Free Trade & Trade Policy

Misreading the Industrial Revolution

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Those of us who are advocates of the spontaneous order of an unfettered market are forever stomping out the fires of fallacious reasoning and anticapitalistic bias. It seems that as we set one record straight, opponents of the market manage to pervert ten others. We spend as much time explaining ... [click for more]

The Failure of Socialism and Lessons for America, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 The world is watching the spectacle of Russia and the other captive nations of the former Soviet Union trying to free themselves from their seventy-five-year experiment in socialism. The bankruptcy of the system is accepted by practically everyone. The economies of the former Soviet republics are in shambles. Civil wars and ethnic violence have ... [click for more]

Speculation, Law, and the Market Process

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After Hurricane Andrew devastated the southern part of Florida, the state's attorney general threatened to prosecute "price-gougers" and speculators for charging exorbitant prices for food, ice, plywood, and other essential items. The Power of government officials to regulate prices and to punish speculators is not new. It stretches back centuries. ... [click for more]

The Slaughterhouse Cases

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1869, the Louisiana legislature enacted a statute granting seventeen people the exclusive right to operate the only slaughterhouse in Orleans. All other slaughterhouses were required to close down. Any butcher who desired to continue his trade would be permitted to do so in the new slaughterhouse and would be ... [click for more]

Historical Capitalism vs. The Free Market

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During the dark days of Nazi collectivism in Europe, the German economist Wilhelm Röpke used the haven of neutral Switzerland for continuing to write and lecture on the moral and economic principles of the free society. "Collectivism," he warned, was "the fundamental and moral danger of the West." The triumph ... [click for more]

Playing Monopoly in the Real World

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There are three major monopolies in the United States that have plagued the American people throughout most of this century. Yet despite their professed opposition to monopolies, the American people simply cannot bring themselves to end them. But end them we must — for they are among the most tyrannical and destructive aspects of the American welfare-state, regulated-economy way ... [click for more]

Monopoly

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I have been teaching economics at the university level for twenty-five years. Easily the most often-asked questions relate to monopolies. The questions are often put in the following form: "In an economy free of governmental regulation, wouldn't a firm or group of firms obtain a monopoly over some vital resource or ... [click for more]

Fair versus Free

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The Federal Communications Commission seeks to enforce a "fairness doctrine" on radio and TV stations. We suffered numerous "fair trade" laws, until they were declared unenforceable. One businessman vies with another in proclaiming his faith in competition provided that it is "fair." Yet, scrutinize word for word the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and you ... [click for more]

A Liberal World Order

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The 20th century opened with great hopes for the future. For almost a hundred years, a major war had not disturbed the peace of Europe. And when military conflicts had broken out among the European nations, they had been localized and limited in both their duration and destruction. Most of the governments of Europe were either democracies or constitutional monarchies. ... [click for more]

From the New Mercantilism to Economic Fascism

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February 1991 saw the release of the latest annual Economic Report of The President. Prepared by the President's Council of Economic Advisors, the report is meant to provide a detailed summary of where the American economy has been during the past twelve months and to offer various projections as to ... [click for more]
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