Free Trade & Trade Policy

The Minimum Wage: Enemy of the Poor

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Whenever politicians wish to score political points, they recommend raising the minimum wage. Parading as champions of the poor and downtrodden, they cry out against all those selfish and greedy employers who are paying less-than-subsistence wages to their employees. The truth is that whenever public officials enact or raise a ... [click for more]

A-Scalping We Van Gogh

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Besides Monica, the other person who's captured attention in Washington, D.C., these days is a troubled man who killed himself more than a hundred years ago. Until January 4, the National Gallery of Art is exhibiting more than 70 paintings by Vincent van Gogh on loan from Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum. The ... [click for more]

Prosecute the Postal Service, not Microsoft

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The U.S. Justice Department has hauled Microsoft into court with the ostensible purpose of protecting American consumers from another big, bad monopoly. As with other antitrust suits, it's all a waste of time, energy, and resources. The only monopolies that should be ended are the legal ones - that is, those ... [click for more]

Government: Destroyer of Wealth

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That ugly sucking sound coming from Washington, D.C., is the federal government's antitrust case against Microsoft. For as long as this case lasts, it will be like a monster vacuum cleaner powerfully drawing wealth from the pockets of every American, and everyone else in the world for that matter. The ... [click for more]

Protectionism: Rearing Its Ugly Head Again

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One of the principal tenets of libertarianism is the right of people to freely trade their goods and services with others. The reasoning is based on moral principles underlying private property and individual freedom. Each of us has the right to sustain his life by utilizing the talents and abilities with which we have been endowed by the Creator. ... [click for more]

Tariffs as Enemies of Freedom

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Some prominent protectionists, such as Pat Buchanan, are portraying high tariffs as an engine of national liberation — as a way to save Americans from foreign threats. However, tariffs always have been and always will be an enemy to individual freedom. The U.S. tariff code is the accumulated junk heap ... [click for more]

Restriction and Free Trade

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Two opposite doctrines oppose each other: The one, which is dominant in legislation and opinions, sees the way of progress in the surplus of sales over purchases, of exports over imports — in a word, what is called balance of trade. The other, which we try to propagate, is the exact ... [click for more]

The Antitrust Absurdity

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The Federal Trade Commission has aimed its antitrust cannon at Intel Corp., maker of the microprocessor used in 90 percent of personal computers. The FTC charges Intel with refusing to provide information about its chips to certain computer makers with which it has legal disputes. At first, it ... [click for more]

Some Free-Enterprise System

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The booming U.S. high-tech industry is doing so well it can't find enough well-trained employees to handle all the work. There are too few prospects in the United States to fill the need, so companies have recruited abroad. The problem is that a foreign-born person can't just move to the ... [click for more]

The Great Sugar Shaft

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The U.S. government has devotedly jacked up American sugar prices far above world market prices since the close of the War of 1812. The sugar industry is one of America's oldest infant industries — yet it dodders with the same uncompetitiveness that it showed during the second term of James Madison. Few cases better illustrate how trade policy can ... [click for more]

Forget the Trade Deficit!

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Memo to newspaper editors: Stop publishing stories about the trade deficit. You are needlessly worrying people about something that means absolutely nothing. Forget the trade deficit. There's no such thing. Adam Smith, that Scot who knew a fair bit about political economy, said: "Nothing is more absurd than this doctrine of the ... [click for more]

Bank Mergers and Progress

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The big hullabaloo about the latest bank mergers stems from a fundamental misconception about the way the world works. The unions of Citicorp and Travelers, NationsBank and BankAmerica, and Banc One Corp. and First Chicago have to be judged against the fact that we live in a world of uncertainty. ... [click for more]
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