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Search Results for '"everything you need to know"'

Every so often, I run across a chart, cartoon, or story that captures the essence of an issue. And when that happens, I make it part of my “everything you need to know” series. I don’t actually think those columns tell us everything we need to know, of course, but they do show something very […]

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Back in April, I shared a new video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity that explained how poor nations can become rich nations by following the recipe of small government and free markets. Now CF&P has released another video. Narrated by Yamila Feccia from Argentina, it succinctly explains – using both theory and evidence […]

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When discussing government involvement in the health sector, I usually focus on the budgetary implications. Which makes sense since I’m a fiscal wonk and programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare are diverting ever-larger amounts of money from the economy’s productive sector. I also look at the tax side of the fiscal equation and complain […]

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Last night, I retweeted an image that rubbed me the wrong way. It showed three kids who were handcuffed by undercover cops for criminal activity. And what was their crime? Were they picking pockets? Beating up tourists? Slashing tires? Nope, none of those things. Instead, they were (gasp!!) selling water to thirsty people. And they […]

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An essential part of a free market economy is the price system. The competitive pricing of goods and services transmits information to producers and consumers and creates incentives for the efficient allocation of resources. Just as the circulatory system or nervous system enables our bodies to function. And when you weaken or cripple markets with […]

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All forms of statism are despicable because they’re morally and practically evil. They’re morally evil since they’re based on coercion. And they’re practically evil since they deliver such awful results for ordinary people. The good news is that some forms of statism are widely discredited. Outside of universities, you don’t find many people who defend […]

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What best symbolizes France’s statist political culture? Is it bloated public sector that consumes more than half of the economy’s output? Is it a tax system that is so onerous that households sometimes pay more than 100 percent of their income to government? Is it cossetted bureaucrats with cars and drivers who nonetheless still rack […]

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When trying to educate people about the superiority of free enterprise over statism, I generally show them long-run data comparing market-oriented jurisdictions with those that have state-driven economies. Here are some of my favorite examples. North Korea vs. South Korea Cuba vs. Chile Ukraine vs. Poland Hong Kong vs. Argentina Singapore vs. Jamaica It’s my […]

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All things considered, I like small businesses more than big businesses. Not because I’m against large companies, per se, but rather because big businesses often use their political influence to seek unearned and undeserved wealth. If you don’t believe me, just look at the big corporations lobbying for bad policies such as the Export-Import Bank, […]

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I wrote a couple of days ago about a global ranking showing which nations enjoy the most personal and economic freedom. Surprisingly, European nations dominated the top 20, which suggests (given the depressing amount of statism in Europe) that libertarians have a lot of work to do if we want good liberty-oriented role models for […]

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Sweden punches way above its weight in debates about economic policy. Leftists all over the world (most recently, Bernie Sanders) say the Nordic nation is an example that proves a big welfare state can exist in a rich nation. And since various data sources (such as the IMF’s huge database) show that Sweden is relatively […]

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Okay, I’ll admit the title of this post is an exaggeration. There are lots of things you should know – most bad, though some good – about international bureaucracies. That being said, regular readers know that I get very frustrated with the statist policy agendas of both the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for […]

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In 2014, I was outraged that more than 80 percent of senior bureaucrats at the Veterans Administration were awarded bonuses, even though this is the bloated bureaucracy that caused the death of many veterans by putting them on secret waiting lists. This, I argued, was a perfect example (in a bad way) of federal bureaucracy […]

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My opinion on taxing corporate income varies with my mood. When I’m in a fiery-libertarian phase, I want to abolish taxes on corporate income for the simple reason that all income taxes should be eliminated. Heck, I would also eliminate October 3 from the calendar because that’s the awful day in 1913 that the income […]

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Every so often, I see visuals that do a great job of illustrating various economic principles. This Wizard-of-Id parody contains a lot of insight about labor economics. As does this Chuck Asay cartoon and this Robert Gorrell cartoon. If you want to understand Keynesian economics, this Scott Stantis cartoon is a gem, as is the house-on-fire image in this post. Regarding […]

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Why does the tax code require more than 10,000,000 words and more than 75,000 pages? There are several reasons and none of them are good. But if you had to pick one cause for all the mess, it would be the fact that politicians have worked with interest groups and lobbyists to create myriad deductions, […]

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Three years ago, I shared a chart about the fiscal burden of the welfare state, calling it the picture that says a thousand word. It’s astounding, after all, that taxpayers spend so much money on means-tested programs and get such miserable results. Indeed, if we took all the money spent on various welfare programs and […]

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Why are many developed nations facing long-run fiscal crisis according to long-run estimates from the IMF, BIS, and OECD? Poorly designed entitlement programs are a big part of the answer, with the United States being an unfortunate example of how fiscal systems become unstable when politicians buy votes by putting burdens on future taxpayers. But changing demographics is […]

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There’s a Terror Wing in the Moocher Hall of Fame, so I guess it stands to reason that I should create a French Wing of the Bureaucrat Hall of Fame. After all, few nations can compete with France in the contest to over-tax and over-spend. And a lot of that spending goes to subsidize a […]

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We’re going to touch on two topics today. I realize that not that many readers care about Greek economic policy, but sometimes other nations can teach us very important lessons. For better or worse. And in the case of Greece, the lesson is that government intervention and bureaucracy is an enemy of entrepreneurship. Probably the […]

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Since I’ve already created a Moocher Hall of Fame to acknowledge the strangest and most reprehensible examples of government dependency, it’s occurred to me that there also should be a Bureaucrat Hall of Fame to highlight the government employees that have figured out how to most successfully rip off taxpayers (and here are some good […]

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Sigh. Even when they’re sort of doing the right thing, Republicans are incapable of using the right argument. Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, has unveiled his proposed budget and he and other Republicans are bragging that the plan will balance the budget in 10 years. That’s all fine and well, but good […]

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There are two serious problems with America’s Social Security system. Almost everyone knows about the first problem, which is that the system is bankrupt, with huge unfunded liabilities of about $30 trillion. The other crisis is that the system gives workers a lousy level of retirement income compared to the amount of taxes they pay […]

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Almost exactly one year ago, I did a post entitled “A Laffer Curve Tutorial” because I wanted readers to have all the arguments and data in one place (and also because it meant I wouldn’t have to track down all the videos when someone asked me for the full set). Today, I’m doing the same […]

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Most people have a vague understanding that America has a huge long-run fiscal problem. They’re right, though they probably don’t realize the seriousness of that looming crisis. Here’s what you need to know: America’s fiscal crisis is actually a spending crisis, and that spending crisis is driven by entitlements. More specifically, the vast majority of […]

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The showdown in Wisconsin has generated competing claims about whether state and local government bureaucrats are paid too much or paid too little compared to their private sector counterparts. The data on total compensation clearly show a big advantage for state and local bureaucrats, largely because of lavish benefits (which is the problem that  Governor […]

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The title of this post may be a slight exaggeration. I actually recommend you read the entire two-page paper by Devon Herrick of the National Center for Policy Analysis. But this chart from that study is an excellent visual display of what’s wrong with the health care system. You can see that the price of […]

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Whenever I see an otherwise sensible person express support for a value-added tax, it triggers a Pavlovian response. And it’s not a favorable reaction. I’ve criticized Tom Dolan, Greg Mankiw, and Paul Ryan, for pro-VAT comments. I’ve gone after Kevin Williamson, Josh Barro, and Andrew Stuttaford for the same reason. I wrote that Mitch Daniels, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney […]

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Back in April, I looked at the candidates running for the French presidency and half-jokingly wondered which one would win the right to preside over the country’s decline. But once the field was winnowed to two candidates, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, I wrote that voters should pick the socialist over the socialist. My […]

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Keynesian economics is fundamentally misguided because it focuses on how to encourage more spending when the real goal should be to figure out policies that result in more income. This is one of the reasons I wish people focused more on “gross domestic income,” which is a measure of how we earn our national income […]

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