Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Search Results for 'Academic'

When I write about Social Security, I normally focus on two serious deficiencies. The program was never properly designed to deal with demographic change, which means there’s a gargantuan long-run budgetary shortfall of $44 trillion. The program is a very bad deal for workers (especially minorities), offering a paltry retirement benefit compared to what could […]

Read Full Post »

The War on Drugs is a bad idea. Not because people should be using drugs, but rather because the societal harm of prohibition is much greater than the societal harm of legalization. Moreover, even though I personally disapprove of drug use, I adhere to the libertarian principle that people should be free to do what […]

Read Full Post »

When I argue against tax increases, I generally rely on two compelling points. Higher taxes will undermine prosperity by penalizing productive behavior. More money for politicians will trigger more spending, so red ink will increase. When I argue against centralization and urge Swiss-style federalism, I also rely on two very strong points. Local governments will […]

Read Full Post »

I received my Ph.D. from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, and I have very fond memories of that experience, including interactions with great economists such as James Buchanan and Walter Williams. But not everyone has favorable views of GMU’s market-friendly program. There’s a group, UnKoch My Campus, that pretends to be horrified that the […]

Read Full Post »

In the world of fiscal policy, there are actually two big debates. One debate revolves around the appropriate size of government in the long run. Folks on the left argue that government spending generates a lot of value and that bigger government is a recipe for more prosperity. Libertarians and their allies, by contrast, point […]

Read Full Post »

I thought it was a remarkable development last year when a columnist from the New York Times reported that supposedly pro-feminist policies actually backfire against women. Maybe this would help readers recognize that there are adverse unintended consequences of government intervention. Bastiat would be very happy! Now we have a new example from the academic […]

Read Full Post »

Even though it’s theoretically possible to design a desirable budget deal that includes a tax increase, I’m a big advocate of the no-tax-hike pledge for the simple reason that – in the real world – support for genuine spending restraint and real entitlement reform evaporates once politicians think higher revenues are an option. Heck, bumping […]

Read Full Post »

The proper view on inequality is that it doesn’t matter. That assumes, of course, that people are earning their income honestly rather than via government-enabled cronyism. To elaborate, some people will become rich in a system of honest and competitive markets, but that’s not at the expense of the poor. Indeed, the talents and skills […]

Read Full Post »

My goal in life is very simple. I want to promote freedom and prosperity by limiting the size and scope of government. That seems like a foolish and impossible mission, perhaps best suited for Don Quixote. After all, what hope is there of overcoming the politicians, interest groups, bureaucrats, and lobbyists who benefit from bigger […]

Read Full Post »

I periodically cite new academic research about tax policy and economic activity. I sometimes even publicize research from international bureaucracies showing the link between taxes and growth. I’m not naive enough to think that any particular study will change minds, but when the bulk of the research unambiguously tells us that lower tax rates are […]

Read Full Post »

How do you define a terrible team? No, this isn’t going to be a joke about Notre Dame foolishly thinking it could match up against a team from the Southeastern Conference in college football’s national title game (though the Irish win the contest for prettiest make-believe girlfriends). I’m asking the question because a winless record […]

Read Full Post »

Leftists want higher tax rates and they want greater tax compliance. But they have a hard time understanding that those goals are inconsistent. Simply stated, people respond to incentives. When tax rates are punitive, folks earn and report less taxable income, and vice-versa. When tax rates increase, sometimes they engage in tax avoidance, lowering their […]

Read Full Post »

These results won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has compared long-run growth rates in Hong Kong, the United States, France, and North Korea, but there’s a new study by three economists showing that nations with better tax policy grow faster and create more jobs. There are many other factors that also determine growth, […]

Read Full Post »

Back in 2010, I applauded Paul Krugman for acknowledging that government unemployment benefits can encourage joblessness. And I even cited Krugman in this 2012 debate on the topic. We’re debating this issue again today, but it’s an even bigger problem because politicians in Washington have added a special bonus payment for people who stay unemployed. […]

Read Full Post »

I first wrote about allowing markets for body parts back in 2009 and 2010. Let’s revisit that issue today, starting with John Stossel’s case for legal organ sales in a video for Reason. This should be a slam-dunk issue. I want drugs to be legal, even though I personally disapprove of drug use. I want […]

Read Full Post »

Whenever I’m asked about the “tax gap,” I point to the academic evidence, from multiple sources, and explain that lower tax rates and tax reform are the best way to get higher levels of tax compliance. Indeed, even the pro-tax International Monetary Fund has published research clearly identifying punitive tax policy as the leading cause […]

Read Full Post »

While debunking OECD and IMF research on inequality, I explained that it’s important to distinguish between income that is earned honestly and loot that is obtained thanks to government cronyism. That’s also the message of this video from the Hoover Institution. In the video, David Henderson contrasts how our lives are improved when an entrepreneur […]

Read Full Post »

Back in 2012, I shared a video clip of Ice-T defending the 2nd Amendment, but that video is now dead, so I’m glad to see that Prager University has added his comments as a prologue to this defense of gun rights by Prof. Eugene Volokh. Ice-T and Prof. Volokh make for a good combination, one […]

Read Full Post »

My Eighth Theorem of Government is very simple. If someone writes and talks about poverty, I generally assume that they care about poor people. They may have good ideas for helping the poor, or they may have bad ideas. But I usually don’t doubt their sincerity. But when someone writes and talks about inequality, I […]

Read Full Post »

Libertarians have a reputation for being principled, albeit a bit quirky. Maybe even dorky. And that creates opportunities for satire, even if we’re making fun of ourselves. Like in this video. Our second item captures the mindset of libertarians. I don’t know if Ms. Dehbozorgi is a libertarian, but she definitely knows how to make […]

Read Full Post »

I repeatedly write about the importance of economic growth, usually citing data about gross domestic product (GDP), which is defined as “a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period.” And I frequently use that GDP data when comparing long-run performance for various nations […]

Read Full Post »

While it’s true that every penny in the budget requires money to be diverted from the economy’s productive sector, not all government spending is created equal when considering the impact on growth. Some types of spending, such as redistribution programs, are doubly harmful to prosperity. The economy is first hurt by the taxes needed to […]

Read Full Post »

Whenever I’m asked to give an example of a powerful and persuasive visual, I always have an easy answer. The late Andrew Coulson created a very compelling chart showing that huge increases in money and staff for government schools have not led to improvements in educational outcomes. All rational people who look at that image […]

Read Full Post »

I’ve already shared some politician humor and some socialism humor in 2021, so it’s time to complete the trifecta with a new edition of communism humor. We’ll start with some gallows humor about the link between communism and famine. As far as I can tell, the fad of millennials eating Tide pods has gone away, […]

Read Full Post »

In my five-part series on coronavirus and the failure of big government (here, here, here, here, and here), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received some unflattering attention. Whether we’re examining its performance regarding equipment, testing, or vaccines, the bureaucracy has hindered the private sector’s ability to quickly and effectively respond to the pandemic. Today, […]

Read Full Post »

I periodically criticize pro-statism stories and columns in outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post. But I’ve only written one column specifically on the topic of whether the press is slanted. In that article, I pointed out that media bias rarely is based on lies. Even when stories are overtly misleading (as […]

Read Full Post »

In Part I of this series, I explained that President-Elect Biden’s soak-the-rich agenda didn’t make sense because the internal revenue code already is very biased against upper-income taxpayers. Indeed, the U.S. tax system is even more weighted against the rich than the tax codes of nations such as France and Sweden. In Part II of […]

Read Full Post »

One of my traditions, which started in 2013, is to share the year’s best and worst policy outcomes of the past 365 days. For instance, last year I celebrated Boris Johnson’s landslide victory in the United Kingdom and also was very happy that Colorado voters preserved TABOR. But I bemoaned Trump’s protectionism and fretted about […]

Read Full Post »

I don’t like higher taxes, whether looking at levies on income, capital gains, payroll, death, or consumption. But if asked to identify the worst way of hiking taxes, the wealth tax might lead the list because of the economic damage caused per dollar collected. If you don’t want to spend two minutes watching the video, […]

Read Full Post »

Professor James Buchanan won a Nobel Prize for developing the theory of “public choice,” which looks at how politicians, bureaucrats, and voters seek to maximize their self interest, generally in ways that lead to an ever-expanding burden of government. Some people wonder why Buchanan’s analysis was prize-worthy when the unseemly nature of government has long […]

Read Full Post »

Next »