31 December 2015

Thank you for reading CapX in 2015


It has been a great year for CapX, with our readership quadrupling and the launch of a US edition. There was no shortage of subjects to tackle in 2015, and next year with a pivotal US presidential election taking place, and in all likelihood a British referendum on the European Union, will be just as fascinating. Below is my pick in no particular order of ten stories from CapX in 2015.

Have a happy New Year.

Iain Martin
Editor, CapX


17 reasons why the world has never been a better place

Zac Tate

With tensions high in Eastern Europe, a cancerous Islamic fundamentalism festering in the cradle of civilisation, and an assertive China enforcing claims to the contested Spratly and Paracel Islands, it is tempting to believe that the world is falling apart. CapX Deputy Editor Zac Tate offered 17 interactive graphs that show we live in the safest, most prosperous time in human history.

Dear Eurosceptic top Tories: get off the fence, now

Tim Montgomerie

What are Tory front-benchers waiting for before they commit to the Brexit campaign? It is clear that even if David Cameron is granted every renegotiation, the EU will be essentially unchanged. Britain needs a Home Secretary who is clear that the immigration target cannot be achieved inside the EU, and a Brexit-supporting Business Secretary to show that Britain could be more competitive if it has the freedom to sign its own FTAs.

Why Paul Mason’s post-capitalism won’t work

Iain Martin

Capitalism is not an ideology. It is simply a system – the best discovered, albeit imperfect, as mankind is imperfect – for trading what people want and creating profit which is saved, invested in innovation or consumed in a virtuous cycle. That being the case, I cannot see post-capitalist airlines, or football teams, or holiday resorts, or cars, being a big success.

Three Reasons Why It’s Good to Be Marco Rubio Right Now

Diana Furchtgott-Roth

In every post-war election with the exception of 1964 and 1980, the establishment favourite has won the Republican primary. While conservatives do well in down-ballot races such as congressional primaries, presidential primaries attract a bigger electorate. A candidate who does well with Republican voters who are not that conservative—think Romney, McCain or Bush—is well-positioned to win the primary. This looks like Rubio right now.

Trickle-down economics is a leftist lie

Daniel Hannan

We’ve all heard the Left rage about how “trickle-down economics” has failed, but where are those defending it? Nowhere, because they don’t exist. Market proponents want lower taxes to spur enterprise, providing products and services to mass consumers, at which point the money trickles up. Advocates of handouts for the rich exist only in Leftists’ imaginations.

Women: beware socialists bearing gifts

Victoria Bateman

When it comes to women and the Left, the story is one of turbulence rather than harmony. “To many on the Left, including socialists like my grandfather, the class war trumped everything else. There was no particular need to worry about women.” Corbyn’s failure to appoint women to top positions is consistent with the Leftist tradition of overlooking and ignoring half the population.

Scotland has gone mad

Chris Deerin

Scotland has many brilliant individuals, but the land of Adam Smith is stuck in an ideological rut post independence referendum. “It has become a soft and sappy nation, intellectually listless, coddled, a land of received wisdom and one-track minds, narrow parameters and mass groupthink”. England is alien, the NHS is a religion, and meaningful reform has become impossible.

Harry Potter and the magic of markets 

Rachel Cunliffe

How did the power of the market solve an issue that involved one book, two sisters and an eagerness to read the latest installment of Harry Potter? A Dutch auction! “Even today, I’d find it difficult to come up with better way of teaching a child the most important tenet of economics: a thing is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.”

What the Shadow Cabinet can learn from the cast of Friends

Julia Hartley-Brewer

Soon after the US sitcom became a worldwide success, way back in 1996, the six leading cast members decided to band together to get a salary increase, insisting that they would not accept any deal that was not offered to all six of the ensemble. When Mr Corbyn moves to purge his first Shadow minister, they must all stand firm together. The message must be clear: either they all stay or they all go.

The myth that capitalism only rewards the rich

Nina Sanandaji 

During the 19th and 20th century statist intellectuals would still argue that socialism and state planning could create greater prosperity than markets. Reality proved these ideas wrong – big time. It is today quite evident, even for those who would ideologically wish otherwise, that free markets are best at fostering innovation and growth.

Iain Martin is Editor of CapX