Economics

What’s Wrong with Bernie Sanders’ 32-Hour Work Week Bill

A shortening of the hours of work is a highly desirable goal. But it cannot be achieved along with growing prosperity except in a free market.

Gary Becker (1930-2014)

Gary Becker (1930-2014)

Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker was internationally renowned within the economics profession, but was not nearly as well known among the general public as he deserved to be.

Wage Discrimination

Wage Discrimination

There are inequalities everywhere. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Asian men and women have median earnings higher than white men and women. Female cafeteria attendants earn more than their male counterparts. Females who are younger than 30 and have never been married earn salaries 8 percent higher than males of the same description.

ObamaCare’s First Few Years

ObamaCare’s First Few Years

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—otherwise known as ObamaCare—is almost four years old. Despite the technical troubles, what every American should know about the law is that whatever its provisions, whatever the press propagandizes or reports, the...

A Return to Keynes?

A Return to Keynes?

Under Calvin Coolidge, the ultimate in non-interventionist government, the annual unemployment rate got down to 1.8 percent. How does the track record of Keynesian intervention compare to that?

Debt Ceiling Delusions

Debt Ceiling Delusions

The popular take on the current debt ceiling stand-off is that the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party has a delusional belief that it can hit the brakes on new debt creation without bringing on an economic catastrophe. While Republicans are indeed kidding...

The Golden Cycle

The Golden Cycle

The New York Times had the definitive take on the vicious sell off in gold. To summarize one of their articles: Two years ago gold bugs ran wild as the price of gold rose nearly six times. But since cresting two years ago it has steadily declined, almost by half,...

Economics vs. ‘Need’

Economics vs. ‘Need’

One of the most common arguments for allowing more immigration is that there is a "need" for foreign workers to do "jobs that Americans won't do," especially in agriculture. One of my most vivid memories of the late Armen Alchian, an internationally renowned economist...

The “Free Rider Problem”

The “Free Rider Problem”

Advocates of a number of government interventions often argue that such measures are required to deal with the “free rider problem.” Indeed, Mitt Romney has called his insurance mandate in Massachusetts a “free rider surcharge.” Wikipedia describes the “free rider...

The Fallacy of the Broken Window

The Fallacy of the Broken Window

First published in 1946, Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt remains one of best books on economics ever published. The lesson, to paraphrase Hazlitt, is that economists must look beyond the immediate and visible consequences of economic policies; they must look...

“Trickle Up” Economics

“Trickle Up” Economics

The savings of the wealthy and the innovation of entrepreneurs combined to create a huge benefit for society. Call it trickle down if you want, but it would be more honest to simply call it effective. This is the system that built this country. Relying on trickle up will surely destroy it.

Telephones, Technology, and Freedom

Telephones, Technology, and Freedom

For decades, it has been argued that certain goods are “natural monopolies,” which Investopedia describes as: A type of monopoly that exists as a result of the high fixed or start-up costs of operating a business in a particular industry. … The utilities industry is a...

Government Job Creation Kills Real Jobs

Government Job Creation Kills Real Jobs

President Obama has long told us that “green” energy would create thousands of jobs. His administration has “invested” billions of tax dollars in a myriad of “green” industries. Predictably, the results have been the opposite of what we were promised. As one example,...

“Crony Capitalism” is Fascism

“Crony Capitalism” is Fascism

Imagine that you start a business, and after years of hard work, you achieve the success that you had long thought possible. How would you react if, after achieving success, the government told you that you must pay a portion of your revenues to your competitors? The...

The “Limits” of Economic Progress

The “Limits” of Economic Progress

A few weeks ago I caught a portion of a radio program in which a commentator argued that economic progress has limits.  He used a hamster as an example: For the first few weeks of his life, a hamster doubles in size each week. If he did this for a year, he would...

Obama on Capital Gains: No Winners

Obama on Capital Gains: No Winners

“If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes,” asserted President Obama in his State of the Union speech. For those with predominantly investment income, that would effectively double their capital gains tax...

The Law of Supply and Demand: Part II

The Law of Supply and Demand: Part II

A series of essays based on portions of Objective Economics: How Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Changes Everything About Economics by Northrup Buechner. In my previous posting on this subject, I noted that both the proponents and opponents of the law of supply and demand...

The "One Percent" We Should Really Fear

The "One Percent" We Should Really Fear

There is a great threat to medical care in America from a small group of our fellow citizens. They are not the top one percent of the wealthy, but a group of elitists and their allies who see government power as the means to determine what every American is allowed to...

It's the Spending, Stupid

It's the Spending, Stupid

Politicians like Mitt Romney and Barack Obama insist that there should be middle class tax cuts. Obama goes further and insists that these tax cuts be paid for by "the rich" (those making over $250,000 a year, his definition). The truth is that everyone is equally...

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