Gambling Act never paid off:

…many of the liberalising measures mooted for the 2005 Gambling Act were dropped by a Labour administration beset by a bruising press campaign – warning of “blackjack on every street corner” – and hamstrung by pre-election jitters.

But is it now time for the Act to be revisited?  Should its more liberal intentions be restored? And what benefits would it bring to the casino industry, its consumers and the UK economy?

You can join them Tuesday September 11  at the IEA, on Lord North Street, from 6.30-8.00pm. RSVP via the IEA.

Hayek’s view of Thatcher and Reagan

© Jay Galvin

The IEA offer a solution to the questions of Hayek’s relationship with Thatcher and Reagan at their lecture of 5 September 2012.

Each year during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership she attended the annual IEA lectures in memory of Friedrich Hayek, whose work she greatly admired. While they mostly agreed on the general direction of public policy, however, Hayek was always wary of becoming implicated in Margaret Thatcher’s reforms. Nicholas Wapshott explores the new utopia of the Right that Hayek hoped to establish through the annual meetings of the Mont Pelerin Society and suggests why he was reluctant to fully support the works of his most prominent followers, Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States.

The lecture is scheduled for 6.30pm at the IEA. Full details and options to RSVP are given on the IEA website.

Authur Laffer on the Laffer Curve

[One of] a few of the advances that powered this extraordinary century


I remember once passing a stall manned by socialists and surrounded by a small huddle of voters. I had a few seconds, but only a few seconds, to express my distaste before getting back to paid work. I listened for a few moments and then I intervened and suggested that the voters present should look up one simple concept on Wikipedia: the Laffer Curve.

I was quite cocky I suppose, and the socialists told me so, fair enough.

The curve is a practical impediment to anyone whose ideas require higher taxes, but it also poses an interesting moral problem. The maxim “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” is equivalent to 100% taxation and the Laffer curve informs us that nobody will produce anything at that rate. I often wonder if socialists think through their ideas* to the end and think about what occurs at 100% rates. If no-one wants to work, how do you force them. Ayn Rand – who lived under Russian socialism – gave a clue in the form of Dagny Taggart’s part III epiphany that the population would be forced, by fear of starvation into producing just enough that when the looters take their share, they are not left with nothing. The result would inevitably be dire poverty and violent thuggish dictatorship. I am told, by another Russian, that tax rates were more like 95% so I guess the Russian’s never found out what this is really like, but the Laffer Curve seems to predict it. At that stall I was hoping, perhaps vainly, that an average voter might see that.

So, it is with a little excitement that I can tell readers that Arthur Laffer will be speaking about Britain and its relation to the Laffer Curve at an IEA event on the 27th June. Full details over at the IEA.

* more on this later!

IEA Occasional Lecture: Why Government keeps growing with Yaron Brook

Yaron Brook will speak for IEA to argue that “to successfully stop the growth of the state, Americans will have to discover that laissez-faire capitalism is the only moral system – one that must be defended without guilt”.

The talk will take place at IEA, 2 Lord North Street, London, SW1 on 19 June 2012 at 6.30pm. To attend RSVP to iea@iea.org.uk.