Economics

The Nightmare of the New Deal, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes (HarperCollins, 2007); 464 pages. If you ask a random sample of Americans who know (or think they know) something about U.S. history to discuss the twin subjects of the Great Depression and the ... [click for more]

The Hidden Consequences of Government Programs

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One of the more insidious effects of government production of goods and services is that the products that would have been produced in a free market — and the innovations that would have arisen — are never seen and therefore are never appreciated. That phenomenon helps to perpetuate the idea that without government intervention, certain ... [click for more]

Mugabe’s Fatal Conceit

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Readers of the New York Times got a front-page example recently of what F.A. Hayek called “the fatal conceit” — the idea that some great mind or committee can do a better job than the private market in organizing and directing an economy. Hayek argued that the market automatically coordinates the ... [click for more]

Autocracy Comes to America

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We appear to live in a republic. But look closely; it’s clearer every day that we live in a de facto autocracy. President Bush has managed to amass an astounding amount of power simply by scaring the American people and Congress into thinking that our continued existence as a society depends ... [click for more]

New Deal, Old Deal

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It’s commonly held that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal was a radical break with America’s past. Both fans and foes of Roosevelt embrace this position. Many libertarians join conservatives in believing that things were going satisfactorily in the United States until Roosevelt got his hands on power. Some take a slightly ... [click for more]

That Horrible Income Gap

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Karl Marx’s biggest selling point has always been his argument that workers are systematically underpaid under capitalism. They produce value and greedy capitalist owners cheat them out of it. Good economists have understood for centuries that in a free (and therefore competitive) labor market, it isn’t possible to underpay anyone for long. That fact, however, ... [click for more]

Soft-Hearted Economists Need Clear Heads

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One of the issues at stake in the 2006 midterm elections was a raise in the minimum wage. Voters in six states had minimum-wage increases on the ballot, and unfortunately all of the initiatives passed. This is not surprising, however. On the surface, it appears that requiring employers to pay at least a subsistence living ... [click for more]

The Myth of War Prosperity, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy by Robert Higgs (Oxford University Press: 2006); 240 pages; $35. So the New Deal was far from a success. But most conservatives and even many leftist scholars will concede this; ... [click for more]

The Myth of War Prosperity, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy by Robert Higgs (Oxford University Press: 2006); 240 pages; $35. During the run-up to the Iraq war, along with all the other myths circulating about U.S. foreign policy, economic misconceptions ... [click for more]

Thank You, Milton Friedman

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Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who died at 94 last week, told the economics profession and the public many things they needed to hear. After World War II, thanks to the theories of John Maynard Keynes, most economists and policymakers believed that government should manage the economy through ... [click for more]

Milton Friedman, R.I.P.

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I will leave it to others to remind people of the enormous contributions that Milton Friedman, who died yesterday, made to economics and liberty during his long life. I thought instead that I would relate three times that my life intersected with Friedman, all of which were big personal highlights ... [click for more]

Monopolies Versus the Free Market, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 Why do some think that successful firms are inherently evil? Why do many antitrust regulators actually believe that any firms that report consistently high profits should be under review by government officials? One part of the regulatory argument is ... [click for more]
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