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Tag Archives: Crony Capitalism

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 115 of Matt Ridley’s superb 2010 book, The Rational Optimist: I repeat: firms are temporary aggregations of people to help them do their producing in such a way as to help others do their consuming. DBx: Yes. The ultimate economic justification for any firm – as for any productive activity – is to produce outputs for consumption. If a firm is literally producing nothing, then any resources (including labor) used in it are being wasted unless the owners of all of those...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 158 of Robert Higgs’s August 28th, 2013, blog post, “Creative Destruction – The Best Game in Town” as this post is reprinted in Bob’s excellent 2015 volume, Taking a Stand: For the losers [today, from economic competition], the perceived remedy of their plight has often been not to make the necessary personal adjustments as well as possible, but to use force, especially state force, to burden or prohibit the more successful competitors in the market. Thus, the market’s...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 71 of Deirdre McCloskey’s and Art Carden’s superb new (2020) book, Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich: How the Bourgeois Deal Enriched the World: An ethical market economy, we further claim, has been best achieved not by industrial policy from Paris or Washington but by a free society, one with no masters: modern liberalism. DBx: As I obsessively point out, proponents of industrial policy have no answer to the question “How will government officials know enough to carry...

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If You Look at the Welfare Only of Protected Producers…

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Editor: American Iron and Steel Institute CEO Kevin Dempsey argues that Pres. Trump’s steel tariffs “worked” (Letters, Nov. 6). For evidence he points to U.S. steel producers’ increased capacity utilization and the protection of steel-worker jobs. By so arguing Mr. Dempsey completely evades the chief economic objection to protectionism – namely, the resulting reduced access of consumers to other goods and services and the destruction of other...

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Some Links

Arnold Kling reviews Joseph Henrich’s The WEIRDest People In the World. A slice: At the center of the book are the traits that Henrich describes using the acronym WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic, referring to the cultures of certain societies. Over a decade ago, Henrich and colleagues came to the realization that many findings in psychology and behavioral economics that were based on studies of people living in WEIRD cultures did not replicate when...

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Leave Google Alone

Mr. Lewis e-mailed me twice in the past 24 hours, each time to express his “relief” that I’m not an economist working for the DOJ or FTC. (This fact is a relief also to me!) Mr. Lewis: You correctly infer that I oppose antitrust action against Google, but you incorrectly think that my opposition comes from “simpleminded econ 101 theories with zero friction and perfect information.” And contrary to your suggestion, I’m aware that “Google’s customers can’t switch to alternatives without...

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Some Links

Nick Gillespie talks with the great t.v. and documentary producer Bob Chitester. My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan writes insightfully about how to adjust prevention to differences in levels of danger. A slice: Should we infer, then, that the War on COVID is prudent after all?  Hardly.  Sure, non-linearity makes sense when you raise a high risk.  But approximate linearity still makes sense when you raise a low risk.  If you disvalue a 1% risk of death at $100,000, would you really...

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On the Origins of American Antitrust Legislation

I’m deeply honored to be the first of Juliette Sellgren’s guests – on her wonderful podcast, “The Great Antidote” – to be the first to appear for a second time. In this podcast, recorded earlier this week, Juliette and I discuss the history of American antitrust legislation. This legislation was not meant to promote economic competition; it was intended to protect politically influential firms from the competition that was being unleashed by new, entrepreneurial firms – especially those...

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Some Links

In today’s Wall Street Journal is this letter by my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague, Veronique de Rugy: In your otherwise excellent editorial “Pelosi’s Taxpayer Ransom Demand”(Oct. 7), you write that “aside from money for beleaguered industries like airlines, there was very little stimulus at all.” This is a terrible mistake. You assume that the airline bailout would be stimulative. Yet, as you have noted in the past, and as academic research also shows, bailouts benefit mostly...

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Some Links

The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman reports on the effort of Phil Magness and other genuine scholars to persuade the Pulitzer Prize committee to strip faux-scholar Nikole Hannah-Jones of the prize she won for her fraudulent lead essay in the New York Times‘s infamous “1619 Project.” A slice: Historian Phillip Magness, among the signers of this week’s letter, noted recently that the Times has quietly edited its material again to remove the claim that 1776 is not the true American...

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