Economics

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]

TGIF: Loving Economics

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“My love affair with economics began in the fall of 1979.” With those words, Peter Boettke begins his valentine to the economics discipline, that is, his latest book: Living Economics: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Independent Institute and Universidad Francisco Marroquin, 2012). Boettke, besides being a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University, the BB&T Professor ... [click for more]

The Calling: Back to the Future of Freedom

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As an economist, I am always more than happy to talk about how great the market is and to undertake the task of educating people on how markets work and why they are good. Certainly, one of the central concerns of the modern libertarian movement has been to extol the virtues of the market, especially the freed market. But ... [click for more]

TGIF: Bastiat on the Socialization of Wealth

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That … veil which is spread before the eyes of the ordinary man, which even the attentive observer does not always succeed in casting aside, prevents us from seeing the most marvelous of all social phenomena: real wealth constantly passing from the domain of private property into the communal domain. Wealth marvelously passing from the private to the communal domain? ... [click for more]

The Calling: The Challenge of Undesigned and Anonymous Order

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The spontaneous order of the market has long been an object of both theoretical and aesthetic contemplation for libertarians. From Adam Smith’s discussion of the number of hands it took to make a wool coat, to Leonard Read’s justly famous “I, Pencil,” to the examples that fill Russ Roberts’s parable novel The Price of Everything, libertarians have ... [click for more]

The Dow Jones Is Lying

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is at a record high, and the unemployment rate has ticked down to 7.7 percent, but this is no time to celebrate. The economy is still in the doldrums. A little perspective: The news media trumpet changes in the Dow as though it tells us almost all we need to know about the economic ... [click for more]

TGIF: Entrepreneurship and Social Cooperation

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We may laud the market order as an indispensable arena for large-scale social cooperation, but let’s not forget that people cannot cooperate with one another if they don’t know that the potential for mutually beneficial exchanges exists. In the real world ignorance is pervasive, and we mustn’t fall prey to the mainstream economists’ unreal assumption that full knowledge about means, ends, ... [click for more]

Cutting Government Would Boost Economy

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Budget sequestration is as modest a step toward cutting Leviathan as one can imagine. Further progress will be difficult as long as people believe that slashing the size of government conflicts with reviving the economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In his recent debate on Charlie Rose, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul ... [click for more]

The Minimum Wage Harms the Most Vulnerable

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Crocodile tears are flowing again for low-income people. In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. A debate is shaping up between those who support the proposal and those who favor keeping the wage where it is today. But there are good grounds — for the sake ... [click for more]

TGIF: What Support for the Minimum Wage Reveals

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Economic law is not suppressed by legislated law. — Armen Alchian Few people really understand what the great economist Armen Alchian, who died the other day at age 98, put so plainly. Considering that in the recent past over a quarter of polled economists said they saw no harm in raising the minimum wage, ... [click for more]
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