O Christmas Tree, Fake Christmas Tree, How Tariffed Are Thy Imports?

The odds are that your artificial Christmas tree — amid reports of shortages for both real and fake trees — will be Chinese made. Some 80% of Americans observe the holiday with an artificial tree, and 98.3% of fake tree imports are from China. While scarcity and shipping-container costs in the ongoing supply-chain...

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On Hayek’s “Kinds of Order in Society,” Part I

F.A. Hayek wrote several books and articles that are justly famous. At the top of this list is his 1944 surprise best-seller, The Road to Serfdom, followed next by his 1960 volume, The Constitution of Liberty. Each of these books is well known to popular audiences. As for his articles, his 1945 paper “The Use of Knowledge in Society” is singularly renowned, at least among economists. Lesser known, but still prominent among scholars working ...

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What Does Economic Freedom Look Like for Women? — Rosemarie Fike, Stefanie Haeffele, & Jayme Lemke

In this episode of the Hayek Program Podcast, we are joined by Rosemarie Fike, Stefanie Haeffele, and Jayme Lemke as they tackle the fundamental question of what economic freedom looks like for women across the globe. The trio discusses a range of contemporary issues — such as the gender wage gap, women's property rights, and changing social views on labor — while stressing the importance of the economic framework in analyzing them. We'll ...

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The Role of Culture in Innovation - HumanProgress

American culture is in the throes of a debate over technology and innovation. On the one hand, survey after survey report overwhelmingly positive perspectives on the benefits of technology. On the other hand, bestselling books such as The Shallows and The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, popular articles in publications like The Atlantic and The New York Times, and documentaries like The Social Dilemma regard technology with suspicion and ...

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Is Free Trade Elitist? – AIER

Myths aplenty obscure the case for free trade. Free trade reduces employment! Free trade lowers wages! Free trade results in a race to the bottom! Free trade for the home country is advisable only if all trading partners trade freely! Free trade requires a one-world government! These and dozens of other fallacies about free trade are routinely flung around by protectionists. Yet no fallacy is more absurd than is the assertion that free trade ...

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Prophets of Liberty: F.A. Hayek

This essay will serve as the first entry in a series of essays in which I will be looking at the work of three major twentieth-century philosophers; Friederich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Ayn Rand.

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Give Thanks to the Green Revolution

It’s well known that the Green Revolution dramatically increased crop yields. In a new paper, Gollin, Hansen and Wingender use a general equilibrium model to show that the effects were even more far reaching. For a given acre, the Green Revolution raised the yields of some crops by 44% between 1965 and 2010. But the total effect was even larger because higher yields incentivized farmers to substitute away from lower-yield crops into higher ...

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Resisting the Market Process Undermines Freedom and Prosperity

The free market often seems a hard sell. The resistance and opposition to its seemingly straightforward case emerges and persists, over and over again. It is all very strange, since, after all, how many people do not want the personal liberty to make their own choices about what to buy, where to live, and the amount they are willing to pay for something? The same applies to their decisions on the supply side of the market. Which one of us does ...

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Economics in One Lesson

Connecticut State Representative Kimberly Fiorello released the 1-hour video of my discussion with her and her constituents about Henry Hazlitt’s 1946 book, Economics in One Lesson. Some highlights follow. 0:00 to about 1:30: Intro from Kimberly. From about 1:30 to about 12:00: My opening remarks. I cover labor unions, minimum wages, and tariffs. 14:00: How absence of the minimum wage helped Hazlitt early in his career. 16:00: Hazlitt’s ...

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Should We Help Workers Who Lose Jobs to Imports?

Since he was 18 years old Joe has toiled in an Ohio steel mill. But now, with him in his late 40s, Joe’s fellow Americans start buying more imported steel and, hence, less American-made steel. This change in trade patterns causes Joe – a good, hard-working, play-by-the-rules, family man – to lose his job. Joe is devastated. How can we help Joe transition to another job or otherwise cope with his job loss? This question is asked ...

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No, Inflation Is Not Good for You

With the recent rise in inflation—with subsequent increases in both consumer and producer price levels—one suspects that sooner or later people on the left either would downplay it or find a way to spin the bad news into something positive like an alchemist would want to spin straw into gold. Both accounts have arrived, thanks to the New York Times and the hard-left publication, The Intercept. The various accounts in the Times hardly are ...

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Milton Friedman Is More Relevant Than Ever

The ideas of the Nobel laureate, who died 15 years ago this week, remain influential not only in economics but also in education and public policy. 

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Making Visible the Invisible Damage Done by Minimum Wages

(Don Boudreaux) TweetThis new video from Just Facts is quite good; it’s about 11-minutes long.

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Squid Game is Wrong About Capitalism

Netflix’s smash hit “Squid Game” quickly became the platform’s most watched show of all time, but for good reason? Many admirers praised the show for its anti-capitalism smackdown. However, it’s not the scathing critique many think it is… Ultimately, “Squid Game” demonstrates that poor economic circumstances can be a result of individual choice, not systematic failure. In essence, the show is about characters who choose not to ...

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Who Was Henry Hazlitt?

Did you know of the Hazlitt/Samuelson connection? Earlier this week, Kimberly Fiorello, a state representative in the Connecticut legislature, had me spend an hour on Zoom with her and about 35 of her constituents to discuss Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. She’s a big fan of the book. She told me in advance that she would get things going after my short presentation by asking me who Hazlitt was. I was pretty sure I knew but I ...

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Technology and Cooperation Help Fight the Pandemic - HumanProgress

The pandemic caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) from Wuhan, China, is now a serious and global problem. And that problem has been made even worse by a culture of constant alarmism making it hard to distinguish real threats from exaggerated claims, as the well-known science writer Matt Ridley has pointed out. But even when faced with the genuine threat of a pandemic, there are reasons to take heart and think that humanity will rise to ...

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Core Classical Liberal Principles and Ideas

At the Institute for Humane Studies, we believe that ideas within the classical liberal intellectual tradition are a driving force of well-being for all people. The classical liberal tradition has a rich history, drawing upon a variety of ancient and medieval sources as well as 18th, 19th, and 20th century thinkers. It continues to be developed by scholars today. Like all vibrant intellectual traditions, classical liberal thought includes ...

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Harwood’s Letter to Keynes, 1934

After the onset of the great depression, John Maynard Keynes took it upon himself to advise America on the proper policy course. It is not well known that Keynes criticized aspects of the New Deal. What he recommended instead, however, might have been even worse. Who answered Keynes? In England, it was F.A. Hayek. In America, it was none other than E.C. Harwood, founder of the American Institute for Economic Research. His article from ...

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Was Keynes Right on Short Work Weeks?

Economists are often lambasted for making predictions. Or at the very least, they are often lambasted for making predictions that history singled out as being particularly wrong. The most infamous was provided by British economist John Maynard Keynes in Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren where he opined that, by 2030, the average work week would be around 15 hours (3 hours per work day). Essentially, this was a prediction about how ...

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How Minimum Wage and Rent Control Laws Fail the ‘Bronowski Test’

In The Common Sense of Science, the Polish-British mathematician Jacob Bronowski wrote that “at the basis of human thought lies the judgment of what is like and what is unlike.” Unfortunately, public policies often mistakenly treat people that are unlike in crucial ways as if they are alike.

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DAILY EXCHANGE

FAVORITES

Is life today bad? Or is it awesome?  “Economics Made the World Great” shows changes that have taken place in the past three centuries that have made the world better. Can it be better still?

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.