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Live from Lord North Street is a podcast series from the Institute of Economic Affairs, examining some of the pressing issues of our time - from Brexit and the gig economy to migration and the future of automation. Featuring some of the top minds in Westminster, Live from Lord North Street brings you weekly commentary and analysis.

Live from Lord North Street is a podcast series from the Institute of Economic Affairs, examining some of the pressing issues of our time - from Brexit and the gig economy to migration and the future of automation. Featuring some of the top minds in Westminster, Live from Lord North Street brings you weekly commentary and analysis.
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Live from Lord North Street is a podcast series from the Institute of Economic Affairs, examining some of the pressing issues of our time - from Brexit and the gig economy to migration and the future of automation. Featuring some of the top minds in Westminster, Live from Lord North Street brings you weekly commentary and analysis.




Universal Credit: Good idea, badly implemented?

Universal Credit has been dubbed one of the most radical changes to the British welfare system since the Beveridge Report, which proposed widespread reforms to the social welfare system, to tackle what he identified as five "Giant Evils" in society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease. Since Beveridge, the welfare system has continued to morph; since World War II, we’ve added child benefits, housing benefit, tax credits… I could go on, the list kept growing. Many have argued...


Online Harms

The Government took a swipe at global internet giants on Monday, suggesting rules that would require companies to proactively remove content the government views as illegal or “harmful,” and giving the government the right to block or even shut down offending sites. As part of the Online Harms White Paper, a joint proposal from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Home Office, a new independent regulator will be introduced to ensure companies meet their...


The Gender Pay Gap reporting measures

The free weekly magazine for women, Stylist magazine, says “…women ask for the legislation. Women talk to their employers. Women do everything they can and, despite it all, the gender pay gap is getting bigger.” In today’s podcast, IEA Digital Manager Darren Grimes is joined by Kate Andrews, Associate Director at the IEA. In a new IEA briefing, out today, Kate argues that mandated gender pay gap reporting (due on April 4 for companies with 250+ employees) produces misleading and inaccurate...


The economics of renewables

Most agree that green energy has a huge role to play in the future – indeed, even now. But the debate around renewables and their ability to help tackle climate change rages on. In the US, President Trump faced mass backlash when he pulled out of the Paris climate agreement – yet recent figures suggest that reductions in carbon emission in the US have been greater than in any other developed country. Here in the UK, the government has brought in a plethora of regulation to tackle the issue...


75 years since 'The Road to Serfdom'

75 years ago this month, Fredrick Hayek, the Austrian Economist recruited by the LSE, published his manifesto for a free and liberal society: “The Road to Serfdom.” The book – or some might say the siren alert to the perils of socialism – was written in the evenings between 1940 and 1943, while he was acting as a war-time Cambridge fire warden. Hayek and his publishers anticipated modest sales. Indeed, war-time paper rationing allowed it to be printed only in small runs. But the...


Deal or No Deal: Is it time to tackle tariffs?

On the morning of 13th of March the Government confirmed that it intends to eliminate 87% of tariffs on goods imported into Britain, but only if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and only for an initial 12 month period. And, as we record this podcast, it looks very likely to be taken off the table on the evening of the 13th of March anyway, as MPs seem set intent on ruling out a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Critics of any form of unilateral tariff reduction usually focus on one or more of three...


The economics of football

27 years after the founding of the Premier League, it would be difficult for anyone to argue that it is anything other than a great success story. It’s the poster boy for a global, open, free-trading Britain. The beautiful game and the English league is an incredibly successful export business. But players’ enormous salaries, and transfer fees of hundreds of millions of pounds are variously described as obscene, ludicrous and even unsustainable. Each year the eyewatering amount of money...


Is Hayek more relevant than ever before?

In this week’s episode of the IEA’s podcast ‘IEA conversations’, the IEA’s Associate Director Kate Andrews sat down with Francis Boulle, who recently took part in the BBC Two’s ‘Mastermind’, braving the black chair to win the coveted Mastermind trophy. What made this particular episode of Mastermind special was Francis’s choice of specialist subject for the interrogation-style question and answer session. Francis chose Friedrich Hayek as his specialist subject, one of the most important...


How compatible is democracy with free market progress?

Brexit has revitalized debates about democracy. Restoring democracy and sovereignty can come risk for those strongly committed to free markets — that our fellow citizens might choose another path, perhaps even one that could lead to socialist and freedom-hindering policies. But is that a risk we must take? In a free society, what individual rights should never be infringed on? What should be voted on? And is there a place for technocratic decision-making? In a new paper, the Director of...


Countering Crony Capitalism

Davos, the super-exclusive annual gathering of the world’s political and business elite displays all the features of a petri dish for the spread of “crony capitalism”. A tiny number of extraordinarily powerful individuals meet to discuss how the affairs of all seven billion human beings should be planned and co-ordinated. It represents an environment for the growth of regulation, intervention and enhanced barriers to entry for small businesses. All too often what we see in criticisms of...


But Venezuela wasn't REAL socialism... was it?

Latin America’s once-richest country, sitting atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves, is an economic basket case, a humanitarian disaster, with a dictatorship whose demise many believe cannot come soon enough. But, is it socialism that’s to blame for the widespread starvation, critical medical shortages, an explosion in crime, and a refugee crisis to rival Syria’s? You’re much more likely to read that this crisis is the product of corruption, cronyism, populism, authoritarianism,...


Immigration: Picking the low-hanging fruits

Opinion surveys consistently suggest that the British public is overwhelmingly hostile to immigration - a hostility which shapes our immigration policies in many ways - often negatively. However, if we dig a little deeper into the polling data, it becomes clear that most people in Britain are not pro or anti immigration per se. Despite overall hostility to immigration, there are types of immigration that are widely accepted, or even popular with the general public. Today we're joined by...


Brexit: What Happens Next?

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister suffered a historic defeat, after the Withdrawal Agreement was voted down in Parliament by a margin of 230 votes. Today we're joined by Victoria Hewson and Dr Radomir Tylecote, of the IEA’s International Trade and Competition Unit. Interviewed by Madeline Grant, the pair examine what these developments mean and what renegotiation with the EU could hold, especially when it comes to securing the UK's ability to have an independent trade...


The A List

In any society there are ‘elite’ positions that command a high income and, more importantly, high status. Unsurprisingly, there is intense competition for these positions. But what happens when a society turns out more people qualified for these roles than the number of roles actually on offer? On this week’s podcast, the IEA’s Head of Education Dr Steve Davies discusses what he calls the ‘over-production of elites’ in society. The problem, he explains, is that elitism, unlike many things,...


The Foundational Economy

In this episode of the IEA podcast, the IEA’s Head of Education Dr Steve Davies walks the IEA’s Associate Director, Kate Andrews, through a relatively new theory called ‘The Foundational Economy’. This theory puts economic emphasis on material infrastructure in society - things like the water and sewer industries – and argues that these systems of provision have been undermined in the age of privatisation and outsourcing. Steve discusses the theory of the foundational economy, notes areas...


IEA Christmas Special 2018: A Year in Review

Welcome to our Christmas special - 2018: A Year in Review. Joining our Associate Director Kate Andrews today is IEA Director General Mark Littlewood, Research Director Dr Jamie Whyte and Director of the IEA’s FREER initiative Rebecca Lowe. The four talk through the biggest stories of the year, ranging from the ongoing Brexit negotiations, to the state of British political parties and ideologies, to other important happenings around the world. You’ll also get to hear who Mark, Jamie, and...


What does Brexit tell us about the regulatory state?

One underexplored aspect of the global economy in recent decades has been an explosion in the creation, issuing and enforcement of regulations. But is this emerging regulatory state necessary in the modern age, both to protect consumers and adapt to the changing needs of contemporary trade - or is this weight of regulation excessive and harmful to competition? Some even argue that such rules - often issued by unelected officials and removed from the electorate - represent a threat to...


Socialism - Good idea, badly done?

In this week's podcast, we were joined by the IEA's Head of Political Economy, Kristian Niemietz, the author of a recent paper which ventures into the realm of fiction to examine the fundamental flaws of socialism. Kristian and Editorial Manager Madeline Grant discuss the popular meme that socialism is a great idea in theory, but only fails due to bad implementation, or corrupt officials - as advocated by trendy millennial socialists today. Kristian debunks this idea, but explores how it...


The Banny State

Have we reached peak nanny state – or as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss recently put it – peak banny state? Politicians seem to be sneaking in nanny state legislation through the back door, often in the face of hostile public opinion. Labour brought in a draconian smoking ban in 2007 despite its 2005 manifesto explicitly exempting drinking establishments that did not serve food. David Cameron made no mention of plain packaging in his 2010 manifesto and the sugar tax did not...


The economics of dating

In this episode of Live from Lord North Street, Kate Andrews, Associate Director of the IEA was joined by Zoe Strimpel, a Sunday Telegraph columnist and historian of gender and relationships, and Madeline Grant, Editorial Manager at the IEA, to analyse the role of market forces in shaping our dating habits and personal relationships. Zoe and Madeline look at the early history of dating, and how economic, as well as cultural, trends have determined popular conceptions of romance. They also...