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Search Results for '"Thomas Sowell"'

Earlier this year, I borrowed from Dante’s Inferno and created the Five Circles of Statist Hell. At the time, I suggested that Venezuela was on the cusp of moving from the third circle (“widespread poverty and economic misery”) to the fourth circle (“systematic and grinding poverty and deprivation”). Since we now know that children in […]

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Over the years, I’ve shared some clever images, jokes, and cartoons to expose the flawed mindset of those who hope to achieve coerced equality of outcomes with redistribution and high tax rates. The size of a pizza vs the share of a slice. The modern version of the Little Red Hen. Washington’s Byzantine welfare state. […]

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Two days ago, I contrasted the views of Pope Francis and Walter Williams about capitalism and morality. I explained that Walter had the upper hand because free markets are a positive-sum game based on voluntary exchange while redistribution (at best) is a zero-sum game based on coercion. That’s the theoretical argument. Now let’s look at […]

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Political cartoonists like Michael Ramirez and Chuck Asay are effective because they convey so much with images. But we need more than clever cartoons if we’re going to educate the general population about how government harms the economy and undermines freedom. And that’s why Thomas Sowell is so invaluable. He’s one of the nation’s top […]

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Public finance experts are quite familiar with the budgetary shenanigans of cossetted government bureaucracies. They even have terms to describe how agencies and departments try to manipulate outcomes by claiming that any requirement for fiscal restraint will necessitate cuts to the most politically popular parts of the budget. The “fireman first principle” – Describes how […]

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When speaking about the difference between the private sector and the government, I sometimes emphasize that mistakes and errors are inevitable, and that the propensity to screw up may be just as prevalent in the private sector as it is in the public sector. I actually think the government is more likely to screw up, for reasons […]

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The great Ronald Reagan famously said (and I am paraphrasing, since I do not remember the exact phrase) that the most dangerous words in the English language were “I am from Washington and I am here to help you.” Those are very wise words, especially when we think of the damage politicians have done because of […]

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Even though it’s important – particularly in a world with slippery politicians – to define words and terms accurately, I haven’t focused on this issue. Indeed, a quick search through my archives shows that the only glossary I’ve ever published was this humorous list of financial terms. And the only dictionary I’ve ever published was […]

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A couple of years ago, Newt Gingrich accused Obama of being a socialist, causing some squawking and grousing about incivility from the more sensitive types in Washington. I jumped to the President’s defense, pointing out that Obama is a different type of statist. I’m gratified that Thomas Sowell of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution agrees with […]

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A few days ago, I wrote about Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution, which lists the “enumerated powers” of the federal government. That post included a reference to Wickard v. Filburn, an infamous Supreme Court case that opened the door to unlimited intervention from Washington. Why was this case important? As is so often the […]

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Welcome, Instapundit readers. This school choice video shows the best way of dealing with the problems described in this post (though, as Walter Williams explains, that’s only part of the answer). ======================================================= If you care about helping the less fortunate succeed, I’m commenting today on a Thomas Sowell column that will make you sad and […]

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Thomas Sowell just completed a three-part “Back to the Future” series, looking at a couple of fiscal policy issues. His unifying theme is how the political class fails (perhaps deliberately) to learn from mistakes. In Part I, he decimates President Obama’s new stimulus scheme. Once we get past the glowing rhetoric, what is the president […]

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As usual, Sowell is right on the mark. By expanding the size and burden of government, Obama is making it more difficult for the economy to prosper: President Obama keeps telling us that he is “creating jobs.” But more and more Americans have no jobs. The unemployment rate has declined slightly, but only because many […]

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Government did not help us in the 1930s, and it is not helping us today.

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During the Obama years, I frequently criticized the Administration’s bad policy choices. On a wide range of issues. But I also expressed disappointment when President Obama arbitrarily and unilaterally decided to override or overlook laws that were inconvenient to his agenda. Or when he asserted powers that didn’t exist. Simply stated, I care about the […]

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Last week, I shared some data showing how the economy enjoyed a strong recovery from recession in the early 1920s when President Warren Harding cut government spending. (And these were genuine cuts, not the nonsense we get from today’s politicians, who claim they’ve cut spending simply because the budget increases by 5 percent rather than […]

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We did not get good policy during the economic crisis of the 1930s. Indeed, it’s quite likely that bad decisions by Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt deepened and lengthened the Great Depression. Likewise, George Bush and Barack Obama had the wrong responses (the TARP bailout and the faux stimulus) to the economic downturn of 2008-09. […]

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Back in 2017, the Center for Freedom and Prosperity released this video, which shows that free markets and small government are the best recipe for poor nations that want to become rich nations. The CF&P video was motivated in part by a need to debunk international bureaucracies such as the OECD and IMF, which abandoned […]

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Today is Thomas Sowell’s 90th birthday. The man is a living legend. I’ve cited his great work many times, and I definitely urge people to read what Walter Williams just wrote about his long-time friend. And I also recommend this Mark Perry column, which contains 15 of Sowell’s most insightful quotes, as well as two […]

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In this interview from last March, I groused that the Supreme Court – largely thanks to statist Justices appointed by one of America’s worst presidents – basically decided, starting in the 1930s, that it would no longer be bound by the Constitution’s provisions that protect economic liberty. I’m not a lawyer, much less an expert […]

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Earlier this month, Neil Ferguson was awarded membership in the Bureaucrat Hall of Fame after he and his mistress were caught violating lockdown rules that Ferguson – in his role as a supposed public health expert – demanded for the entire United Kingdom. This was a stunning display of hypocrisy, perhaps even to the extent […]

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I would prefer not to write about President Trump’s new budget, largely because I know it’s not a serious proposal. Even before he was elected, I pointed out that Trump was a big-government Republican who had no intention of dealing with serious fiscal issues such as the rising burden of entitlement spending. So I wasn’t […]

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Back in 2013, I talked to the BBC about Pope Francis and his bizarre hostility to free enterprise. Sadly, it doesn’t appear that the Pope took my advice (though I think it’s amusing that at least someone in the Vatican is paying attention). There’s a wealth of evidence that markets are the best way of […]

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Politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez say that their goal of “democratic socialism” is very different from the socialism of Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela, as well as the socialism of the former Soviet Union. And they doubtlessly would get very upset if anyone equated their ideology with the “national socialism” of Hitler’s […]

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Regulatory policy has been one of the bright spots of the Trump Administration (along with tax policy). But it’s not a perfect record. In a column for Townhall, Steve Sherman describes how the Labor Department launched a regulatory attack against Oracle in the final days of the Obama Administration. President Obama was not a good […]

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Building on the success of state-level reforms in Kansas, Maine, Wisconsin, Alabama, and Georgia, the Trump Administration has proposed to tighten rules that impose work requirements on childless and able-bodied adults who receive food stamps. Since I want to get Washington out of the business of redistribution, this is not the ideal solution. But are work […]

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According to the union bosses at the National Education Association, November 18-22 is National Education Week and a “wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education.” I care about facts and I care about kids, and all the evidence shows that government schools do a terrible job. So, instead of celebrating, I’m going to focus this week […]

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I first opined about Pope Francis in 2013, when I told a BBC audience why the Pope was wrong on economic policy. The following year, I expanded on that point, explaining that statist policies are bad for the poor. And I revisited the issue again last year. I’m not the only one making these arguments. […]

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Three years ago, I shared a cartoon that succinctly summarized the problem with socialism and the welfare state. It’s the same lesson that we also get from Thomas Sowell, which is that redistribution over time creates an ever-larger number of dependents financed by ever-higher taxes on workers. Or, as this Wizard-of-Id parody and this Little-Red-Hen […]

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I religiously read just about everything from Thomas Sowell, John Stossel, Walter Williams, Tim Carney, and other libertarian-minded experts But I also make a point to regularly read non-libertarians such as Desmond Lachman, Will Wilkinson, Dalibor Rohac, and Noah Smith even though I sometimes – or even often – disagree with their policy prescriptions. What […]

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