Thursday , May 19 2022
Home / Cafe Hayek

Cafe Hayek

Elizabeth Warren Encourages Resource Waste

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Editor: You detail many problems with Elizabeth Warren’s economically illiterate effort to fight inflation with price controls (“The Senators from Venezuela,” May 17). Here’s one more: By penalizing price increases that firms cannot prove are the result of corresponding cost increases, Warren’s scheme would block the market’s ability to pass along to producers and consumers newly discovered information about forthcoming reductions in supplies....

Read More »

Some Non-Covid Links

David Boaz remembers the late George Smith. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Todd Henderson warns against government regulation of Google ads. (DBx: Although I agree with Todd’s opposition to attempts to regulate advertising on Google – and I agree with him also that the market for on-line advertising differs in important ways from markets for financial securities – I am much more opposed to financial-market regulation than Todd seems to be.) Art Carden wonders which...

Read More »

Applauding Jeff Jacoby’s Busting of Trade-Deficit Myths

Here’s a letter of mine that appears in today’s Boston Globe: Editor: Jeff Jacoby’s attempt to calm people’s fears of a U.S. trade deficit is informed and eloquent (“The trade deficit is up again. No worries.” May 11). Applause would come even from Adam Smith, who wrote that “[n]othing, however, can be more absurd than this whole doctrine of the balance of trade.”* So true. Unfortunately, it’s also true that nothing can be more serviceable for politicians itching to transform economic...

Read More »

Some Covid Links

University of Auckland Professor of Experimental Economics, Ananish Chaudhuri, is interviewed about his new book, Nudged Into Lockdown? Behavioural economics, uncertainty and Covid-19. Two slices: Behavioural economics explains the failure to incorporate human response factors into the epidemiological models on which the lockdowns were based. Humans tend to focus on losses that are immediately in front of them rather than those that are more diffuse and dispersed in the background, even...

Read More »

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 228 of my colleague Peter Boettke’s 2017 paper “Rebuilding the Liberal Project,” as this paper appears in Pete’s 2021 book, The Struggle for a Better World (typo corrected): Parochialism kills progress by forcing attention in-group, rather than allowing, let alone enabling, individuals in their quest to seek new ways to learn and benefit from others. Turning inward means turning away from pursuing productive specialisation and peaceful social cooperation in the global...

Read More »

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 285 of F.A. Hayek’s profound 1952 book The Counter-Revolution of Science, as this book appears as part of volume 13 (Studies on the Abuse & Decline of Reason, Bruce Caldwell, ed. [2010]) of the Collected Works of F.A. Hayek: The discussions of every age are filled with the issues on which its leading schools of thought differ. But the general intellectual atmosphere of the time is always determined by the views on which the opposing schools agree. They become the...

Read More »

More on the Dangers of Price Controls

Here’s a letter to National Review’s The Corner: Editor: Andrew Stuttaford nicely reviews many of the reasons why the imposition of price controls would be “an act of remarkable economic destructiveness” (“Price Controls: An ‘Absurdity’ for the Generations,” May 14). There’s an additional reason worth noting; it’s one famously explained nearly 80 years ago by F.A. Hayek. Market prices transmit information that’s indispensable if consumers and producers are to act in ways that are...

Read More »

Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 24-25 of the 2006 Liberty Fund edition of Ludwig von Mises’s 1956 volume, The Anti-capitalistic Mentality (available free-of-charge on-line here): Everybody is free to join the ranks of the three progressive classes of a capitalist society. These classes are not closed castes. Membership in them is not a privilege conferred on the individual by a higher authority or inherited from one’s ancestors. These classes are not clubs, and the ins have no power to keep out any...

Read More »

Seek little-t truth, but Reject those Who Peddle Capital-T Truth

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Editor: Barton Swaim eloquently exposes the dangers posed by intellectuals and government officials who, insisting that facts ‘speak for themselves,’ arrogantly assume that their own particular interpretations of the facts are correct beyond dispute (“How Disagreement Became ‘Disinformation,’” May 14). For any person infected by this conceit, it’s a short leap to the conclusion that the good of society requires the silencing of individuals who...

Read More »

Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 368-369 of the late Wesleyan University economic historian Stanley Lebergott’s indispensable 1984 book, The Americans: An Economic Record (footnotes deleted): Major changes escalated in the twentieth century. Rising workers’ incomes enabled families to buy appliances that cut the work day more substantially, and freed housewives to enter the labor force…. [F]ewer families took in boarders and lodgers. In 1900 one urban family out of four shared its home with a boarder or...

Read More »