Economics

The Calling: The Private and the Public

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I am thrilled that I am able to bring “The Calling” to a new home here at The Future of Freedom Foundation, and equally happy to have my friend Sheldon Richman once again as its editor. For this first column in its new home, I want to look at another example of one of my favorite concerns for modern ... [click for more]

The Goal Is Freedom: In Praise of Profit

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In the last two weeks, I presented a defense of key libertarian concepts — the market, private property, and competition — in a way intended to make them palatable to people who believe in individual liberty yet have something like an aesthetic aversion to the market economy. (See those articles here and here.) Today let’s examine profit, another ... [click for more]

TGIF: The Virtues of Competition

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When I discussed reasons to esteem the free market last week, I conspicuously left out any reference to competition. That might have seemed strange, but I did it because the subject deserves its own treatment. Differing attitudes about market competition divide people needlessly. An appreciation of what competition makes possible could prepare the ground for a convergence ... [click for more]

The Misplaced Fear of “Monopoly”

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Those of us who get drawn, often against our better judgment, into Internet debates soon discover that the case against the market economy in the popular mind boils down to a few major claims. Here I intend to dissect one of them: under the unhampered market we’d be at the mercy of vicious monopolists. This fear can be attributed in ... [click for more]

Meeting Frédéric Bastiat

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The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Volume 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, Jacques de Guenin, general editor, and Jane Willems and Michael Willems, translators (Liberty Fund 2011); 600 pages. Of all the great classical liberal thinkers, Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) remains one of the least well-known. His works, of course, continue to be ... [click for more]

An Economy of Illusions

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For the past four years, talking heads, pundits, and other regime apologists have been looking for “green shoots” and other signs of an economic recovery to vindicate the U.S. government’s fiscal and monetary shenanigans. So when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its report on October 5 showing the creation of 114,000 new jobs in September and a reduction ... [click for more]

Destroying the Young with the Minimum Wage, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 The minimum wage, a price control as futile as all other government price controls, continues to damage the U.S. economy and much of the world. But the obscene irony of the minimum-wage law is that it hurts some of the very people it is supposedly designed to help — young people seeking employment. The government’s ... [click for more]

More Markets? More Government? Wrong Question!

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Michael Munger is Professor of Political Science, and Director of the PPE Certificate Program. His primary research focus is on the functioning of markets and regulatory policies. His other work includes a variety of policy monographs and reports, for private organizations and government agencies at the federal, state, and local level. He has taught at Dartmouth College, University of ... [click for more]

The Market and Uncertainty

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Relying on the mass media for accurate economic analysis is like relying on a mobile home for shelter from a tornado. It’s a rather bad idea. Two items in the news demonstrate this beyond a shadow of a doubt: JPMorgan Chase’s big loss last spring and the role of private equity in an economy. It’s widely believed that JPMorgan Chase’s ... [click for more]

Obama, Romney Rhetoric Risks Trade War

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When economic times are bad, animosity is directed at foreigners: “They’re taking our jobs!” So it’s unsurprising that the presidential campaigns feature charges and countercharges about outsourcing, the employment of foreign labor by American companies. This is a dangerous game because it sows the seeds of trade war. Economists understand the benefits of the division of labor. If you and ... [click for more]

Government Shows Itself Impotent on Economy

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It should finally have dawned on the American people that the politicians who presume to guide the economy have no bloody idea what they’re doing. We’re long past the time when knowledge of economics was required to see that the government is impotent when it comes to creating economic recovery. If you want evidence of that impotence, just look ... [click for more]
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