Are There Limits to Free Speech?

April 19, 2018

Are there limits to free speech - and if so, where should they be set?

In this week’s podcast, Dr Steve Davies, Head of Education at the IEA and News Editor Kate Andrews examine this question.

They take a look at free speech on social media, and at universities, where issues like ‘safe spaces’ and ‘no platforming’ are increasingly controversial.

Yet, the situation is rather more complex than it might seem.

Though, Steve argues, speech should be as free as possible - private institutions and private individuals also have a right to determine what speech they permit on their own property.

Public funding of institutions can also complicate matters, as Steve and Kate explain.

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How Much Should We Care About Inequality?

April 12, 2018

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 civilization?

On our podcast this week, Dr Steve Davies, Head of Education at the IEA, and News Editor Kate Andrews, examine this controversial topic.

As Steve explains, inequality - and public concern about it - has been a feature of societies around the world, for centuries.

They also challenge the commonly held view that inequality has been rising in recent years - and examine whether people care more about some kinds of inequity than others.

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How to Calculate the Gender Pay Gap: The case of Uber

April 5, 2018

The deadline for large companies to report their gender pay gaps has now passed. We are left with a huge influx of data, most of which fails to give us any meaningful comparison between men and women in like-for-like circumstances. 

What is the best way to calculate a gender pay gap? Today we’re joined by the IEA’s former Head of Tech, now policy analyst at the CATO Institute, Diego Zuluaga to analyse the case of ride-sharing app Uber, and what its data can teach us about the gender pay gap.

Interviewed by the IEA’s Digital Officer Madeline Grant, the pair look at the issue of the gender pay gap more broadly: where does it originate, what does it mean for women, and has public policy been successful throughout the world in addressing pay gaps?

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COUNTDOWN: One Year Till Brexit

March 29, 2018

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.

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PURITANS: Reflections on the nanny state and the modern-day feminist movement

March 22, 2018

Today we’re joined by author and academic Dr Joanna Williams, and the IEA’s Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon, to discuss freedom and feminism in the 21st century.

Right now, the authoritarians seems to be winning the battle of ideas, following a raft of new nanny state legislation over the last few years - with ever more draconian schemes in the pipeline.

Interviewed by the IEA’s Kate Andrews, Chris and Joanna take a look at what all of this means for ordinary consumers - and whether we can expect a backlash against the nanny state, embodied by groups like Public Health England.

They also examine what is becoming an increasingly puritanical culture around feminism, and what the future holds for the movement in the wake of the ‘Me Too’ campaign.  

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The Breakdown of UK Politics

March 16, 2018

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.

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Shanker Singham: The Politics of Trade

March 9, 2018

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.

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Carillion and the Future of Outsourcing

March 1, 2018

The collapse and liquidation of the building firm Carillion - a company responsible for numerous government projects - has ignited a row over Britain's system of outsourcing public services

Many are now calling for such procurement contracts to be taken back into state hands.

Kate Andrews, News Editor at the Institute of Economic Affairs, and Head of Education Dr Steve Davies, sat down to discuss the question of outsourcing, and whether public services are best delivered 'in-house' by government, or through the private sector .

They also examine the controversial Private Finance Initiative, or PFI contracts, and touch on ways the government could reform its outsourcing structures for better outcomes.

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Deconstructing Industrial Strategy

February 22, 2018

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.

They also address HS2 - one of the most controversial investment projects of recent years.

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Occupational hazard - how UK licensing laws harm employment

February 15, 2018

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.

He also takes a look at the wider state of employment and education in the UK, and assesses how Britain’s approach compares with other countries around the world.

Download Len's report 'Conspiracy Against the Public', for free here: https://iea.org.uk/publications/conspiracy-against-the-public-occupational-regulation-in-the-uk-economy/

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