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Gary Galles



Articles by Gary Galles

How to Cheat with Cost-Benefit Analysis: Double Count the Benefits

3 days ago

Calculating “multiplier effects” is perhaps the most common method of cheating with benefit-cost analysis. Original Article: “How to Cheat with Cost-Benefit Analysis: Double Count the Benefits” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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How to Cheat with Cost-Benefit Analysis: Double Count the Benefits

8 days ago

Because my economics courses focus on public policy, I often deal with benefit-cost analyses (BCA) in them. While little discussed, the central idea is simply to identify and include all the relevant benefits and costs of a decision, do our best to estimate their values, then choose the option that provides the greatest net benefits. …

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The Moral Law versus Tyranny

August 3, 2021

It struck me recently just how frequently we use the word “law” in our conversations. I read or hear, “That’s against the law” when someone wants someone else not to do something, and “There ought to be a law” when someone wants to further restrict others. I read arguments about what it really means to …

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An “Open Mind” Is of No Use When It’s Open to Lies

July 15, 2021

Countless Americans have been repeatedly told to “follow the science,” supposedly to prove they are not obstinately closed-minded. But the main purpose of it all was just to open people’s minds to what government bureaucrats wanted.  Original Article: “An “Open Mind” Is of No Use When It’s Open to Lies” This Audio Mises Wire is …

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Governments Are Failing at Their Most Basic Duties—While Promising Free Stuff

July 14, 2021

Political candidates are offering endless government spending and “free stuff” for everyone. But at the same time, governments appear incapable of performing even basic duties like ending street riots.  Original Article: “Governments Are Failing at Their Most Basic Duties—While Promising Free Stuff” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael …

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An “Open Mind” Is of No Use When It’s Open to Lies

June 25, 2021

In our world, there is very little people agree upon. One thing that seems to be an exception is that having an open mind is almost universally well regarded, while having a closed mind is almost universally criticized. However, such rhetoric presumes that what we are open or closed to is the truth. That leads …

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With Capitalism, Cooperation Is Just as Important as Competition

June 10, 2021

It has often been asserted that we should cooperate rather than compete in society. For instance, FDR said, “Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” Bertrand Russell expressed it even more …

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Biden’s Jobs Plan: More Government Jobs Won’t Fix the Economy

May 22, 2021

It seems that every time something adverse happens in the labor market, it restarts the partisan battle between those currently in and out of power as to who is a better steward of the economy. That was illustrated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS) release of the job numbers for April, which made headlines …

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Why the Misuse of the Word “Efficiency” Is Such a Problem

May 21, 2021

An important impediment to understanding valuable insights economists have to offer is that they have trained people to ignore their pronouncements on efficiency. Economists’ common use of a standard of efficiency known as “potential compensation,” which is at odds with a more important concept in which efficiency is advanced whenever there is a Pareto improvement …

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7 Observations on the Humane Nature of Capitalism

April 10, 2021

“You are hitting the nail with too many hammers.” I can still remember Bob Clower, my dissertation chairman at the time, saying that to me after reading my most recent work. It was directed at the fact that I had shown problems with a particular competing argument “six ways from Sunday.” That is, It was …

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Aggregated Data Hides the Damage Done by Minimum Wage Hikes

March 11, 2021

Much of the harm is disguised by focusing on forecasts of higher aggregate income for the poor. Individuals, on the other hand, are another story.  Original Article: “Aggregated Data Hides the Damage Done by Minimum Wage Hikes” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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The True Cost of Taxation Is Much Higher Than Your Tax Bill

March 6, 2021

If we look beyond the mere tax revenue totals, we begin to understand that the cost of taxation to society is far higher than the tax revenue raised and that the costs to society of taxation grow faster than the size of government. Original Article: “The True Cost of Taxation Is Much Higher Than Your …

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Is Math Racist? That Does Not Compute

February 19, 2021

Rather than representing “white supremacy,” the evolution of mathematics has been a globe-, race-, and culture-spanning collaboration of advancements, an ongoing development of more effective tools for anyone to use. Original Article: “Is Math Racist? That Does Not Compute” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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Is Math Racist? That Does Not Compute

February 16, 2021

Racism has, tragically, raised its ugly head throughout history. And American has certainly seen its share. But after all the other things that have been called racist, with everything connected to them bearing guilt by association, it is nonetheless stunning that some are now calling mathematics racist, often inheriting ascribed guilt from the fact that …

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There’s Nothing Wrong with Short Selling

February 3, 2021

The recent GameStop short-squeeze drama has riveted financial markets. Given the historic unpopularity of short sellers (e.g., Holman Jenkins has written that “short-selling is…widely unpopular with everyone who has a stake in seeing stock prices go up”), the resulting heightened invective against them is not a surprise. Unfortunately, an intensification of this rhetoric could lead to unwarranted broader restrictions …

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Why Governments Want More Centralization—and Less Federalism

January 24, 2021

America’s founders did not envision the federal government as the domineering senior partner in almost everything. What was once best described as “sovereign States, united solely for specified joint purposes” has been largely eviscerated. Original Article: “Why Governments Want More Centralization—and Less Federalism” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by …

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Why Governments Want More Centralization—and Less Federalism

January 20, 2021

Federalism, which Felix Morley called “the distinctively American contribution to political art,” arose from our founders’ desire to limit government’s ability to harm its citizens. The Constitution restricted nondelegated powers to states and individuals in their private arrangements, empowering citizens by allowing easier escape from abusive government by “voting with their feet” for jurisdictions with …

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A Just Society Is a Society Based on Political Liberty

January 12, 2021

Acton: “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end…not for the sake of a good public administration…but for the security in the pursuit of the highest objects of civil society, and of private life.” Original Article: “A Just Society Is a Society Based on Political Liberty” …

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Wikipedia, Markets, and Collaboration

January 10, 2021

On January 15, Wikipedia turns 20. Its anniversary is a good time to celebrate the success of a service that has become so useful to so many. Original Article: “Wikipedia, Markets, and Collaboration​​​​” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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California Now Wants to Tax People Who Live in Other States, Too

January 9, 2021

In case you doubted that California’s politicians are firmly committed to ever-higher levels of taxation, California is now trying to retroactively impose sales taxes on out-of-state retailers going as far back as 2012. Original Article: “California Now Wants to Tax People Who Live in Other States, Too” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by …

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The Yellen-Akerlof Connection Isn’t Good News for the Treasury

January 8, 2021

As part of the rollout of his coming administration, Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Janet Yellen as his Treasury secretary. As with all such announcements, people tried to anticipate what that would mean for future policy. One of the most interesting versions of that crystal-ball gazing came from John Tamny. His article “The Biggest Janet …

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California Now Wants to Tax People Who Live in Other States, Too

January 6, 2021

California’s government has become infamous for abusing its citizens, from steep taxation to burdensome regulations to arbitrary covid impositions. But less noticed is how it is also trying to abuse other Americans as well. As reported in a December 28 Los Angeles Times editorial, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), which oversees …

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The Wisdom of Walter Williams

December 4, 2020

Walter E. William, who many consider one of greatest modern economists, has just passed on at age 84. My connections with Walter go back to UCLA, where we both got our doctorates (though I was a bit later, and it was my misfortunate we did not overlap). Then I started writing popular articles in defense …

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New Resolutions for a New Presidential Term

December 3, 2020

Most Americans probably thought they would know who the President will be shortly after the ballot boxes closed. But after three weeks, the results are still somewhat in doubt. That has thrown a wrinkle into the usual pundit calendar, focused on what the loser should have done, what the winner did well and now should …

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Being Pro-union Means Being Antiworker

November 24, 2020

The problem with Biden’s Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is that it would help unions at the expense of the vast majority of American workers. Original Article: “Being Pro-union Means Being Antiworker”. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros.  

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Being Pro-union Means Being Antiworker

November 23, 2020

After becoming the apparent president-elect, Joe Biden clearly promised to unify Americans. However, that promise was in sharp contrast to what his campaign promises would actually achieve. Granting unions their fondest wishes is clearly part of Biden’s labor policy, as illustrated by his statement that “I am a union man. Period” in his 2019 campaign-opening …

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California’s Tax-Limiting Prop. 13 Survives Yet Another Attack

November 19, 2020

Prop. 15’s attempt to undermine California Prop. 13’s property tax protections for businesses has apparently failed. Original Article: “California’s Tax-Limiting Prop. 13 Survives Yet Another Attack”. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros.  

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