Economics

Collapsing the Tent on the Mercantilist Revival

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Harvard professor Dani Rodrik’s recent mercantilist apology attempts to illustrate the unappreciated benefits of a much-maligned political-economic system: mercantilism. “Today, mercantilism is typically dismissed as an archaic and blatantly erroneous set of ideas about economic policy,” Rodrik acknowledges. Thus his essay provides a defense of this system, which he believes has much to offer over the alternative ... [click for more]

The Calling: The Problem with Political Heroes and Villains

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It’s sometimes hard to tell the coverage of politics from the coverage of sports. People seem to root for political parties as though they were sports teams, cheering Team Red or Team Blue on to victory with the same passion they bring to the Super Bowl. Individual team members are followed with the same intensity as are star players ... [click for more]

The Calling: In Defense of Complex, Global, Fast Living

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In the wealthy Western world, many of the products we buy come from the far reaches of the earth, made by people we don’t know, with inputs about which we are ignorant. The increased number and variety of consumer products give us a range of choices that would boggle the minds of earlier generations. And technology enables us to ... [click for more]

A Century of Economic Servitude

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Americans pay taxes all year round — sales taxes, tolls, investment taxes, user fees, estimated taxes, et cetera. And most of them were paying more on April 15 one way or the other. That’s because at the tax-filing deadline, a slight majority of Americans owed more, according to the annual Capital One Tax and Savings Survey. Some 51 percent of ... [click for more]

TGIF: The Market Is a Beautiful Thing

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Market advocates tend to respect the intellect of their fellow human beings. You can tell by their reliance on philosophical, moral, economic, and historical arguments when trying to persuade others. But what if most people’s aversion to the market isn’t founded in philosophy, morality, economics, or history? What if their objection is aesthetic? More and more I’ve come to think ... [click for more]

TGIF: The Myth of Market Failure

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In the language of economics, a market failure is, as David Friedman writes, “a situation where each individual correctly chooses the action that best accomplishes his objectives, yet the result is worse, in terms of those same objectives, than if everyone had done something else.” As a rule, the pursuit of individual good in the market ... [click for more]

Progressives Believe in Money Magic

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It’s hard to believe that in the 21st century, educated people believe the government can produce real wealth by creating money. It’s especially ironic that the main preachers of this superstition fancy themselves progressives and are the first to accuse their opponents of being against science. What could be more antiscience than the alchemic proposal to create wealth ... [click for more]

Living Economics (video)

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The Future of Freedom Foundation is pleased to present "Living Economics," a talk by Peter J. Boettke with comments from FFF vice president Sheldon Richman and Chris Coyne, F.A. Harper Professor of Economics at George Mason University. This panel took place on March 27, 2013 at George Mason University at Arlington in Founder's ... [click for more]

James Buchanan’s Subjectivist Economics

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James Buchanan, the Nobel laureate who died at 93 in January, was well known for his pioneering work in Public Choice (the application of economic principles to politics), constitutional economics (as a device for limiting government power), and many other key subjects in political economy. His voluminous work has long been of interest to libertarians and classical liberals for ... [click for more]

Why James Buchanan Matters for Those Who Love Freedom

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On January 9 the world of political economy and the community of libertarian academics lost one of the 20th century’s most important thinkers with the death of James Buchanan at age 93. Although he was not as well known as Mises and Hayek, or even Milton Friedman or perhaps Robert Nozick, his work belongs with theirs in any discussion ... [click for more]

Macroeconomics as Coordination

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If your main source of economic information is a newspaper, television news station, or government statistical bureau, you would probably say that macroeconomics is the discipline that studies a handful of aggregate data series, such as consumption, investment, government spending, and total income, for the purpose of understanding the causal relationships among them. The reason people pay attention to ... [click for more]
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