Free Trade on Trial: Trade and Labor Markets

This is the first in a series of four articles that will examine the most common arguments against free trade. The second piece talks about the relationship between trade and national security. The third piece discusses how free trade boosts healthcare security. US trade policy has often been a point of contention in past US election cycles, but it promises to be more prominent than usual as we enter the final campaign stretch from Labor Day to ...

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The Simple Logic of Free Markets and Retaliation – AIER

As I and other economists never tire of pointing out, the case for free trade at home does not depend on other governments allowing free trade abroad. Economic prospects of the home country rise whenever the home government adopts a policy of free trade regardless of the policies of other governments. As Paul Krugman – who’s no one’s idea of a libertarian – wrote in 1997, The economist’s case for free trade is essentially a ...

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Puzzles about Trade that Make Me Wonder – AIER

I spend much of my time wondering. I wonder about many matters. But the kind of wondering that I typically do isn’t the kind that finds me marveling wide-eyed at some amazing feature of reality (although I do sometimes marvel in this way). Most of my wondering results from me being mystified that so many people fail to ask questions of the sort that strike me as obvious, relevant, and important. Wonderful Trade I wonder a great deal about ...

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Contra the Skeptics, Trade and Technology Really Do Benefit Most American Workers

Figuring out how to help the minority being left behind is policymakers’ most urgent challenge.

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Open Letter to Sen. Josh Hawley (who might soon be looking out for his very own Smoot)

Open Letter to Sen. Josh Hawley (who might soon be looking out for his very own Smoot) by Don Boudreaux on May 13, 2020 in Innovation, Trade TweetSen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) Washington, DC Sen. Hawley: In response to a Dan Drezner column sharply criticizing your embrace of protectionism, you tweet the following: Is this a parody? “While globalization has undeniably created costs for some Americans, those costs are dwarfed by the aggregate ...

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As City Budgets Shrink, It’s Time to Rethink Recycling Programs

The COVID recession has caused tax revenues to plummet, forcing cities and states to make painful budget cuts. But as they struggle to fund schools, parks, public safety, and other essential services, there’s one simple and painless way for governments to save money: Rethink recycling. The goal should be to transform the practice from a virtuous-seeming exercise that drains funds from core public services, to one by which price signals assure ...

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Edmund Burke’s Little-Known Speech That Eroded the British Monarchy's Command of Money and Power | Lawrence W. Reed

The advance of liberty in the British Isles is a fascinating, 800-year journey. It remains central to the story of human progress in the world, and a giant of that long struggle was the parliamentarian and political philosopher Edmund Burke. The rise of British liberty began in 1215 in a meadow at Runnymede, 20 miles west of London. It was there that King John was compelled by English barons to approve the Magna Carta (Latin for “Great ...

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Elon Musk Torches Robert Reich Tony Stark-Style Over ‘Modern Day Robber Baron’ Claim | Jon Miltimore

Tesla founder Elon Musk is often compared to Tony Stark, the self-described “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” who fights bad guys in his high-tech “Iron Man” suit in the Marvel movies, as played by Robert Downey, Jr. It’s no wonder, given that Downey, Jr. partially based his characterization of Stark on Musk. The similarities between Musk and Stark are real. Both are brilliant, silver-tongued tech wizards who share an ...

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C.E.O.s Are Qualified to Make Profits, Not Lead Society

Economic ViewAn old debate over the proper role of C.E.O.s has entered the political arena. But chief executives aren’t well equipped to take on broad social issues.Credit...Lily PadulaBy N. Gregory MankiwWhat is the job of a company’s chief executive officer and, more generally, its management team?This classic question of economics seems bland on the surface, yet it has made an appearance in the 2020 presidential race. How political ...

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“Common Good Capitalism” Is No Substitute for Free Enterprise

The notion that, left unguided, without any sort of of policy involvement, the market will solve our problems will not restore a balance between the obligations and rights of the private sector and working Americans. —Senator Marco Rubio, Nov. 5, 2019 Senator Marco Rubio and his common good capitalism advocates may mean well. But as Milton Friedman tells us, we don’t judge policy based on intentions but consequences. In a recent speech, ...

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Milton Friedman on the Social Responsibility of Business :: The Future of Capitalism

The enduring relevance of Milton Friedman has been a recurring theme around here. Please see, for example, 2018's "The Hottest Midterm Race Is Milton Friedman Versus Marc Benioff" and 2020's "Biden Runs Against Milton Friedman." Sunday's New York Times devoted a full special print section to the 50th anniversary of a Friedman New York Times Magazine essay headlined "The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase ...

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Actually, Econ 101 Is Incredibly Important – AIER

In a 2015 podcast conversation with American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, Vox’s Ezra Klein declared that “there’s nothing more dangerous than somebody who’s just taken their first economics class.” Often expressing a similar contempt for Econ 101 is University of Connecticut law professor James Kwak. This expressed skepticism of Econ 101 comes across as wise and sophisticated — even hip — to many people who ...

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The World Is Doing Better Than Ever. Here's Why You Never Hear About It.

"A huge amount of progress has taken place that a lot of people just don't take into account, especially smart people who are attending to the real problems of the world," says Ronald Bailey, Reason's science correspondent and the coauthor, with Marian Tupy of, of Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting.For instance: In 1990, the World Bank estimated that about 1.9 ...

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Extreme Poverty Rates Plummet Under Capitalism | Robert P. Murphy

The Rich and the Poor Under Capitalism You might have heard the phrase, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Yes, it’s true that the rich (tend to) get richer, but the poor get richer too—especially if we look at a time span of decades or longer, and if we focus our attention on people living in countries where governments adhere to a basic respect for the rule of law and property rights. Consider: Even those who would be ...

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Why Socialism Failed | Mark J. Perry

Socialism is the Big Lie of the Twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery. In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of ...

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The "Perfect" Society Is An Epic Disaster

Support Out of Frame on Patreon: Huxley’s 1932 novel Brave New World has finally gotten the TV treatment it deserves. The Peacock original series of the same name clings pretty tightly to Huxley’s original story, and the few modern additions make a lot of sense. Brave New World shows us the fictional, futuristic setting of New London, where the World State cleanly and scientifically runs ...

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Capitalism: The Better Place

Are you a fan of NBC's The Good Place? Learn Liberty knows of an even better place, where individuals are free to pursue peace and prosperity. We invite you to watch our new video, which dissects the major themes in The Good Place and how they point to liberty and make the case for capitalism. In a world of scarcity, Capitalism's "Medium Place" seems to make individuals a lot better off by allowing them the freedom to pursue their own ...

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When you hear ‘socialism,’ think ‘control’

When someone calls themself a “socialist” or says they think “socialism” has a lot of good ideas, what do they mean? After all, most of us are not political scientists or philosophers. And terms like “socialism,” “capitalism,” “liberalism,” and “conservatism” really get tossed around. Back in 2018, Gallup updated a question it first asked in 1949: “What is your understanding of the term ‘socialism’?” Some key ...

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Celebrate Entrepreneurs Like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Don’t Guillotine Them

The key to getting wealthy in a capitalistic society is to produce something so valuable that millions of people want to trade for it. This is the source of all great historical fortunes.

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How Capitalists Serve the Public Interest

The view of the day is that the “greedy rich” are sitting on stacks of cash hidden away in Swiss bank accounts or the Cayman Islands that are doing nothing but fueling their acquisitive vanity while actively preventing the emancipation of their fellow man. With a little redistribution, those stacks of cash could eradicate poverty from the face of the earth and fund social programs that would help the many. After all, who really needs a ...

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Jon Favreau’s heartwarming 2014 independent film, “Chef”, is a case study in entrepreneurial value creation. Even better, it shows us how we can achieve economic success and personal fulfillment simultaneously, provided that we figure out how to take our passions and turn them towards making other people’s lives better.

Magatte Wade was born in Senegal but spent much of her childhood in France. Growing up, she saw the extreme differences in wealth between Africa and Europe. This disparity sparked a question… Why are some countries rich, and others poor?

How do we summarize the 2010s? Many think it was an awful decade, ten years of horror, unfair distribution and environmental disaster.

It’s a Wonderful Loaf is an ode to the hidden harmony that is all around us–the seeming magical ways that we anticipate and meet the needs of each other without anyone being in charge.