Economics

The Myth of the Level Playing Field

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One of the catch phrases of the day is “a level playing field.” Some businessmen are using it to refer to the competitive situation in which they would prefer to be, but allege they are not for some reason. And, not surprisingly, the reason they usually give for not having “a level playing field” is that a competitor has ... [click for more]

Seeing and Not Seeing

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A key element in understanding reality is an accurate representation of reality. And this headline in the November 10 Washington Post — “N. Va. Boom Sparks Economic Recovery” — demonstrates how poorly is the average newspaper editor equipped to accurately describe economic affairs, which may help ... [click for more]

Corporatism and Socialism in America

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Principled advocacy of the free market requires an understanding of the differences between genuine free enterprise and “state capitalism.” Although the Left frequently exaggerates and overemphasizes the evils of corporate America, proponents of the free market often find themselves in the awkward position of defending the status quo of state capitalism, which is in fact a common adversary of ... [click for more]

The Danger of Science

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Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig Lachmann, among other members of the Austrian school of economics, often lamented that the discipline of economics alienated itself from flesh-and-blood existence to the extent it imitated the natural sciences, such as physics. With that in mind, I received the news that Cambridge University economist Partha Sarathi Dasgupta, ... [click for more]

Book Review: Economic Freedom and Development

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Economic Freedom and Development: An Essay about Property Rights, Competition, and Prosperity by Wolfgang Kasper (New Delhi, India: Centre for Civil Society, 2002); 132 pages; $12.95. The Centre for Civil Society, headquartered in New Delhi, India, was founded in 1997, with the purpose of advancing the cause of classical liberalism, economic freedom, and the rule of law under limited government. Its ... [click for more]

Book Review: Economics for Real People

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Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School by Gene Callahan (Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 2002); 349 pages; $19.95. Back in 1932 an economist named Broadus Mitchell wrote an introductory principles textbook entitled A Preface to Economics. When he came to the discussion of supply and demand, he stated, “I hate graphs, anyhow. They are the only pictures economics books ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Elusive Quest for Growth

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The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2002); 342 pages; $29.95. POVERTY, UNFORTUNATELY, is the natural condition of man. And through most of his time on earth, as best as historians can determine, his standard of living has been meager and poor. But slowly over the centuries certain ... [click for more]

Book Review: Money and the Market

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Money and the Market: Essays on Free Banking by Kevin Dowd (New York/London: Routledge, 2001); 226 pages; $100. KEVIN DOWD IS ONE OF THE LEADING free-market monetary theorists today. Along with Lawrence H. White and George Selgin, he has helped to revive and refine the case for abolishing central banking and replacing it with a market-based competitive free-banking system. In 1976, Austrian ... [click for more]

What O’Reilly Doesnt Know

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Bill OReilly, populist star of the Fox News Channels OReilly Factor may be the hottest television property around, but he doesnt know beans about how markets work. The other night he charged the oil companies with conspiring to keep gasoline prices high. He quoted a 1995 Chevron memo stating that refining ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Making of Modern Economics

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The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers by Mark Skousen (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2001); 485 pages; $25. IN THE EARLY DECADES OF THE 19TH CENTURY, Thomas Carlyle was the first one to call economics “the dismal science.” He considered the study of the market economy “dismal” because it emphasized individualism and freedom of association ... [click for more]

Book Review: Basic Economics

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Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell (New York: Basic Books, 2000); 366 pages; $30. WHEN ADAM SMITH completed his criticisms of mercantilism, the 18th-century system of government planning and control, in The Wealth of Nations, he expressed a deep pessimism that the free-trade ideal that he had defended, instead of the regulated economy, would ever be ... [click for more]
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