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Tag Archives: Political Economy

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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£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,...

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Classical Liberal > Libertarian?

Increasingly, the political left is being accused of being illiberal. Meanwhile, “classical liberal” gains usage (see 1, 2). Some of those who call themselves classical liberal are quick to distinguish that from “libertarian” (for example, Stephen Davies here, Charles Cooke here). The rise of “classical liberal” might be built on putting down “libertarian.” What’s the difference? And what about conservatives? Can they be classical liberals? But let’s first pull back...

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Tiananmen Square, June 5, 1989

Tank Man is a just-released  15-minute drama film by Robert Anthony Peters, a young libertarian producer. It dramatizes the decision and action of a young Chinese man to stop (temporarily) a column of tanks one day after the very violent attack against Tiananmen Square demonstrators in June 1989. You can watch the film on You Tube. Sarah Skwire, a senior fellow at Liberty Fund, wrote: It made me cry. It’s a beautiful story. If you get the chance to see it, you...

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Craig Richardson on the Cuban Tragedy

Along with a dozen other professors visiting Cuba, I was there for an educational program sponsored by the U.S.-based Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). The theme was Cuba’s economy, society, and political system. CIEE’s marketing brochure promised a mixture of academic lectures, cultural experiences and travel to various parts of the country. Along with North Korea, Cuba is the last of the Communist regimes to actively discourage free markets,...

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Navarro’s “Fair, Reciprocal, and Balanced Trade”

Peter Navarro is director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, a White House agency created by President Trump, and one of the latter’s main trade advisers. He is a mystery: despite an economics Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, he seems ignorant of economics. What he now says contradicts virtually everything he wrote in his 1984 book, The Policy Game: How Special Interests and Ideologues Are Stealing America, where he defended free markets and...

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