(Website: Adam Smith Institute)
“Independent, non-profit and non-partisan, we work to promote free market, neoliberal ideas through research, publishing, media outreach, and education. The Institute is today at the forefront of making the case for free markets and a free society in the United Kingdom.”
The Adam Smith Institute (ASI) is marketing and public relations for the most inhumane and most destructive exploitative capitalists. Its objective is to promote extreme free-market annihilation of society for the benefit of a small minority of soulless financial fanatics. Inevitably, this promotion is presented entirely dishonestly.
For the ASI, the state should exist solely as a tool used to channel taxes into the grubby hands of a few organised corporate criminals. It is glibly proud of its vociferous support for the privatisation of vital public services in Thatcherite 1980s and beyond. The intent of these ‘privatisations’ was to provide a steady source of income (taken from taxes) to financial crooks, preceded by a handover of public property, land and infrastructure. The consequence for the public has been a steady decline in the extent and quality of the services and continuous unrestricted rise in the cost of the use of the services. Gas, electricity, water and public transport are all now absurdly expensive and of poor quality. The ‘owners’ continue to rake in unearned income.
Current ASI policies express a desire to see a violent expansion of the mass theft of public services to further enhance the offshore stash of the wealth exploiters.
(Bullet points below in italics are quotes from ASI Policy)
- Allow profit-making free schools to spur the creation of school chains that compete on quality and standards.
- Give parents the option of a voucher-like bursary so they can send their children to an independent school if they wish.
- Scrap the national curriculum and allow schools to experiment with different subjects and approaches to teaching.
How does a fee-less school become “profit-making?” What would happen if all parents wanted to send their children to independent schools via the use of a “voucher-like bursary?” Clearly, neither question can be answered within the realms of logic. A cursory glance between the lines of the ASI bullet points above reveals the aims of an expansion of fee-paying schools and of an expansion of the taxes drain into the hands of privateers. The third bullet point is an admission that the quality and usefulness of education is irrelevant to these scoundrels.
In a section entitled “free market welfare” ASI supports
- Favour simple cash payments to people dependent on income, not whether someone is in work or not and not dependent on where they live.
- Welfare should subsidise work, not unemployment. Protect Working Tax Credits from cuts, and reform them to make them an automatic part of the PAYE system – they are the best form of welfare that we currently have.
- Phase in a Negative Income Tax or Basic Income to replace most existing forms of welfare except disability benefits, and integrate into the tax system.
- Scrap the National Living Wage and stop raising the National Minimum Wage. Low Pay Commission should instead advise on the optimal level of Negative Income Tax (or similar) payments.
The minimum wage is barely basic sustenance for many people. Any reduction, by any circuitous means, is a vile attack on the lowest paid. Working tax credits exist to allow disreputable businesses to receive public money to pay their employees rather than the businesses paying the workers sufficiently. It is a free handout to the employers, not to the employees. ‘Negative income tax’ is a scam whereby unemployment benefits paid to a claimant are repaid by a balancing of income tax paid at the end of the financial year; that is, the system is, effectively, a loan. ASI favours a welfare benefit level that is independent of location, thus enabling further social cleansing of London. The phrase “welfare should subsidise work, not unemployment” is simultaneously meaningless and sinister.
In a section entitled “healthcare competition” ASI supports
- Abolish national pay bargaining in the NHS. Devolve pay negotiation and hiring powers to Trusts, and make patient outcomes the only goal. Increase private provision of care where appropriate.
- Aim towards a Singaporean-style system of full private provision of healthcare paid for with a combination of private health savings accounts and catastrophic health insurance, with government covering costs for those who cannot pay for themselves.
ASI aim for a healthcare system where anyone with a serious chronic illness will be made destitute and where the vulture insurance companies will rake in the money for nothing.
- Take the poorest workers out of tax altogether by pegging the personal allowance and National Insurance threshold to the National Minimum Wage rate.
- Merge income tax and both employee and employer National Insurance contributions into a single system rate to boost transparency.
- Abolish all taxes on capital and transactions, such as corporation tax, capital gains tax and stamp duty.
- Broaden the VAT base and consider replacing income tax with a progressive consumption tax, so savings are not taxed.
- Reform business rates and council tax into a pure Land Value Tax on unimproved land values so that capital investment is not taxed.
At present, people being paid the national minimum wage are below the tax threshold and, so, the first bullet point above is entirely meaningless and a con. The second point suggests that employers’ National Insurance contributions should disappear. The clarity of ASI’s objectives is seen in the remaining points: Higher tax for the poorest (VAT) and huge tax deductions for the wealthiest (abolition of capital gains tax, corporation tax, financial transaction tax and reduction of council tax.) It is promotion of blatant theft; it is a sales pitch for further concentration of wealth.
The think-tanks that promote extreme free-market ideologies tend to use similar techniques when presenting their pitches: Their salespersons adopt the demeanour, language and phraseology of academic experts. This act is a facet of the confidence trick. The ASI has a different strategy: Truculent slappable fratboys. Nurtured vileness adorned by an assassin’s smirk.
As the table on page 6 of a Transparify report into think-tank donor transparency shows, ASI keeps its financial backers secret. Alongside three other cheerleaders for public services destruction, Centre for Policy Studies, Institute of Economic Affairs and Policy Exchange, ASI doesn’t want the public, who are the target of its ideology, to know which tax-dodging organised international thieves and fraudsters are employing PR machines like the ASI .
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks
- Centre for Policy Studies
- Policy Network
- Industry and Parliamentary Trust
- Legatum Institute
- Human Security Centre
- Countryside Alliance
- Bruges Group
- Centre for Social Justice
- Tax-Payers’ Alliance
- Progress Online
- Henry Jackson Society
- Freedom Association
- Policy Exchange
- Migration Watch
- Institute of Economic Affairs
- Institute For Free Trade
- The Bow Group
- British Foreign Policy Group
- Orthodox Conservatives
- The Free Speech Union