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Planning was introduced in 1947 as an attempt to co-ordinate, but also to promote development. Over time, however, its focus shifted to urban containment and it has become a brake on economic growth. It is high time to radically simplify the planning system to unleash the true development potential of the British economy. [...]

Open up the land and build a more prosperous future

WHAT makes a country rich? Reading British newspapers, the impression one could get is that ever-rising property prices contribute a great deal to our economic prosperity. House-price increases are usually reported as a good thing, but this is something that worries us a lot when they stagnate or even fall. But what do high house prices, and indeed high land prices, mean for the economy as a whole? [...]

Slippery slope

It is time to change our attitude to high land and house prices. What we should strive for is price stability at the very least. This would strengthen our economic competitiveness, and future generations of first-time buyers will thank us - if national politicians ever have the courage to stop feeding the craving of the middle class for exponentially increasing house prices. [...]

The Best Laid Plans – How planning prevents economic growth

In three previous publications the report's authors have shown that most of the problems with the housing market - low supply, high prices, overcrowding - can be attributed to the planning system. Evans and Hartwich conclude in The Best Laid Plans that the main objective of planning has been to limit the spatial extent of cities and that this artificial reduction of land supply has severe consequences for society, the environment and the economy. [...]

Vorsicht, Staatsmedizin! Was Ulla Schmidt von Englands Misere lernen kann

In Zeiten der Diskussionen um die Reform des deutschen Gesundheitswesens lohnt ein Blick nach Großbritannien. Dort kann man lernen, wie ein Gesundheitsdienst besser nicht organisiert werden sollte. Es heißt, um in London zu leben, müsse man entweder reich und berühmt oder doch zumindest verrückt sein. Man sollte allerdings auch gesund oder wenigstens privat krankenversichert sein, denn sonst bekommt man es früher oder später mit dem National Health Service (NHS), dem staatlichen Gesundheitsdienst, zu tun. [...]

Taxing land value is just another questionable tax

There has recently been much public debate about the introduction of a land value tax. To its supporters such a tax promises to achieve several goals simultaneously. On closer inspection, however, the arguments in favour of land value taxation are not convincing. On the contrary, the economic foundations on which proponents of this tax rely are dubious, and there are significant legal, moral and practical problems with land value taxation. [...]

A property-owning oligarchy?

The British seem to be fixated with house prices and follow the development of the property market like the weather report or the latest football results. Prices have been going up and up in the past, and if annual house price inflation occasionally drops to a mere five or six per cent, one can already hear commentators becoming fearful of a slump. [...]

Science vs. Superstition – The case for a new scientific enlightenment

science vs superstition – the case for a new scientific enlightenment challenges the common belief that scientific progress in today’s world inevitably entails an element of danger or moral uncertainty. While many people seem to lack the vision of a genuinely better future, the authors of this collection of essays believe that it is time to make the case for a more positive attitude towards the future – a future that is made better through science. [...]

Climate change – scepticism and science as drivers of progress

It should be apparent that climate change is an issue that requires a serious scientific, political and economic discussion to which unfortunately there are no convenient shortcuts. Because of this, it is not helpful that the public discussion is too often dominated by scare stories, simplified and often distorted facts and the pretence of a consensus which encompasses everything from the reasons of climate change to the necessary answers to it. [...]

Ideen statt Geschenke

Die Erfolgsgeschichte des IEA hat in Großbritannien und darüber hinaus in der englischsprachigen Welt viele Nachahmer gefunden. Nur Deutschland ist, was das Angebot an unabhängigen Denkfabriken betrifft, ein Entwicklungsland geblieben. In Berlin bemüht sich Wolfgang Müller, Geschäftsführer des gerade eingerichteten Instituts für Unternehmerische Freiheit, um Spenden für seinen, dem IEA nachempfundenen Think Tank einzuwerben - und muss doch immer wieder feststellen, wie schwer deutsche Unternehmer für solch ein Engagement zu gewinnen sind. [...]