Friday , February 28 2020
Home / Tag Archives: Seen and Unseen

Tag Archives: Seen and Unseen

Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy busts more myths about government-orchestrated paid leave. A slice: Among the most common claims used to make the case for government provision of paid leave is that not every working woman gets paid leave, which supposedly demonstrates a market failure. Still, data show that 63% of women today have access to such leave, a 280% increase since the 1960s. The women who don’t receive this benefit are mostly lower-skilled workers with...

Read More »

At Least Listen to Adam Smith

Here’s a letter to American Affairs: Editor: Put aside the questionable accuracy of Michael Lind’s suggestion that a significant fraction of Democrats are embracing “economic neoliberalism” while Republicans are having a “fling with radical free market libertarianism” (“Tripartism, American Style: The Past and Future of Sectoral Policy,” Spring 2020). Instead, focus on the utter vacuity of his case for adoption in the U.S. of industrial policy. Mr. Lind, of course, is at no loss for...

Read More »

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 101 of Randy Holcombe’s insightful 2018 book, Political Capitalism: How Economic and Political Power is Made and Maintained (footnote deleted): Tariffs create a trade barrier that raises the cost of imports and therefore allows domestic sellers to charge more – a transfer from buyers to the sellers of domestic goods who are protected by the tariff that raises the price of competing imports. Tariffs interfere with voluntary market exchanges, reducing productivity and...

Read More »

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 102 of Bas Van Der Vossen’s and Jason Brennan’s excellent 2018 book, In Defense of Openness: [T]he right to transfer and contract greatly increases the pool of resources people can enjoy. Most obviously, these rights give people the legal means to acquire resources they do not already possess, and allocate some of their own possessions to chosen others. This bolsters the flow of resources through the economy and helps guide them to their most valued uses. Slightly less...

Read More »

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 243 of my Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold’s excellent Cato Journal review of Oren Cass’s 2018 book, The Once and Future Worker: Ultimately, the book’s emphasis on production over consumption reflects a common mistake that can easily warp public policy. Of course, production is a prerequisite of consumption, but consumption is the ultimate aim of production. Production detached from consumption is a form of servitude. If goods and services become more expensive...

Read More »

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Made blue by green initiatives”

In my column for the May 23rd, 2008, edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I explained why I am not taken in by ‘green’ initiatives such as buying local and driving an electric automobile. It’s better, of course, that such initiatives be voluntary rather than – as is too often the case – imposed by government. But the intellectual and economically uninformed hubris that nevertheless motivates proponents of even voluntary ‘green’ initiatives is disturbing. You can read my explanation...

Read More »

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 109 of my late Nobel laureate colleague Jim Buchanan’s 1980 paper “Rent Seeking and Profit Seeking” as this paper is reprinted in volume 1 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty: Rent-seeking activity is directly related to the scope and range of governmental activity in the economy, to the relative size of the public sector. DBx: And, therefore, the larger the government, the larger are rent-seeking’s distortions and...

Read More »

Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy laments the U.S. government’s on-going fiscal shenanigans. A slice: Now there is nothing historic about Mr. Trump’s making his budget look good by using fantastical assumptions. All presidents perform this theatrical trick. For instance, no president ever projects that the economy will experience a slowdown in the next ten years of the budget window even though, on average, the economy slows down every 7 years. “The Battle to Feed...

Read More »

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 54 of Razeen Sally’s excellent 2008 book, New Frontiers in Free Trade: Globalization’s Future and Asia’s Rising Role (footnote deleted; link and emphasis added): The naysayers, from the hard and soft Left, and the conservative Right, hold that liberalization has not delivered the goods. They argue for various forms of government intervention, at national and international levels, to tame “market fundamentalism” and “neoliberal globalization.” Interventionist ideas on trade...

Read More »

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 7 of the late Charles Schultze’s sadly still relevant Fall 1983 Brookings Review article, “Industrial Policy: A Dissent”: The first problem for the government in carrying out an industrial policy is that we actually know precious little about identifying, before the fact, a “winning” industrial structure. There does not exist a set of economic criteria that determine what gives different countries preeminence in particular lines of business. Nor is it at all clear what the...

Read More »