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Tag Archives: Competition

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 87 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James M. Buchanan’s August 2001 lecture “The Hayek Difference,” as the text of this lecture appears in Buchanan’s 2005 collection, Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism (link added): Interpreting the market order as a catallaxy almost necessarily focuses attention on the choices and actions of the separate participants and upon the knowledge that these participants bring to the exchange...

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1776…

… was quite a year. In this essay for the Independent Institute I applaud the words of Thomas Jefferson and of Adam Smith. A slice: It’s often said that America’s founders had “faith” in freedom. But because of Smith’s work, a better term is confidence in freedom. Smith explained how private property rights, freedom of contract, economic competition, and market prices peacefully direct each individual who is pursuing his own goals to achieve those goals only by helping countless other...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 95 of the late Stanford University economic historian Nathan Rosenberg’s insightful 1992 paper “Economic Experiments,” as this paper is reprinted in Rosenberg’s 1994 book, Exploring the Black Box: Technology, Economics, and History: One of the less-heralded but considerable virtues of competitive capitalism has been the speed with which firms have unsentimentally cut their losses as it became apparent that a particular direction of research was likely to prove unfruitful....

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Some Links

Eric Boehm highlights three things to know about the new NAFTA (the “USMCA”), which took effect on Wednesday. A slice: Although Trump’s supporters sometimes claim that the president is actually pursuing a radical free-trade agenda and only using protectionist tactics to achieve it, the USMCA is strong evidence that Trump would prefer to see more barriers to trade. For example, the administration pushed for the inclusion of stricter rules that make it more difficult for cars and car parts...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from Thomas J. DiLorenzo’s June 1998 essay “The Ghost of John D. Rockefeller” (footnote deleted); I offer this quotation on this day, July 2nd, 2020, the 130th anniversary of President Benjamin Harrison signing into law the unfortunately revered Sherman Antitrust Act – a piece of legislation sold as attacking a non-existent problem but one later used to create problems: The Sherman Act was a protectionist scheme in more ways than one. The real source of monopoly power in the late...

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Taking the Knowledge Problem Seriously

Here’s a letter to Ian Fletcher, who e-mailed me yesterday in response to this earlier post of mine. Ian: Thanks for your e-mail in response to my request that you, as a proponent of industrial policy, explain how government officials would get the information they need in order to outperform markets. You respond that “There are a number of answers to this question,” and you then offer five specific ones. Unfortunately, only two answers are real; the other three are red herrings. For...

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Industrial-Policy Advocates Routinely Display Their Ignorance of Economics

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post: Editor: It’s difficult to decide which of the many fallacies fueling Henry Olsen’s case for U.S. industrial policy to counter China is most egregious (“How can we keep China in check? Curb free-market fundamentalism.” June 27). One candidate is Olsen’s mistaken assumption that intentions are results. Beijing surely does have an “intent to dominate a range of militarily crucial technologies, including artificial intelligence and information...

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Some Links

Robert Sauer, Donald Seigel, and David Waldman reveal some of the awful unseen consequences of the covid lockdown. A slice: Of course, there was never any need to “lock down” any of our children for any period of time. It is well known that children are at extremely low risk of contracting the disease and even when they do, they have the highest recovery rate of all. CDC data reveal that school-age children are more likely to be struck by lightning than to perish from the virus. While it...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 172 of the 2015 Mercatus Center edition of the late Don Lavoie’s insightful 1985 book Rivalry and Central Planning (references deleted; link added): The crucial distinction that Hayek introduces in this regard is between “scientific knowledge” and “unorganized knowledge,” or “the knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place.” The latter, he insists, cannot be available except to the “man on the spot.” It is only by employing such particular knowledge in...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 38 of the May 9th, 2020, draft of the important forthcoming monograph from Deirdre McCloskey and Alberto Mingardi, The Illiberal and Anti-Entrepreneurial State of Mariana Mazzucato: Consumers are not passive objects of an entrepreneur’s manipulative schemes, no more than an architect’s clients are passive objects of her vision. The feedback from consumers, of course, shapes the product no less than does the producer’s design. Consider twenty-thousand new food products,...

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