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Lipton Matthews



Articles by Lipton Matthews

Colonies Compared: Why British Colonies Were More Economically Successful

17 days ago

Last month, British black studies professor Kehinde Andrews argued that the British Empire was “far worse than the Nazis.” It was a controversial comparison to be sure, but it raises the question: Compared to other expansionist regimes, how bad was the British Empire? A survey of the evidence suggests that the British Empire was relatively …

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Why Envy Can Destroy Economic Progress

17 days ago

In some cultures, entrepreneurial achievement and capital accumulations are viewed with high levels of suspicion and envy. This can be disastrous for economic progress.  Original Article: “Why Envy Can Destroy Economic Progress” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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Why Envy Can Destroy Economic Progress

22 days ago

Economists think that culture is a fuzzy concept. Yet as research demonstrates, culture provides insight into a country’s potential for growth. One cultural feature worth studying for its propensity to impede development is envy. Envy is described as a feeling of resentment motivated by the achievements of other people. The manifestation of this emotion can be destructive …

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India’s Farming Reform: A Lesson in Interest Group Politics

February 27, 2021

If Punjabi farmers had been portrayed as affluent, the media would view them as greedy entrepreneurs. But leveraging the political capital of perceived powerlessness has allowed them to obscure their true status as rent seekers.  Original Article: “”India’s Farming Reform: A Lesson in Interest Group Politics” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher …

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American Households Made Economic Gains before Covid, but This Progress Can Be Lost

February 26, 2021

Before 2020, there were growing signs of increasing economic prosperity for a wide variety of income groups in America. Whether or not this prosperity survives covid lockdowns and ever higher levels of government regulations remains to be seen. But in spite of increasingly reckless monetary and fiscal policy over the past decade, there were definite signs of ongoing …

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India’s Farming Reform: A Lesson in Interest Group Politics

February 23, 2021

India’s farmers have been demonstrating in response to the government’s decision to liberalize the agricultural sector. Though economists note that these measures will boost the incomes of farmers, it is unsurprising that the protests have received immense support. Unlike corporate titans, the heavily subsidized farmers of Punjab can weaponize sympathy to further their agenda. Because …

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Lessons on Economic Freedom from Ancient Greece

January 27, 2021

Economic freedom isn’t a modern invention. Throughout history, we find time and time again that those areas with the most economic freedom were the most prosperous. Activists in favor of economic freedom often limit themselves, however, to only a few times and places, and most lean on modern studies showing the benefits of the marketplace. It is possible …

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The Myths behind the “Capitalism Is Racist” Claim

January 26, 2021

Both theory and the empirical research shows a competitive marketplace is incongruous with racism, but the Left insists capitalism is “inherently” racist. Original Article: “The Myths Behind the “Capitalism Is Racist” Claim” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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The Myths Behind the “Capitalism Is Racist” Claim

January 21, 2021

Though numerous studies prove the contrary, it is still widely assumed that capitalism perpetuates racism. Celebrities and academics incessantly broadcast the message that capitalism engenders racism. For example, recently on Twitter, superstar athlete Andre Iguodala informed his followers that capitalism cannot be divorced from racism: “Capitalism and racism go hand in hand. And you can’t …

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Understanding Inequality Requires Much More Than Calling Everything Racist

January 19, 2021

To offer a semblance of solidarity with the working class, wealthy leftists have substituted identity politics for class conflict, and attempted to recast economic problems as problems of racism or bigotry. Original Article: “Understanding Inequality Requires Much More Than Calling Everything Racist” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael …

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Understanding Inequality Requires Much More Than Calling Everything Racist

January 16, 2021

To offer a semblance of solidarity with the working class, wealthy leftists have substituted identity politics for class conflict, and attempted to recast economic problems as problems of racism or bigotry. So, instead of assailing the manipulation of the economy by the state and crony capitalists, a black worker will instead attack systemic racism or better …

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When “Free Trade” Agreements Are a Polite Form of Protectionism

January 12, 2021

Even some libertarians are under the delusion that regional free trade agreements are motivated by a desire to reduce trade barriers. In reality, states form trade associations to increase their bargaining powers on a global scale. As such, trade agreements are merely tools to promote the agenda of elites. Although Americans may be uninterested in the …

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Why It’s Important to Make the Moral Case for Capitalism

December 29, 2020

Yes, capitalism is more efficient than socialism, but to build a compelling argument for free market capitalism, defenders of liberty must also articulate that it is a superior moral system. Original Article: “Why It’s Important to Make the Moral Case for Capitalism​​”. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael …

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Colonialism Doesn’t Explain the Developing World’s Problems

December 15, 2020

It is popular to assume that colonialism explains most modern-day dynamics in the developing world. But what if precolonial institutions are the real deciding factors? Original Article: “Colonialism Doesn’t Explain the Developing World’s Problems​”. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Colonialism Doesn’t Explain the Developing World’s Problems

December 11, 2020

There is an abundance of studies postulating that colonialism explains the character of the developing world. For instance, in their seminal paper aptly titled “The Colonial Origins of Development: An Empirical Investigation” (2000), Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James A. Robinson advance the audacious claim that in regions where the environment was conducive to settlement, Europeans built inclusive …

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Climate Change Policy Isn’t Worth Its High Cost

December 9, 2020

In most economies, inventories are valued at market prices, while in China they are valued by the authorities and adjusted later. This is just one of many ways China manipulates GDP data. Original Article: “There Is No Chinese Economic Miracle”. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Climate Change Policy Isn’t Worth Its High Cost

December 5, 2020

Numerous thought leaders agree that climate change is the defining issue of the twenty-first century. To garner widespread support for their cause, activists often present climate change as an existential risk. We are repeatedly told that there is incontrovertible evidence that humans are the main cause of climate change and that its effects are cataclysmic. …

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Slavery: The “Broken Window” of American Economic History

December 3, 2020

The New Historians of Capitalism have unleashed a renaissance in the study of slavery as foundational to American progress. Unlike conservative economists who declaim that slavery impeded industrial development these intellectuals argue that it created multiple economic linkages and fueled the prosperity of Northern states. Such is the thesis proffered by Sven Beckert in an …

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Those Who Fear Disease Most Are Most Likely to Prefer Authoritarian Regimes

November 24, 2020

Covid-19 has unleashed a pandemic of restrictive measures on the population. Lockdowns and mask mandates are becoming widespread. Libertarians have been vociferously denouncing covid-19 containment strategies as draconian. Evolutionary psychologists, however, argue that reactions in favor of government restrictions are the norm in environments where the public fears contamination. According to the parasitic stress theory …

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A Brief History of Nonwhite Slave Owners in America

November 9, 2020

The study of slavery is one of the most contentious issues in contemporary America. But frequently this history is abused by thinkers across the spectrum to score political points. To understand the complexity of such an institution, we must desist from underestimating the role of minorities such as African Americans and Native Americans in it. For …

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No, the American Republic Was Not Founded on Slavery

October 29, 2020

The fact that some Americans supported slavery in the eighteenth century is not at all remarkable. Most of the world agreed with them. What is remarkable is that many of them sought to abolish slavery in the new republic. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: …

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No, the American Republic Was Not Founded on Slavery

October 28, 2020

Journalistic propaganda is a powerful instrument of indoctrination. Without evidence, foul ideas can easily penetrate mainstream discourse. For instance, recently it has become fashionable to posit that slavery is America’s original sin. To sensible people, this is a risible claim, because there is nothing particularly American about slavery. But revisiting the history of slavery in …

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Why Racism Can’t Explain Europe’s Drive for Conquest and Colonial Power

October 24, 2020

Historically, Europeans had few qualms about conquering and enslaving other Europeans. This presents some problems for the narrative claiming that injustices committed by Europeans are motivated primarily by racism. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: “Why Racism Can’t Explain Europe’s Drive for Conquest and Colonial …

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Why Slave Economies Thwart Entrepreneurial Innovation

October 20, 2020

In a slave economy, slave owners seek technological innovations that make slave labor more productive. But they also place inefficient and artificial limits on innovations that might change the established social order. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: “Why Slave Economies Thwart Entrepreneurial Innovation”.

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The Myth of Wakanda: How Hollywood Distorts the Legacy of Colonialism

October 19, 2020

The film Black Panther offered an attractive view of an African nation untouched by slavery or colonialism. Unfortunately, the film offers a rather dubious counterfactual. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: “The Myth of Wakanda: How Hollywood Distorts the Legacy of Colonialism”.

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Why Slave Economies Thwart Entrepreneurial Innovation

October 15, 2020

The new history of capitalism (NHC) offers libertarians an exciting opportunity to defend the vitality of capitalism. Scholars like Sven Beckert, Walter Johnson, and Edward Baptiste argue that slavery provides fascinating insights into the workings of early American capitalism and that it furnished the capital to fuel industrial development. Consequently, libertarians have responded to this declaration by articulating that slavery cannot explain America’s prosperity. …

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The Myth of Wakanda: How Hollywood Distorts the Legacy of Colonialism

October 7, 2020

The film Black Panther is one of the most profitable films in recent years, earning revenue in excess of $1.3 billion at the box office. Further, some expect the sequel to do even better. Throughout the world, audiences were captivated by the glamor of Wakanda, a sophisticated African state untouched by colonialism. Symbolically, Wakanda has …

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Problems with Theories on the Black-White Wealth Gap

October 5, 2020

The wealth gap between white and black Americans is frequently discussed. Today it’s becoming popular to attribute disparities to black culture. Clearly all cultures are not equal, but can the subculture of some black American communities explain variations within the wealth gap? For instance, fifty people in an inner-city neighborhood may engage in maladaptive activities; however, …

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