Monday , June 18 2018
Home / Tag Archives: Reality Is Not Optional

Tag Archives: Reality Is Not Optional

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 156 of Robert Frank’s 2007 book, The Economic Naturalist: Producers gain less than half the cost imposed on American consumers, yet political support for tariff repeal remains elusive because the benefits of the tariff are concentrated and its costs highly diffuse. DBx: Frank here refers to a study of the consequences for us Americans of Uncle Sam’s punitive taxes on our purchases of sugar. Yet a core point – which is that the benefits of such special privileges are...

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Daniel McCarthy (for) and Matt Ridley (against) debate the merits of Trump’s tariffs. A slice from Matt Ridley’s essay: But the impact of retaliation on American producers is in some ways the least of the problem. Consumers will suffer most from the tariffs, and everybody is a consumer, including, of course, those who work in the steel industry. Deliberately raising the price to the American economy of steel, a crucial ingredient in everything from cars to cables, is self-harm. In my...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 929 of Book V, Chapter 3 of the 1981 Liberty Fund edition of Adam Smith’s 1776 masterpiece, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: Great Britain seems to support with ease a burden which, half a century ago, nobody believed her capable of supporting. Let us not, however, upon this account rashly conclude that she is capable of supporting any burden, nor even be too confident that she could support, without great distress, a burden a little greater...

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Pierre Lemieux points out that if a nation’s greatest is measured by its government’s success at creating jobs then North Korea would truly be Great. And applying the logic to offer an insight about an ill-effect of protectionism, Pierre writes: Any new goods produced as substitution for imports will divert jobs away from producing something else that would otherwise have been produced. Jobs will be diverted from producing higher valued goods to producing lower valued ones. More...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 93 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James M. Buchanan‘s 2005 book, Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism: The socialist epoch was successful in replacing ‘God will take care of you’ (which I recall from an old hymn) with ‘the state will take care of you.’ DBx: Whether you believe in a supernatural being or, like me, have no such belief, given the state’s historical record at ‘caring’ for its subjects, it’s positive insanity for...

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“Deregulation,” As It Is Popularly Called, Is Really Increased Regulation

Among the points that I make in my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is that because regulation by government often shields politically influential producers from competition, it is really deregulation – and that “deregulation” (so-called), insofar as it rolls back “regulation” (so-called) by government, is really greater regulation.  A slice: Economic competition is the most reliable and incorruptible form of regulation. If in free markets that are unsullied by government...

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In this podcast, Alberto Mingardi talks with the Wall Street Journal‘s Mary Kissel about the unfortunate rise of populism. My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy correctly argues that the GOP is no advocate of small and limited government.  A slice: Led by a president who doesn’t appear to understand basic economics and who insists that the long-term drivers of America’s unsustainable national debt—Social Security and Medicare—can’t be touched, the mainstream GOP has...

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In this podcast, Alberto Mingardi talks with the Wall Street Journal‘s Mary Kissel about the unfortunate rise of populism. My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy correctly argues that the GOP is no advocate of small and limited government.  A slice: Led by a president who doesn’t appear to understand basic economics and who insists that the long-term drivers of America’s unsustainable national debt—Social Security and Medicare—can’t be touched, the mainstream GOP has...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 5 of the 2015 Matthew Dale translation of Weiying Zhang’s superb 2010 book, The Logic of the Market (original emphasis): Today only one organization in the world legally does not have to make others happy but can be happy on its own. That organization is government. Government receives revenues through taxes. Taxes are forced, not voluntary, because the government has the power to collect taxes forcefully. Even if in theory we require government to serve the people and to...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 5 of the 2015 Matthew Dale translation of Weiying Zhang’s superb 2010 book, The Logic of the Market (original emphasis): Today only one organization in the world legally does not have to make others happy but can be happy on its own. That organization is government. Government receives revenues through taxes. Taxes are forced, not voluntary, because the government has the power to collect taxes forcefully. Even if in theory we require government to serve the people and to...

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