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Tag Archives: Hubris and humility

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 133 of the 2000 Liberty Fund edition of Frederic William Maitland’s profound 1875 dissertation at Trinity College, Cambridge, A Historical Sketch of Liberty and Equality (emphasis added): The main argument of the Wealth of Nations remains to this day a valid reason for leaving trade free, and the main argument is that interference only makes bad worse. This has been forcibly repeated by post-Malthusian economists, who have argued that our present system of private...

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Some Links

The editors of the Wall Street Journal rightly warn of the economic dangers – to Americans as well as to non-Americans – of Trump’s foolhardy protectionism. A slice: We’ve been warning for two years that trade wars have economic consequences, but the wizards of protectionism told Mr. Trump not to worry. The economy was fine and the trade worrywarts were wrong. But we never said tariffs would produce immediate recession. We said they—and the climate of uncertainty they were creating for...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 88 of the 1935 translation – titled “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth” – of Ludwig von Mises’s 1920 paper “Die Wirtschaftsrechnung im sozialistischen Gemeinwesen,” as this translation appears in F.A. Hayek, ed., Collectivist Economic Planning (1935): Economics, as such, figures all to sparsely in the glamorous pictures painted by the Utopians. DBx: So it was a century ago, and so it remains today. Comments

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Yet Another Open Letter to the Economic Ignoramus-In-Chief

Mr. Donald J. Trump1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NWWashington, DC 20500 Mr. Trump: Attempting to justify that which is economically and ethically unjustifiable – namely, the punitive taxes that you impose on Americans who purchase imports from China – you (as reported by the Wall Street Journal) declared yesterday about the Chinese that “If they don’t want to trade with us anymore, that would be fine with me.” Who in hell, sir, do you think you are? What gives you the moral authority to...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 269-270 of my former professor Randy Holcombe’s 2018 book, Political Capitalism: How Economic and Political Power is Made and Maintained: When governments are given more discretion, this opens the door for those who hold government power to use it for their own interests. This is true whether power is seized by force and the population is held down by fear or whether power is purposely given to government by a citizenry who believes it will be used to further the public...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 216 of the 2016 re-issue of my late colleague Don Lavoie’s superb 1985 volume National Economic Planning: What Is Left?: This libertarian radicalism sought to carefully establish the rules of permissible conduct in such a way as to allow the competitive forces of the free market to do their progressive work. The evolution of the economy would be driven by the principles of natural law. Social progress was to be the indirect consequence of the competitive engagement of...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 159-160 of George Will’s 2019 book, The Conservative Sensibility: Modernity’s gift has been the ability and determination to sharply delineate private and public spheres, with the private being the zone of individual sovereignty. It is the realm of the household, the family, and the work that sustains both. This is the basis of the proposition that the Constitution of the first consciously modern nation, the United States, protects the sovereignty of private individuals,...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from my George Mason University emeritus Nobel laureate colleague – and now Chapman University professor – Vernon Smith’s December 10, 2002, Nobel Prize Banquet Speech: I wish to celebrate… F.A. Hayek for teaching us that an economist who is only an economist cannot be a good economist; that fruitful social science must be very largely a study of what is not; that reason properly used recognizes its own limitations; that civilization rests on the fact that we all benefit from...

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