Thursday , January 23 2020
Home / Tag Archives: Myths and Fallacies

Tag Archives: Myths and Fallacies

An Open Letter to Daniel McCarthy

Here’s an open letter to Daniel McCarthy: Mr. McCarthy: Your attempted justification, at Law & Liberty, of industrial policy and protectionism carried out in the name of economic nationalism fails on many fronts. But worst of all, perhaps, is your slaying of the straw man “market liberal” who supports free trade. This “market liberal,” you tell us, argues for free trade from “unhistorical abstractions” because he naively believes that the “market exists in a social vacuum” as it is...

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Some Links

Russ Roberts is interviewed on the many pitfalls of measuring economic change. A slice: Q: Is there a more accurate way to measure wealth in 1975 vs. today? A: A recent study found the bottom half of the income distribution today makes the same on average as the bottom half 35 or 40 years ago. That’s extraordinarily depressing, if true. It implies the top is just doing way too well. But a handful of studies have instead taken people in 1975 and followed them through time to see if the...

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Some Links

The great Sheldon Richman eloquently and knowledgeably defends the Quincy Institute against the ludicrous assertions of Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy resists the growing support for industrial policy. A slice: What’s more, the late William Niskanen, economist and former Chairman of the Cato Institute looked at this issue in his 1997 paper “R&D and Economic Growth: Cautionary Thoughts.” He argued that the idea that R&D drives...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 296 of Deirdre McCloskey’s marvelous 2019 book, Why Liberalism Works: How True Liberal Values Produce a Freer, More Equal, Prosperous World for All: Notice that if government statisticians did not collect the numbers on the balance of payments, you would not feel them. It’s not true of high inflation or mass unemployment or rising real income. In fact, many economists regard the collecting of the national balance of payments as a silly nuisance, serving merely to encourage...

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Oren Cass Is Incorrect to Equate the Competitive Market Process With an Inebriated Ass

In my most-recent column for AIER, I do my best to point out some errors that are in Oren Cass’s recent attempt, at Law & Liberty, to defend industrial policy against Samuel Gregg’s wise warnings against such policy. A slice: Now to Cass’s foundational error, which is this: he completely misses the market’s role at gathering and processing information. This error is revealed when he equates the competitive market to the meanderings of a drunk donkey. In fact, it is no such thing. As...

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Were Adam Smith and Hayek Mistaken?

Here’s a letter to Liberty & Law: Editor: Attempting to defend industrial policy carried out in the name of economic nationalism, Oren Cass commits several errors that reveal his unfamiliarity with economics (“Comparative Disadvantage,” January 15). Detailing these errors would require a full-length essay, so I here mention only two. First, Mr. Cass mistakenly presumes that nations compete against each other economically. They don’t, as economists since Adam Smith have demonstrated....

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 139 of Peter Bauer’s penetrating 1969 article “Dissent on Development,” as it is reprinted in the original 1972 edition of Bauer’s invaluable collection of the same name (Dissent on Development): The collection of resources for government financed or sponsored investment often has a substantial disincentive effect on saving, effort and enterprise, because of the taxation or controls imposed for this purpose. These disincentive effects can easily offset, or more than...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 151 of my colleague Richard E. Wagner’s deep 2017 intellectual biography of Jim Buchanan, James M. Buchanan and Liberal Political Economy: Yet democracy and liberty cannot be complementary political values, at least not without significant effort at constitutional reconciliation. At base, democracy embraces the principle that majorities dominate minorities. In contrast, liberty is a principle of non-domination whereby interaction among people is governed by principles of...

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Some Links

Bryan Riley exposes many of the errors that mar Peter Navarro’s most-recent lame attempt to justify Trump’s tariffs punitive taxes on Americans who buy imports. Jacob Sullum rightly praises members of Congress who resist the grab of unilateral war-making powers by the president of the executive branch of the national government. Who does occupational licensing hurt the most? Russ Roberts blogs on gratitude, kindness, and loveliness. Vincent Geloso and Alex Salter write about state...

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