Free Trade & Trade Policy

None Dare Call It Extortion

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What do you call it when one person threatens violence against another unless he obeys? How about "extortion"? Consider this sentence from the New York Times on Christmas day: "Brandishing new data showing that the drug industry earns higher profits and pays lower taxes than most other industries, White ... [click for more]

Imports are Good!

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As champions and opponents of the World Trade Organization (WTO) descended on Seattle, it would have been nice if they at least had their premises correct: Imports are benefits. Exports are costs. That is the opposite of what most people inside and outside the meeting hall believe. They insist on ... [click for more]

Oh, Go Away Already

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It's unseemly for people who have never created wealth to tell those who have how to spend it. Especially when they do so while sitting around the Villa La Pietra overlooking Florence. The Associated Press described the setting as "a spectacular 14th-century Renaissance palace with frescoed ceilings." Perfect for ... [click for more]

The Lynching of Microsoft

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Reading Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings of fact in the Microsoft case, you can't help but conclude that the software company wouldn't be in trouble if it didn't make life so easy for consumers. That, of course, is at odds with the judge's explicit conclusion that Bill Gates has stifled innovation ... [click for more]

The Art of Plunder

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Now that the controversy surrounding the art exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum has calmed down, it's a good time for some sober reflection. To recap, the museum, which is subsidized with taxpayer money, is hosting an exhibit that includes among other things, a painting purportedly of the Virgin Mary adorned ... [click for more]

Free Wal-Mart!

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In its untiring effort to lead the United States to fascism with all possible dispatch, the California state legislature has enacted a law to save its unsuspecting citizens from groceries at Wal-Mart! The bill, which awaits the governor's signature, would make it impossible for Wal-Mart and other so-called big-box retail ... [click for more]

Population Controllers Got It Wrong

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World population is estimated to be nearing the six billion mark. The UN Population Fund, which "knows" precisely how many people there should be in the world, also "knows" precisely what day the world will hit six billion: October 12. In fact, no one knows precisely how many people there ... [click for more]

Delay the Canonization

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Let's not rush to elevate outgoing Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to sainthood. Rubin is like a surfer who accepts credit for creating the big wave that carries him to shore. He might look good riding the board, but he's not responsible for the wave's motion. The accolades being heaped ... [click for more]

Travel to Cuba to Learn about America

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In order to preserve the national security of the United States, the U.S. Congress has made it illegal for Americans to spend money in Cuba. National security, you ask? Well, what Congress actually might mean is the security of the socialistic and paternalistic state that Democrats and Republicans have constructed ... [click for more]

Scamming the Poor

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One of the biggest scams in American politics is the bromide that government officials use to justify America's paternalistic welfare state and the federal income tax: "We love the poor, the needy, and the disadvantaged." The primary victims of the scam are the poor themselves. Let's look at a few examples. The minimum-wage ... [click for more]

The Truth about Cuba Could Set Us Free

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Ever since I discovered libertarianism 20 years ago, people have asked me why libertarians have such extreme views. After all, libertarians advocate the abolition, not the reform, of such things as public schooling, public housing, farm subsidies, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, drug laws, gun control, and the IRS and ... [click for more]

There’s No Third Way

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If a gunman approaches you on a dark street and demands your money, you naturally prefer not to give it to him. Apparently our political leaders would consider this an unreasonable clash of extremes. The gunman wants your property. You want to keep it. Surely there's a compromise, ... [click for more]
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