Free Market

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]

Market Manipulations

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With all the government meddling in the economy, it is virtually impossible to sort out free-market functions from political manipulations. It is also impossible to predict the economy’s future performance with any degree of accuracy. There are simply too many variables, and with most economic data being manipulated to serve political agendas, the chances of getting an accurate picture ... [click for more]

Right-to-Work Laws and the Modern Classical-Liberal Tradition

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It’s not widely known, but an earlier generation of libertarians condemned so-called right-to-work laws as anti-market. For example, Milton Friedman, in Capitalism and Freedom, compared right-to-work to anti-discrimination laws. Ayn Rand also opposed right-to-work laws. The Spring 1966 issue of the libertarian student-run journal New Individualist Review carried Prof. Hirschel Kasper’s article “What’s Wrong with Right-to-Work Laws.” NIR was ... [click for more]

Women, Discrimination, and a Free Society

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For the first time in its history, South Korea has elevated a woman to the office of president. Newly elected Park Geun-hye is the daughter of the president and dictator Park Chung-hee, who ruled the country from 1961 until his assassination in 1979. During her presidential campaign, she pledged to increase government aid to single parents, expand maternity and paternity ... [click for more]

TGIF: Right-to-Work Laws and the Modern Classical-Liberal Tradition

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It’s not widely known, but an earlier generation of libertarians condemned so-called right-to-work laws as anti-market. For example, Milton Friedman, in Capitalism and Freedom, compared right-to-work to anti-discrimination laws. Ayn Rand also opposed right-to-work laws. The Spring 1966 issue of the libertarian student-run journal New Individualist Review carried Professor Hirschel Kasper’s article “What’s Wrong with ... [click for more]

Two Extraordinary African-American Entrepreneurs

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As the 19th century neared its end, two African-American women became rivals as they became millionaires in the beauty-care industry. Annie Turnbo Pope Malone and Madam (Sarah) C.J. Walker were wildly successful entrepreneurs at a time when both blacks and women were marginalized by society. Annie and Sarah broke racial and sexual barriers; they created economic independence for an ... [click for more]

Look for the Union Liable

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Unions are now more empowered and more desperate. They feel empowered because a radically pro-union president has been elected for a second term. An Investor’s Business Daily headline (Nov. 21) proclaimed, “With Obama Win, Big Labor Feels Its Oats.” The article explained, Unions are feeling their oats after the re-election of President Obama. It’s comparable to the perception ... [click for more]

Thanksgiving, Socialism, and the Free Market (2008)

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This article was originally published in November 2008. As Barack Obama prepares to assume the presidency, it would be appropriate today to remember that the original Thanksgiving celebrated the demise of the “spread-the-wealth” economic system that the colonists at Plymouth Rock initially established. The story ... [click for more]

The Goal Is Freedom: Love the Market?

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Libertarians are sometimes accused of being “market fundamentalists,” and there’s a sense in which I will plead guilty to the charge (though I have multiple criticisms to offer of the Longview Institute’s “vulgar liberal” take on the subject). Libertarians certainly have great esteem for “the market” — but our esteem is rooted in reason and ... [click for more]

Don’t Call for an Ambulance

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The two recent high-profile and highly deadly shootings in the United States have been the occasion of much dialogue about “gun control.” Liberals, predictably, have generally called for more and stricter gun-control laws. Conservatives, to their credit, have generally argued to the contrary (even though they have accepted decades of various federal gun-control laws that make a mockery of the ... [click for more]

Romney and Bain Capital

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Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is essentially playing one card in his quest for Barack Obama’s job: his business experience taught him how economies work. But Romney’s own pitch raises doubts about this. The Obama campaign charges Romney with destroying jobs when he ran Bain Capital, undercutting Romney’s claim he was a job creator. Obama argues that Bain created only ... [click for more]

The Enclosure Acts and the Industrial Revolution

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They hang the man, and flog the woman, That steals the goose from off the common; But let the greater villain loose, That steals the common from the goose. — English folk poem An understanding of the Enclosure Acts is necessary to place aspects of the Industrial Revolution in their proper context. The Industrial Revolution is often accused ... [click for more]
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