Free Trade & Trade Policy

Netscape Gets the Green

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Imagine the nerve of a company that gives away its product in an attempt to knock off the dominant firm in an industry. I have one such company in mind right now. It went all out to make it easy for consumers to have free access to its product. You couldn’t ... [click for more]

Slave to the Olympics

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Getting up to answer the knock at your door, you open it to find a police officer standing stiffly, fidgeting with his nightstick. “Mr. Jones, I am here for the soccer field”, he says tersely. “Soccer field?” you say. “I don’t get it.” [click for more]

Farmers: Get a Job!

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It kind of makes me wonder what country I'm living in when I pick up the newspaper and read this from the Associated Press: "With crop prices mired near record lows, the government says farm earnings will drop 20 percent this year unless Congress enacts a new farm program or approves ... [click for more]

Government Needs to Lose Weight

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How ironic that just as an already-bloated government is taking on major new powers, it is exhorting us to lose weight. But that’s exactly what Surgeon General David Satcher is calling for. In his recently released “Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity,” Satcher writes, “Our ... [click for more]

What the Enron Bankruptcy Doesn’t Mean

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A big company fails, maybe even commits wrongdoing, and in some people’s eyes that proves free markets are bad. This is what passes for logic these days. The full story on Enron is not known yet. But for the sake of discussion, let’s assume the worst: namely, that company management deliberately ... [click for more]

Regulation Gave Us the Enron Scandal

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When pundits and politicians say the Enron scandal demonstrates the need for federal regulation of business, you have to be a little suspicious. They think everything demonstrates the need for federal regulation of business. It’s a reflex, that’s all. What seems to have been forgotten in all the blather about ... [click for more]

Anti-Dumping Laws

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ANTI-DUMPING LAWS have been with us since the early decades of the 20th century. Ostensibly aimed at preventing unfair trade practices, they have in recent decades been used mostly to punish foreign producers for offering their products to domestic consumers at low prices. Rather than being used to protect the public (from low prices), they have been used to ... [click for more]

The Value of Athletes

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Some people complain that professional athletes make too much money -- that the salaries they receive are ridiculously high, perhaps even immoral. But is this actually the case? Aren't athletes' salaries, like everyone else's in the private sector, ultimately determined by the desires or demand of consumers? Isn't that how the value ... [click for more]

The Free Market Is Indomitable

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Deep in the November 14 New York Times report on the liberation of Kabul there was this perhaps little-noticed paragraph: "Food appeared plentiful. A central market that lines the road leading into the city had large amounts of fresh meat for sale, fruit juices from Iran and even Coca-Cola, a ... [click for more]

Settling for an Injustice

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The federal government's antitrust case against Microsoft apparently will end in a settlement. All that remains is for the presiding judge to give her blessing and for some recalcitrant state attorneys general to get on board. It's understandable why Microsoft would acquiesce in a settlement. The long case has been costly. ... [click for more]

Avoid Phony Public Service

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The dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Joseph S. Nye Jr., laments that while in 1980 three-quarters of the graduates took government jobs, just one-third does so these days. That’s a good trend. But not good enough. Here’s hoping the number drops further. Many people will ask, who could ... [click for more]
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