Economics

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]

A Real Free Market Benefits Workers

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Hands are wringing over bleak reports that despite increased productivity, workers are falling behind: real median income — adjusted for government-caused inflation — is said to be falling. Meanwhile, corporate profits are skyrocketing, and the wealthiest are doing fine. In other words, the benefits of economic growth are said to ... [click for more]

Monopolies versus the Free Market, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 Market domination that has been achieved in the private sector through efficiency and consumer satisfaction is a phenomenon of a free-market economy. Even without any competition, such a business can never take customers for granted because of the possibility that new entrants will ... [click for more]

Economic Freedom and the Peasant Uprising of 1381

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There’s no bread, let them eat cake There’s no end to what they’ll take Flaunt the fruits of noble birth Wash the salt into the earth. — “Bastille Day,” by Rush Beginning roughly from the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, feudalism took hold of England and replaced the Saxon institutions that had defined that land for six centuries. Under this ... [click for more]

Jane Jacobs: The Spontaneity of Cities

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Lovers of freedom, cities, and spontaneous social processes lost a great champion April 25 when Jane Jacobs died at age 89. She was truly a remarkable woman. With no more than a high-school diploma, but also a keen eye for what other people miss and the ability to turn a phrase, ... [click for more]

Thank You … for a Free Market

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Have you ever noticed how often both sides to an economic transaction say, “Thank you” to each other? For example, when the cashier at the grocery store says to the customer, “Thank you,” more often than not the customer responds, “Thank you,” rather than “You’re welcome.” Why is this so? The reason has ... [click for more]

Government Keeps People Poor

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Washington reruns are boring. A Democrat beholden to Big Labor proposes an increase in the mandated minimum wage. Republicans beholden to Big (and small) Business defeat the bill. End of episode. Each side has thus reestablished its bona fides with its respective constituency and thus can return to what it really ... [click for more]

Oil Profits and the “Gassy” Political Classes

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In the wake of the twin behemoths, Katrina and Rita, gasoline prices went past $3 a gallon for the first time in U.S. history. Even accounting for inflation, the nation saw its highest prices ever at the pump. It was a made-to-order moment for the political classes in this country, and they did not disappoint, putting on a combination ... [click for more]

The New Mercantilism

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When the old-fashioned colonial powers like Great Britain ruled the waves, and mercantilism was the world’s organizing principle, the developed nations got cheap raw materials from the undeveloped nations and in turn sold them expensive finished goods. We may think that mercantilism and colonialism have been left behind, but ... [click for more]

The Separation of Economy and State

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Hardly a week goes by without some free-market think tank or foundation’s publishing an analysis of some government program, pointing out its inevitable “waste, fraud, and abuse” and then issuing what has become a standard bromide: “The system needs reform.” This game is, of course, endless because all government ... [click for more]

Minimum Wage, Maximum Intervention, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 All arguments for the minimum wage come down to this: since no family can survive on an income lower than the minimum wage, it is the job of government to mandate a minimum wage to keep people out of poverty. No matter how elaborate the argument, this is the bottom line. Even if ... [click for more]
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