Sunday , September 22 2019
Home / Tag Archives: Political Economy

Tag Archives: Political Economy

Monopolize the Pretty Lies

Why do dictators deny people the right to speak freely?  The obvious response is, “The truth hurts.”  Dictators are bad, so if people can freely speak the truth, they will say bad things about the dictator.  This simultaneously wounds dictators’ pride and threatens their power, so dictators declare war on the truth. But is this story right?  Consider: If you want to bring an incumbent dictator down, do you really want to be hamstrung by the truth?  It’s far easier –...

Read More »

Power to the Children and Hail to the State!

Three dangerous aspects of the relationship between children and political power are worth noting. First, children have been getting more and more political influence—that is, influence on making other people move under the threat of government guns. Greta Thunberg is their current face. The 16-year-old Swedish girl is waging an international campaign for environmental control that lead her to sail (literally) to the shores of America without the carbon footprint of...

Read More »

The “Culture of Poverty” and the War on Poverty

Many critics of Oscar Lewis viewed him as a traitor to the left.  The angriest of these critics was probably Charles Valentine.  In 1969, the journal Current Anthropology gave Lewis (and about a dozen other scholars) the chance to respond to Valentine’s critique of culture of poverty research.  Lewis’ whole reply is well-done, but here’s my favorite part: At one point Valentine charges that my concept of a culture of poverty was a guiding principle of the war against...

Read More »

Bernie Sanders Didn’t Say It

When I wrote a review of the excellent Socialism Sucks by Bob Lawson and Ben Powell, I quoted a passage from it that they attributed to Bernie Sanders. It did sound extreme, even for Bernie, and I should have checked. Unfortunately, I didn’t. That’s a problem because Bernie didn’t say it. Here’s the relevant passage in my review: They [Lawson and Powell] quote Bernie Sanders’s 2011 comment that “the American dream was more apt to be realized” in Venezuela than in the...

Read More »

And They Want to be Sovereign!

Under the title “The U.K. Banned a Cream Cheese Commercial Due to Gender Stereotypes,” Reason Magazine journalist Ben McDonald reports: The first ads to fall prey to the U.K.’s new ban on gender stereotypes in advertising are tepid spots for Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Volkswagen. The law, which is enforced by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), went into effect in June … The ASA said it received 128 complaints regarding the cream cheese ad and three...

Read More »

Madman or Madwoman in Power: A Simple, Realistic, Urgent Idea

Is it possible that a madman or egomaniac (perhaps combined with an ignoramus) become president of the United States? The same question can be asked for any other country although it takes special importance in the United States given the importance of the country in the world and the extraordinary power of its president. Liberal governments, that is, classical-liberal governments were ideally supposed to be madman-proof. Even a madman at the helm of the government...

Read More »

Why Libertarians Distrust Political Power

In mid-July, Hillbilly Elegy author J. D. Vance delivered a talk at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington entitled “Beyond Libertarianism.” The talk is interesting and important for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it was one of several talks at that coming out party for “nationalist conservatism” that saw in classical liberalism the source of the social problems they hoped their new vision of conservatism could address. Vance’s talk...

Read More »

Socialism Sucks by Robert Lawson and Ben Powell

I just finished watching Bob and Ben do an interview about their new book that is released today.  Socialism Sucks is timely and entertaining tour through the ruins left behind by an ideology that has both been poorly understood and devastating for humanity in its practice.  They provide a tour guide through the socialist world, and focus on the everyday pleasure of enjoying a good beer.  It turns out, that is quite hard to do in many regions of the world.  As Ben put it in the...

Read More »

Prescription Drug Prices: Retaliatory Socialism

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (“Trump Plans Order to Tie Drug Prices to other Nations’ Costs,” July 5, 2019) reported: President Trump said Friday he was preparing an executive order that would lower drug prices so that the federal government would pay no more than the costs paid by other countries. Mr. Trump is quoted as saying: As you know for years and years, other nations paid less for drugs than we do, sometimes by 60, 70%. We’re going to be, and we’re working...

Read More »

£s for Brexit

With my perfect betting record hanging in the balance, I follow Brexit news to the point of obsession.  Out of the many hundreds of stories I’ve read, though, I have yet to hear anyone point to the simplest path to Brexit: Let Britain buy its way out! In Theresa May’s failed deal, the UK was supposed to pay the EU about £38 billion for the “divorce.”  Yet there is nothing magical about this price tag.  It could just as easily be £40 billion, or £140 billion.  Why,...

Read More »