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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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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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When writing about Bernie Sanders back in 2016, I put together a flowchart to identify different strains of statism. In part, I wanted to show that genuine socialists, with their advocacy of government ownership, central planning, and price controls, aren’t really the same as other leftists (and I’ve made the unconventional claim that “Crazy Bernie” isn’t a […]

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Bernie Sanders is a delusional hard-core statist, but that’s part of what makes him attractive for some voters. Simply stated, they think he’s authentic rather than a finger-in-the-wind politician. But I’m not so sure that’s true. I pointed out in 2015 that he’s not even true to his socialist ideology. Rather than promoting government ownership, […]

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If Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t exist, I might have to invent her since she helps to make socialism such an easy target for mockery. Though I actually admire the fact that she doesn’t try to disguise her agenda. Like “Crazy Bernie,” she openly and boldly pushes for an ideological agenda that would put the United […]

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Argentina is a sobering example of how statist policies can turn a rich nation into a poor nation. I’m not exaggerating. After World War II, Argentina was one of the world’s 10-richest nations. But then Juan Peron took power and initiated Argentina’s slide toward big government, which eroded the nation’s competitiveness and hampered growth. Even […]

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What’s the biggest problem with the Federal Reserve? The obvious answer is that the Central Bank is susceptible to Keynesian monetary policy, which results in a harmful boom-bust cycle. For instance, the Fed’s artificially low interest rates last decade played a key role (along with deeply misguided Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac subsidies) is causing the 2008 […]

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While she’s mostly known for radical proposals such as confiscatory tax rates and the Green New Deal, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also made waves with recent comments about imposing “democracy” on the economy. In a discussion last year at Ponoma College in California, I explained why majoritarianism is misguided. For all intents and purposes, unchecked democracy gives […]

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Socialism is a joke. It doesn’t work. And it is so often a gateway to totalitarianism. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. In this interview, I express my concern that the United States has passed a tipping point. In the discussion, I included my usual caveat about the meaning of socialism. I prefer the […]

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People sometimes ask me how I’ve managed to write a column every single day since November 2009. Sadly, the answer has a lot to do with politicians having a vote-buying and power-grabbing incentive to produce a never-ending supply of bad policies. Consider what just happened in Oregon. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed into law a […]

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In June 2017, I shared an image and made the bold claim that it told us everything we needed to know about government. In July 2017, I shared a story and similarly asserted that it told us everything we needed to know about government. In that grand tradition of rhetorical exaggeration, here’s a court case […]

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I often share quizzes and tests to help people determine whether they are libertarian. Though I wonder if these two sentences are all people need to know. But maybe the right approach is to use pictures. So here are five images that summarize libertarianism. Let’s start by looking at the one group of people who […]

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When writing about the statist agenda of international bureaucracies, I generally focus my attention on the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Today, let’s give some attention to the United Nations. Based on this story from the Washington Post, the bureaucrats at the UN have concluded that America is a […]

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During the Obama years, I criticized the President for various green-energy scams that squandered money and produced scandals such as Solyndra. And I also noted that many Republicans were happy to support corrupt subsidies to inefficient sources of energy so long as their voters got a slice of the loot. Sadly, the same thing is […]

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I almost feel guilty when I criticize the garbled economic thoughts of Pope Francis. After all, he was influenced by Peronist ideology as a youngster, so he was probably a lost cause from the beginning. Moreover, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell have already dissected his irrational ramblings on economics and explained that free markets are […]

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