Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Comments Off on Socialism: A Dreary Failure, Malignantly Evil, or Both?

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY – When trying to convince someone about the downsides of socialism, I generally make a practical argument. I point out that socialism has universally failed, whether looking at totalitarian versions in places such as North Korea and Cuba or democratic versions in places such as Venezuela and Greece. Simply stated, the particular strain […]

Comments Off on Good News on Unemployment, but So-So News on Jobs and Dependency

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY – There is a lot of good news about the job market in America. The official unemployment rate, released just yesterday, is down to 4.1 percent, which is the lowest its been since the end of the Clinton years. Even more impressive, the number of people getting unemployment benefits (i.e., getting paid not […]

Comments Off on Trump’s Trade Policy Should Stay In The 1980s Where It Belongs

LIBERTY REVIEW – Remember the ’80s? I do: Fanny packs. Big hair. Renting movies to watch at home that you had to rewind. In the beginning, we were still using rotary telephones; by the end, we had the first cell phone—commonly known as brick phones offering a whopping 30 minutes of talk time. Cameras with film you […]

Comments Off on Trump’s Failing Grade on Trade Threatens His Overall GPA on Economic Policy

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY – I explained last month that the World Trade Organization’s dispute-resolution mechanism is the best way of discouraging China from short-sighted mercantilist and cronyist trade policies. The Trump Administration, though, thinks that the best response to bad Chinese trade policy is to adopt bad American trade policy. In this interview, I fret that […]

Comments Off on Three Great Moments in Regulation

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY – As a policy wonk, I mostly care about the overall impact of government on prosperity. So when I think about the effect of red tape, I’m drawn to big-pictures assessments of the regulatory burden. Here are a few relevant numbers that get my juices flowing. Americans spend 8.8 billion hours every year filling out […]

Comments Off on Economic Policy Matters: The Example of Botswana vs. South Africa vs. Zimbabwe

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY – What’s the best argument against statism? As a libertarian, my answer is that freedom is preferable to coercion. Freedom also ranks higher than prosperity. For instance, the government might be able to boost economic output by requiring people to work seven days a week, but such a policy would be odious and […]

Comments Off on Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Where are Workers Pillaged Worst of All?

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY – Congratulations to Belgium. According to the new edition of Taxing Wages, average Belgian workers have the dubious honor of surrendering the biggest chunk of their income to government. No wonder part of the country is interested in secession. We can also give (sincere, this time, rather than sarcastic) congratulations to New Zealand […]

Comments Off on Finland Turns Against “Basic Income”

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY – I’m conflicted. I’ve repeatedly expressed skepticism about the idea of governments providing a “basic income” because I fear the work ethic will (further) erode if people automatically receive a substantial chunk of money. Moreover, I also fear that a basic income will lead to an ever-expanding burden of government spending, particularly once […]

Comments Off on More Government Spending = Weaker Economic Performance

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY – I’m in Brussels, where I’m participating in an “Economic Freedom Summit” on the unfriendly turf of the European Parliament. My role was to chair a panel earlier today about whether Venezuela can recover from socialism. I obviously have an opinion on that topic, but I want to write today about some information […]

Comments Off on Economic Freedom in Europe

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY – I periodically share data comparing the United States and Europe, usually because I want to convince people that America’s medium-sized welfare state is better (less worse) than Europe’s bloated welfare states. In other words, Bernie Sanders is wrong. But I sometimes feel guilty when making these unflattering comparisons because Europe – at […]