Free Market

Nothing to Fear from New Technologies If the Market Is Free

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The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (W.W. Norton & Company 2014), 320 pages. The subject of this book is the “second machine age,” in which “computers and other digital advances are doing for mental power — the ability to use our brains to understand ... [click for more]

Ignoring the Difference between Free markets and State Capitalism

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Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer (Belknap 2014), 696 pages. The basic phenomenon that Thomas Piketty devotes this book to describing is simple: “When the rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy..., then it logically follows that inherited wealth grows faster than output and income.” His historical account ... [click for more]

Americans See Big Corruption in Big Business

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A recently released report on the degree of confidence that Americans have in the country’s leading political and economic institutions showed that few of these institutions are held in high regard by the public. The survey was conducted by NORC, a respected research organization at the University of Chicago. It was found that only 11 percent of those asked expressed ... [click for more]

I Love Loosies and the People Who Sell Them

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The cops who ganged up on Eric Garner, got him into a chokehold, and mashed his face into the sidewalk didn’t intend to kill him. They intended only to show him who’s boss on the streets of Staten Island — and show him in a way he would never forget. As a Facebook friend of mine put it, instead they ... [click for more]

TGIF: Free-Market Socialism

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Libertarians are individualists. But since individualist has many senses, that statement isn’t terribly informative. Does it mean that libertarians are social nonconformists on principle? Not at all. Some few libertarians may aspire to be, but most would see that as undesirable because it would obstruct their most important objectives. Lots of libertarian men have no problem wearing a jacket and ... [click for more]

Stop Those Who Would Stop Uber

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The nerve of some people! Imagine coming to a city and doing business without first asking permission from local officials! That’s what Uber has done in cities all over the United States and Europe, and it’s created quite a storm among politicians and licensed taxi drivers, who have held up traffic in, among other places, Boston, London, and Paris just ... [click for more]

The Miracle and Morality of the Market

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One of the great fallacies arrogantly believed in by those in political power is the notion that they can know enough to manage and command the lives of everyone in society with better results than if people are left to live their own lives as they freely choose. The fact is, there is far more in the world that successfully ... [click for more]

Command Posts: Roads, Railroads, and State

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As any viewer of the British Channel 4 Time Team series will have noticed, almost everywhere below Hadrian’s Wall that the archaeological team digs, they have a fair chance of finding an Imperial Roman road, or a local road leading to it. The Romans were great engineers and road builders (and not just in Britain). Roman roads were all ... [click for more]

Government-Rigged Markets

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Crony Capitalism in America 2008 – 2012 by Hunter Lewis (AC2 Books 2013), 399 pages. Ayn Rand called it “the aristocracy of pull.” That was her term for the political-economic system in which people can get ahead (and even become exceptionally wealthy) by virtue of their connections with those in power, rather than by their work, innovations, and ... [click for more]

Should the Export-Import Bank Be Reauthorized?

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The Export-Import Bank is up for reauthorization again. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are divided against each other and among themselves as to reforms that should be imposed on the bank, and, to a lesser extent, whether the bank should be reauthorized at all. But before looking at the question of whether the Export-Import Bank should be reauthorized, we should ... [click for more]

Leave Should Be Left to the Market

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Democrats, liberals, progressives, and the White House Summit on Working Families don’t think the Family and Medical Leave Act goes far enough. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993 by the 103rd Congress — the only Congress with a Democratic majority that Bill Clinton had. The legislation (H.R.1) did, however, have some ... [click for more]
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