Free Trade & Trade Policy

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]

Cutthroat Competition and Dead Chickens

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President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal created much of the moral framework of contemporary political thought. The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), a hallmark of Roosevelt's first hundred days in office, symbolizes blind faith in government as moral savior. In a May 17, 1933, message, Roosevelt called for Congress to "provide for the machinery necessary for a great cooperative movement throughout ... [click for more]

Searching for Monsters Abroad

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In a major foreign policy address delivered recently in San Francisco, President Bill Clinton solemnly affirmed that everything everywhere is the business of the United States. If you ever entertained the thought that we Americans should be free just to live our lives, raise our families, and participate in our ... [click for more]

Castro’s Abandonment of Socialist Principle

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Forty years ago, Fidel Castro began his quest to convert Cuba into a socialist paradise. Nationalizing the means of production, the Cuban government became the sole employer, and everyone was required to become a loyal employee of the state. Today, Cuba's socialist system is much like those old, dilapidated ... [click for more]

Support Cuban Dissidents-Lift the Embargo

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If the Cuban authorities persist in jailing Cuban citizens for criticizing Cuban socialism, they might have to implement a new five-year plan for prison expansion. I recently spent a week in Cuba. Since the United States embargo against Cuba makes it a criminal offense for Americans to spend money there, I had ... [click for more]

Euro Is a No-Go

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Everyone is excited about the new, unified European currency, the euro, but it's a terrible mistake. To understand this, it is necessary to grasp what made freedom and prosperity possible in the West. For centuries, Europe, unlike Asia, consisted of multiple countries and legal authorities. On top of this was a ... [click for more]

The Economic Ignorance of Our ‘Leaders’

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Vice President Gore may think President Clinton is the "one of the greatest economic stewards in the history of the United States," but that just shows you how little both of them know about matters economic. A free-market economy needs no economic steward, and to the extent it has one, it is ... [click for more]

Don’t Blame the Thermometer for the Fever

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When communism collapsed a few years ago, people thought that the last grand ideological debate over political economy had finally ended. Supposedly, we were all capitalists now. But this is clearly not the case. The world's political leaders show no signs of a commitment to capitalism, if by that term we mean truly free markets and individual liberty. On the ... [click for more]

Spines of Jello, Not Steel

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It's that time again when America's big tough steel companies and steel workers go whimpering to the federal government asking for protection from foreign steel bullies. "Prices are too low," they cry to the government. "Protect us!" Since World War II this has happened more times than you can count. Every ... [click for more]

Toying with the Free Market

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Here's a noteworthy story from the Washington Post last September: "Toys 'R' Us Inc., the world's largest toy retailer, announced a major restructuring yesterday in an effort to shore up the chain's sales and profits, which have flagged as a result of growing competition from discounters and changes in the way children play." The article goes on to explain that ... [click for more]
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