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Lipton Matthews



Articles by Lipton Matthews

The Real Trickle-Down Effect: Making “Luxuries” Affordable to Regular People

24 days ago

The “trickle down” effect is real in how capitalists are motivated to expand affordability of their products and services. Mobile phones and air travel were once just luxuries enjoyed by a select few, but are now widely affordable.  Original Article: “The Real Trickle-Down Effect: Making “Luxuries” Affordable to Regular People” This Audio Mises Wire is …

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Why Africa’s Geography Is a Barrier to Growth

25 days ago

Browsing through history, we can identify several examples of states overcoming the hurdles of geography to achieve great feats. Though the plague of an inhospitable geography is not an insurmountable obstacle to development, it remains crucial to understanding disparities in income across countries. However, some mainstream economists place a premium on institutional development as a …

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The Real Trickle-Down Effect: Making “Luxuries” Affordable to Regular People

June 24, 2021

Most readers are familiar with the notion of the “trickle-down effect.” This caricature is usually employed by left-leaning economists to denounce tax cuts for the entrepreneurial class. Writing for the Washington Post, Christopher Ingraham tells readers that slashing tax rates for the wealthy fails to stimulate employment, though rich people become more affluent. Unfortunately, free …

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How Marriage Patterns May Have Helped Fuel Europe’s Rise to Wealth

June 5, 2021

From the Late Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, Europe transitioned from being one of the most backward regions in the world and became the world’s economic powerhouse. How did this happen? One reason, as shown by Ralph Raico, is Europe’s unusual political decentralization. But another likely factor is Western Europe’s unusual pattern of family formation. In …

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What Igbo Culture Teaches Us about Capitalism

May 24, 2021

The Igbos are one of many ethnic groups within Africa. They consist of about 43 million people, 40 million of whom live within Nigeria.  They are widely successful in Nigeria and are considered by many to be the “Jews of West Africa,” partly because they tend to be more economically successful than their neighbors.  For example, according to some …

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Self-Interest versus Racial Solidarity

May 8, 2021

Modern-day race theories—much like the standard racist theories of the past—assume that racial solidarity ought to be the overriding factor in all human behavior. Whites are supposed to always ally with whites. Meanwhile, blacks are supposed to always side with other blacks, even if this means abandoning self-interest. Experience suggests, however, that blacks are not …

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What Happens When Governments Force Corporate Boards to Appoint More Women

May 5, 2021

A controversial new law in California requires publicly traded companies headquartered in the state to include at least one woman on their board of directors. Supporters of those types of laws even contend that gender quotas could boost firm profitability. However, the literature indicates that gender quotas are unlikely to enhance firm performance. What is also shocking …

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Are Monarchies Better for Economic Growth? Here’s What the Empirical Evidence Says.

April 23, 2021

Hans-Hermann Hoppe has argued that monarchies take a longer-term view of their national economies and therefore are more likely to pursue more stable and secure economies. That is, among monarchs, the desire to maximize wealth promotes more farsightedness than exists in democratic regimes. Due to the lower time preference of monarchs, they are less likely to succumb …

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When Measured by Real-World Outcomes, Capitalism Delivers

April 14, 2021

Nathan Robinson is an erudite socialist who frequently argues for the superiority of socialism over capitalism. He is the editor of Current Affairs and is the author of Why You Should Be a Socialist (All Points Books, 2019). He’s made quite a lucrative career out of pushing for socialism. More specifically, he argues that socialism …

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Trust, Corruption, and the Cultural Foundations of Capitalism

April 8, 2021

Economists promote free market capitalism as the most advantageous system for human development. Notwithstanding the popularity of their rhetoric, capitalism remains a derisive term in the developing world. Transplanting promarket institutions to developing countries has failed to generate widespread support for capitalism. For capitalism to work in the developing world it must be aided by the …

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Colonies Compared: Why British Colonies Were More Economically Successful

March 27, 2021

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

March 27, 2021

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

March 22, 2021

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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