Tuesday , October 17 2017
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Cafe Hayek

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 237-238 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague Jim Buchanan‘s July 1967 Ethics article, “Politics and Science,” as this article is reprinted in volume 1 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty (1999) (original emphasis): Politics can be considered as the choice of rules by which men live together.  We are deep in the cardinal sin of using the same word “politics” to mean two quite different things, and, indeed, this has...

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Some Links

Alberto Mingardi identifies some of the astounding errors in Yoram Hazony’s recent Wall Street Journal essay on liberalism. Allan Golombek writes beautifully about creative destruction and jobs.  A slice: Jobs are just tasks we carry out to produce and obtain the things we desire. We will never run out of consumer desires, no matter how many robots or other technologies we create. When technologies take care of some of our needs, they just give us the opportunity to pursue others, an...

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Trump’s Trade Policy Is Madness

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: I applaud your clear explanation of the great damage that Trump’s proposed changes to Nafta will inflict on the American economy (“Trump’s Nafta Threat,” Oct. 16).  Yet one feature of Trump’s approach to trade warrants more explicit criticism – namely, his belief that we Americans benefit from trade the more we export and the less we import. It cannot be said too often that exports are the costs that we pay for the goods and services that we...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 212 of my late colleague Gordon Tullock’s pioneering article in the Autumn 1975 Bell Journal of Economics, “The Transitional Gains Trap,” as this article is reprinted in Virginia Political Economy, which is Vol. 1 of The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock (Charles K. Rowley, ed., 2004): One of the major activities of modern governments is the granting of special privileges to various groups of politically influential people. DBx: This truth is seldom denied when it is, as...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 116-117 of Razeen Sally’s superb 2008 book, New Frontiers in Free Trade: Globalization’s Future and Asia’s Rising Role: There are short-term (or static) gains from trade.  That is but the necessary preface for capital accumulation, economies of scale, and other long-run (or dynamic) gains, such as the transfer of technology and skills, and the competitive spur that comes from exposure to world-class practice.  This feeds into productivity gains, increases in real incomes,...

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Horwitz on MacLean

Here’s the Cato Journal version of Steve Horwitz’s devastating review of Nancy MacLean’s fabulist tale, Democracy in Chains.  Some slices: But the argument for school choice has a long history outside the context of race. For example, it appears in nearly identical form in John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (1859) exactly 100 years earlier. Like Mill, Nutter and Buchanan genuinely believed that their proposed system would provide a better education for all students. Given the way integration...

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Some Links

George Will warns of the many creepy people who are close to Trump.  A slice: Trump’s energy, unleavened by intellect and untethered to principle, serves only his sovereign instinct to pander to those who adore him as much as he does. Unshakably smitten, they are impervious to the Everest of evidence that he disdains them as a basket of gullibles. He understands that his unremitting coarseness satisfies their unpolitical agenda of smashing crockery, even though his self-indulgent...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 43 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague Jim Buchanan‘s 1982 article “The Related but Distinct ‘Sciences’ of Economics and of Political Economy,” as this article is reprinted in Moral Science and Moral Order, Vol. 17 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan (original emphasis): The problem that Crusoe and Friday confront in living together is not scientific in the standard sense, and no matter how rapid the advances in scientific knowledge by one or both persons, the...

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Phrases Ever So Fine Are Too Often Masks for Mischief

Below is a letter to a reader of Marginal Revolution who e-mailed me this morning after reading this Marginal Revolution post. Mr. Andrew Corrigan Mr. Corrigan: Thanks for your e-mail.  I did indeed see that Jeffrey Sachs supports a movement that has, among its goals, government creation of a “livable” wage for all jobs, as well as universal health coverage.  You are correct that I object to any such political movement. Forget here that government-mandated wage minimums price many...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 93 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague Jim Buchanan‘s April 1954 Journal of Political Economy article, “Social Choice, Democracy, and Free Markets,” as this article is reprinted in volume 1 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty (1999): Voting and the market, as decision-making mechanisms, have evolved from, and are based upon an acceptance of, the philosophy of individualism which presumes no social utility. DBx: The...

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