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Tag Archives: Regulation

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GMU Econ doctoral candidate Jon Murphy expands nicely upon one of my criticisms of Ian Fletcher’s stated reasons for denying the reality that trade deficits can be – and typically are – good for Americans. Sheldon Richman explains that free markets reduce consumption inequality. Also from Sheldon Richman is this gem of a warning against government efforts to protect us from misinformation.  A slice: To grow up is to cultivate methods of separating the wheat from the chaff in what we see...

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Shikha Dalmia explains how immigration crackdowns in American screw-up the lives of many Americans. Lenore Skenazy and Jonathan Haidt explore the causes of the emotional fragility of today’s young people.  A slice: This magnification of danger and hurt is prevalent on campus today. It no longer matters what a person intended to say, or how a reasonable listener would interpret a statement—what matters is whether any individual feels offended by it. If so, the speaker has committed a...

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Richard McKenzie explains how the transitional-gains trap – first identified in 1975 by my late colleague Gordon Tullock – explains much of today’s political maneuvering. Brittany Hunter acknowledges some beneficial moves by Trump (who deserves applause especially for appointing GMU law-school prof Neomi Rao to lead OIRA). On trade, of course, Trump’s policies would be calamitous – including, as John Brinkley explains, what he’s threatening to do with NAFTA.  A slice: There is no...

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Russ Roberts’s latest EconTalk is with Mike Munger on an idea championed skillfully by my Mercatus Center colleague Adam Thierer: permissionless innovation. In my latest Pittsburgh Tribune-Review column I point to some long-established legal doctrine that is inconsistent with the claim that the government is the author of all law. My colleague Bryan Caplan is not impressed with government schooling. In this short video, Johan Norberg busts myths about monopolies. The U.S. sugar program...

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Matt Ridley reminds us that reality is not optional; trade-offs are inescapable. Danielle Barden and I write on tariffs.  A slice: Raising the prices that American consumers and businesses pay for imported goods through taxes effectively decreases our incomes and increases production costs for the goods we produce. This hurts the poorest Americans the most, who spend more of their total income on consumable products. Furthermore, if Trump’s aim is to create jobs in the United States,...

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My emeritus colleague Vernon Smith explains a lesson from another great Smith: Adam. Stefanie Haeffele and Joe Brunk are not fans of the National Flood Insurance Program. Bill Lane tells the sordid tale of steel protectionism in the United States.  A slice: By the late 1980s, high steel prices and quota-induced shortages were undermining factory efficiency as just-in-time processes gave way to just-in-case workarounds. Unconcerned, the steel industry demanded five more years of even...

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John Stuart Mill Would Likely Disagree With Me

Here’s a letter to Cafe Hayek commenter Mark Phelan: Mr. Phelan: In your comment on this blog post of mine you ask “Shouldn’t society take some ‘nudging’ position when it comes to individual addictions [such as] obesity [and] opioid abuse?” Care must be taken when talking about “society” doing “some ‘nudging.’”  Most advocates of ‘nudging’ – including the 2017 Nobel economics laureate, Richard Thaler – wish to empower the state to nudge.  Whatever you think of the propriety, wisdom, or...

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This coming Friday you’ll be able to watch my great colleague Walter Williams discuss, through the auspices of SMU’s O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, the role of government in a free society. The great Steve Davies is interviewed by Dave Rubin on classical liberalism and foreign military intervention. Here’s Arnold Kling on the sociology of sociology. John Tamny offers sound advice to Mark Zuckerberg. My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy reminds Congress...

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Henderson on Rothstein’s The Color of Law

"We have created a caste system in this country, with African Americans kept exploited and geographically separate by racially explicit government policies." So writes Richard Rothstein in The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. That's a strong statement. But Rothstein, a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and a fellow at the Thurgood Marshall...

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Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Martin Feldstein busts the myth that middle-class Americans are stagnating economically.  A slice: If there is no increase in the cost of production, the government concludes that there has been no increase in quality. And if the manufacturer reports an increase in the cost of production, the government assumes that the value of the product to consumers has increased in the same proportion. That’s a very narrow—and incorrect—way to measure quality...

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