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Tag Archives: Books

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David Henderson’s review of John Quiggin’s Economics in Two Lessons is wonderful. Pierre Lemieux details some of the Trump administration’s trade nuttiness. Here’s the abstract of William Easterly’s latest paper: The lack of growth response to “Washington Consensus” policy reforms in the 1980s and 1990s led to widespread doubts about the value of such reforms. This paper updates these stylized facts by analyzing moderate to extreme levels of inflation, black market premiums, currency...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy offers some options on how to deal with that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, if it’s politically impossible to slay the damn thing. A slice: As the narrative goes, without Ex-Im many foreign companies would buy Airbus rather than Boeing; hence the need for support. This is a weird argument at many levels. First, as a believer that the government’s job is never, ever, ever to prop up private companies, I would...

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Susan Dudley has very good reasons for liking Paul Rubin’s new book, The Capitalism Paradox. A slice: Similarly, President Trump’s immigration and trade policies are based on flawed zero-sum thinking. Under the mistaken premise that all workers are competing for a fixed number of jobs, he concludes that keeping foreign workers out is good for Americans. He doesn’t see that voluntary transactions are positive sum and that immigrants increase the number of people available for Americans to...

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Michael Strain offers some reason to believe that today’s populism will soon be back beneath the rock from where slithered. Matt Welch reviews Samantha Power’s The Education of an Idealist. (HT David Henderson) Kevin Williamson exposes the astonishing ignorance of New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie. A slice: Bouie’s majoritarian ideology is nowhere to be found in the Constitution; in fact, the very structure of American government is designed to frustrate that kind of crass...

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Max Gulker argues that a President Elizabeth Warren would be an even greater calamity than would a President Bernie Sanders. A slice: Warren presents herself as a tireless, technocratic savior of capitalism, but her plans give the U.S. government far more control over individual firms, households, and markets than anything proposed in recent memory. Warren, a legal scholar by trade, has moved into the complex realm of a modern economy, where a lawyer’s penchant for sweating the details...

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Order your copies now of Deirdre McCloskey’s Why Liberalism Works – it’ll be available next month. I’ve read it and it’s marvelous. Shikha Dalmia is rightfully distressed – and mystified – that so many Democrats are as bad as, or even worse, than Trump on trade. A slice: The Peterson Institute for International Economics has estimated that expansion of free trade has generated $2.1 trillion for America between 1950 and 2016. That works out on average to $18,000 in income for American...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy tells the harsh truth about Social Security. A slice: It looks even worse in the long run. The Social Security Board of Trustees reports that over the next 75 years, the program will be underfunded by $13.9 trillion. To make Social Security solvent over this period would require an immediate and permanent payroll tax increase (today) of 2.78 percent of overall wages — which raises the average Social Security payroll tax bite by 25...

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Vincent Geloso brilliantly explains that America’s economic riches were not, and are not, the product of slavery – quite the opposite. Here’s his conclusion: It is clear that one cannot infer that America was made richer from the often-used facts about growth and slavery. It is even clearer that America was made poorer by slavery. Slavery leaves a nasty legacy. Its preservation required the use of racist ideological constructs to justify it. These constructs persist today and, since...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy explains that politicians do not determine where the burden of their taxes fall. Here’s my Mercatus Center colleague Adam Thierer writing on a proposed “science of progress” – a science proposed by another of my colleagues Tyler Cowen (writing with Patrick Collison). A slice: In my last book and in essays like “Embracing a Culture of Permissionless Innovation,” I argue that, to some extent, leaders and institutions can help create...

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Mike Munger – inspired in part by Vernon Smith, Dan Klein, Russ Roberts, and Walter Williams – explains that there was only one Adam Smith. Kyle Smith loves George Will’s new book. Jeffrey Tucker brilliantly exposes, in five easy steps, the unalloyed idiocy of Trump’s ‘understanding’ of trade. Akiva Malamet is, with justification, highly critical of Yoram Hazony’s case for nationalism. (HT Alberto Mingardi) Here’s Bruce Caldwell on the 75th anniversary of the publication of Hayek’s Road...

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