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Search Results for '"foreign government"'

I get quite agitated when the folks in Washington make dumb choices that waste money and hinder prosperity. That being said, I take comfort in the fact that governments in other nations also do stupid things. I guess this is the policy version of “misery loves company.” And it’s also a source of horror and/or […]

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I spend much of my time analyzing the foolish and counterproductive policies imposed by Washington. Often accompanied by some mockery of politicians and their silly laws. And I also employ the same approach when reviewing the bone-headed policies often pursued by state governments and local governments. And since this is “International Liberty,” I obviously like […]

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Given the routine corruption and reckless spending in Washington, I frequently get asked how I keep my sanity. It’s possible, as some of my friends argue, that I’m not actually sane. That would explain why I try to put my finger in the dyke of big government as more and more new leaks keep developing. […]

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One of the great insights of “public choice” is that politicians engage in self-serving behavior just like everyone else. But there’s a profound difference between them and us. In the private economy, we can only make ourselves better off by providing value to others. In government, by contrast, politicians oftentimes make themselves better off by […]

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In my writings about “Great Moments in Foreign Government,” I’ve come across amazing examples of bone-headed and incompetent behavior by politicians and bureaucrats in other nations. The British government giving welfare to people with multiple wives. The German government having a jihadist working in one of its intelligence agencies. The Italian government appointing the wrong […]

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Since I’m always reading and writing about government policies, both in America and around the world, I’m frequently reminded of H.L. Mencken’s famous observation about the shortcomings of “tolerable” government. If you take a close look at the world’s freest economies, you quickly learn that they are highly ranked mostly because of the even-worse governments […]

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It would be impossible to pick the most hare-brained government policy. We have all sorts of bizarre examples from the United States. And we have equally “impressive” examples from other nations. And today, we’re going to augment our collection of bone-headed policies from elsewhere in the world. We’ll start with the United Kingdom, which already […]

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I periodically share this poster, in part because it’s funny, but mostly because it’s true. After all, can you think of many “success stories” involving government? When I pose this question to my statist friends, I usually get a blank stare in response. Though some of them will offer answers such as the GI Bill, […]

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While I mostly focus on bad government policy in the United States, I also think we can learn lessons from what’s happening in other nations. In some cases, I share positive stories, such as the success of privatized Social Security in Australia, nationwide school choice in Sweden, and genuine spending cuts in the Baltic nations. […]

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While most of my disdain is focused on the clowns in Washington, I enjoy poking fun at the policies adopted by the various nitwits and thugs that can be found in other governments. That’s why I’ve mocked the British government-run healthcare system for letting a woman die when officials failed to notice a six-inch toilet […]

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I saw this odd story about wasteful government spending in James Taranto’s Best of the Web email. The bureaucrats at Britain’s National Health Service are sqandering thousands of dollars to create a giant “Burger Boy” as part of a government propoganda program against obesity. But what’s really odd is that local taxpayers (if there are […]

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Or maybe this belongs in the “great moments in international bureaucracy” series since it relates to European Union law. Regardless, we have another sign of Europe’s fiscal nightmare. A court in the United Kingdom has given a big green light to welfare tourism by ruling that a foreign citizen can get handouts based on children […]

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German politicians apparently have been hot on the trail of evil evaders who did not pay tax on coffee ordered over the Internet. To address this terrible crisis, the government spent 800,000 euro and tracked down 4000 dangerous criminals. Shockingly, a few cynics, including the folks at Reuters, are trying to diminish this triumph by […]

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I rarely write about media bias, but I sometimes come across stories that cry out for correction because of blatant inaccuracies. The New York Times asserting that government schools are “starved of funding” when taxpayer subsidies actually have skyrocketed. The Washington Post claiming a GOP budget included “large cuts” when spending actually would grow 3.3 percent […]

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Last November, I criticized Nancy Pelosi’s scheme to impose European-style price controls on pharmaceutical drugs in the United States. I wasn’t the only one who objected to Pelosi’s reckless idea. We have forty centuries of experience demonstrating that price controls don’t work. The inevitable result is shortages and diminished production (sellers won’t produce sufficient quantities […]

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Libertarians believe in limited government for both moral reasons (government coercion is bad) and utilitarian reasons (nations with small government enjoy much higher levels of prosperity than countries with bigger governments). But if small government is good, would no government be even better? That’s the core argument of so-called anarcho-capitalists or voluntaryists. To understand this […]

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There are many boring topics in tax policy, such as the debate between expensing and depreciation for business investment. International tax rules also put most people to sleep, but they’re nonetheless important. Indeed, the United States government is currently squabbling with several European governments about the appropriate tax policy for U.S.-based tech companies. A report […]

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Yesterday, I shared part of an interview that focused on Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s scheme to give more subsidies to colleges, thus transferring money from poorer taxpayers to richer taxpayers. Here’s the other part of the interview, which revolved around a very bad idea to copy nations that impose price controls on prescription drugs. In some […]

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I periodically mock the New York Times when editors, reporters, and columnists engage in sloppy and biased analysis. Claiming Medicaid cuts in a piece that shows rising outlays for the program. Asserting that government schools are “starved of funding” when taxpayer subsidies actually have skyrocketed. Claiming that budget-cutting austerity nations are doing worse than “stimulus” nations, but getting the numbers […]

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What’s worse, a politician who knowingly supports bad policy or a politician who actually thinks that bad policy is good policy? I was very critical of the Bush Administration (I’m referring to George W. Bush, but the same analysis applies to George H.W. Bush) because there were many bad policies (education centralization, wasteful spending, TARP, […]

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Even though I (correctly) doubted the Trump Administration’s sincerity, I applauded proposed reductions in foreign aid back in 2017. I very much want to reduce poverty in poor nations, of course, but the evidence is very strong that government handouts don’t do a very good job. Moreover, we also have lots of data showing poor […]

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One of the interesting games in Washington is deciding who on the right (however defined) is a “Trumpie” and who is a “Reaganite.” Here are a few indicators. If you claim to be for small government, but cheer Trump’s support of greater federal involvement in child care, you’re not a Reaganite. If you claim to […]

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Time for the final installment in my four-part video series on trade-related topics. Part I focused on the irrelevance of trade balances. Part II looked at specialization and comparative advantage. Part III explained trade and creative destruction. Here’s Part IV, which looks at the very positive role of the World Trade Organization. My basic argument is that it is […]

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I periodically mock the New York Times when editors, reporters, and columnists engage in sloppy and biased analysis. Claiming Medicaid cuts in a piece that shows rising outlays for the program. Asserting that government schools are “starved of funding” when taxpayer subsidies actually have skyrocketed. Claiming that budget-cutting austerity nations are doing worse than “stimulus” nations, but getting […]

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While I have no objection to applauding Donald Trump’s good policies such as tax reform and deregulation, I also don’t hesitate to criticize his bad policies. His big missteps are protectionism and fiscal profligacy, but he also does small things that are misguided. I’ve already written about his energy socialism and his increased handouts to […]

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A couple of days ago, citing bizarre government policies in India, Belgium, Malaysia, Romania, and Spain, I wrote about some “great moments in foreign government.” Today, we’re going to give special attention to the United Kingdom. I’m not claiming there’s an above-average level of government stupidity in the United Kingdom (though that’s distinctly possible). Instead, […]

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While much of my analysis focuses on the mess created by Washington, I periodically show my ecumenical nature by sharing “Great Moments in State Government” and “Great Moments in Local Government.” And in keeping with the title of this page, I even occasionally share “Great Moments in Foreign Government.” Today, though we’re going to get […]

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I wrote two days ago about a jury correctly voting to acquit a Swiss banker who was being prosecuted (and persecuted) by the government. The jury presumably recognized that it’s not the responsibility of foreign national living in outside the U.S. to enforce our bad tax law. My support for that jury has nothing to […]

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Every so often, I mock the New York Times for biased or sloppy analysis. Claiming Medicaid cuts in a piece that shows rising outlays for the program. Asserting that government schools are “starved of funding” when taxpayer subsidies actually have skyrocketed. Claiming that budget-cutting austerity nations are doing worse than “stimulus” nations, but getting the numbers backwards. […]

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Thanks to decades of experience and research, we now know several things about so-called anti-money laundering (AML) laws. They don’t reduce crime or discourage bad behavior. They require banks to spy on innocent people and report their transactions. They impose heavy costs on the financial sector and boost prices on consumers. They disproportionately hurt poor […]

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