According to the Adam Smith Institute Blog a Treasury paper on Flat Tax was 'censored'. This from the organisation that reguarly deletes comments containing the slightest hint of disagreement with the party line and which even deletes trackbacks!
Note also in the post on Samizdata how the quote from a Telegraph article is edited. The original says that a FT could create a "mini-economic boom" while according to the Samizdata post it would create such a boom.
No doubt future citations on the topic will point to the Samizdata source and so a new myth will develop. As ever I tend to the cock-up rather than the conspiracy theory of history - another thing which increasingly distances me from the denizens of Samizdata land - so I'm not going to point the finger, but at best this is sloppy, at worst it is the sort of dishonesty implicitly criticised by the ASI.
I hold no great brief for the ASI - I think they are by and large shills for big business and the corporate state. Their support for a Flat Tax is the cover for an attack on public expenditure, not however because they believe it to be intrinsically bad, but because money spent by the public sector doesn't go to their friends in the corporate state. This doesn't stop them taking money from a Labour Government but I suspect that says as much about the decline of Labour as a source of any coherent political thinking as it does about the ASI.
Finally this thought from Sean Gabb:
If you think that I came here tonight to defend multinational corporations and the international government institutions, you have chosen the wrong person. These are dishonest. They are corrupt. They are incompetent. They have blood on their hands.
But do not suppose for a moment that the world trading order as it actually exists is liberal or more than incidentally connected with free markets. A free market is a place where individuals and groups of individuals come together to transact voluntary exchanges without any backing of government force. To call the actually existing order liberal – or “neo-liberal” – is as taxonomically accurate as calling the old Soviet Communist Party syndicalist. That order is based on tariffs, subsidies and a web of other often invisible regulations. The international institutions are a projection of Western states. The multinational corporations are creatures of these states. They shelter behind the privilege of limited liability. They get their political friends to cartelise markets, and do favours in return.
This is not market liberalism. It is a fraud played on us all by our ruling classes – these being those politicians, bureaucrats, educators, lawyers and media and business people who derive wealth, power and status from an enlarged and activist state.
[Thanks to Kevin Carson for reminding me about this speech]
The ASI, for all its protestations, is a part of the fraud. Samizdata is a much looser grouping, but so long as enough of them are prepared to accept the ASI's mythmaking they become accomplices to it.