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Search Results for 'cronyism'

Last October, I wrote a two-part series about America’s venal political class (see here and here). Today’s collection of political satire makes the same point. We’ll start with some wisdom from Charlie Brown. Next, we have a two-frame cartoon. The top frame shows where we were three months ago and the bottom from shows where […]

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I was a big fan of federalism (to the extent it still exists) before any of us ever heard of the coronavirus. And, given the federal government’s incompetent response to the pandemic, I’m an even bigger fan of federalism today. Though that doesn’t mean states are paragons of efficiency and competence. Here’s a map from […]

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As illustrated by my recent three-part series (here, here, and here), I care about helping the poor rather then hurting the rich. More broadly, I want a bigger economic pie so that everyone can have a larger slice. And I don’t particularly care if some people get richer faster than other people get richer (assuming […]

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Back on December 28, I shared four charts for the explicit reason that I wanted everyone to understand that average living standards in the western world have skyrocketed over the past few centuries. I could have used that data to clear up myths about “robber barons” or “sweatshops,” but I had a more modest goal. […]

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Ethical people, regardless of ideology, should be motivated by an empathetic desire to help the poor rather than a spiteful thirst to punish the rich. That was the message in Part I and Part II of this series. That’s also today’s message, and we’ll start with this video. There’s a lot of information in this […]

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I began yesterday’s column with a short clip of me explaining why we should focus on reducing poverty, not reducing inequality. Here’s a more thorough discussion of the same topic. The video makes three central points, all of which are very sound. The economy is not a fixed pie, the rest of us don’t become […]

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I have a couple of cameos in a new left-leaning documentary film, Race to the Bottom. I shared a clip two day ago with my views on corporate tax and the Laffer Curve. Today, here’s what I said about the left’s mistaken views on inequality. The fundamental problem is that I think some of our friends on […]

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I’ve written a couple of times about a disturbingly large share of young people support statist economic policies. A good example can be seen in this polling data from the Pew Research Center (relevant data circled in red). Christopher Ingraham wrote about this survey in the Washington Post. According to the Pew Research Center, 39 […]

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The day after the election, I wrote that “left-wing goals are now very unlikely” because Republicans almost certainly will retain control of the Senate. But perhaps I should have been ever bolder and argued that the election was a rejection of the left-wing agenda. An editorial from the Wall Street Journal points out that voters […]

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Given my big miss in 2016, I’m not sure why anyone would be interested in my election predictions, but I’ve received several emails asking me to offer up my guesses for 2020 (perhaps some of them are long-time readers who remember 2010, when I actually did a good job?). Before I offer up my prediction, […]

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Earlier this month, I reviewed some evidence and analysis about the corruption in Washington. Today, let’s look at some tangible examples of how the political elite routinely exploit their positions to enrich themselves by pillaging taxpayers. We could start with the obvious example of Hunter Biden, but he’s just the tip of the iceberg. I […]

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Every single economic school of thought agrees with the proposition that investment is a key factor in driving wages and growth. Even foolish concepts such as socialism and Marxism acknowledge this relationship, though they want the government to be in charge of deciding where to invest and how much to invest (an approach that has […]

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Milton Friedman was one of the the 20th century’s greatest defenders of capitalism and individual freedom. He had marvelous insights on issues such as fiscal policy, Sweden, tax competition, and other people’s money, but one of my favorite Friedman quotes is about the role of business. This should be non-controversial, but we need to remember […]

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There are all sorts of regulations, some of which affect the entire economy and some of which target certain sectors. Moreover, regulations vary widely since – depending on the example – they may tell people and business what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who to do it with. This […]

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In its early days, the European Union increased economic liberty since it largely existed as a free-trade pact for member nations. Unfortunately, it has subsequently shifted to a more statist approach, with countries like France and Germany pushing for ever-increasing levels of harmonization, bureaucratization, and centralization. Indeed, the E.U. has just taken a big step […]

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It doesn’t get as much attention as basket-case nations such as Venezuela, North Korea, Zimbabwe, or Cuba, but Argentina is one of the world’s worst-governed nations. It is ranked #155 out of 159 nations by the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World. It is next-to-last (ahead of only Venezuela) in IMD’s World Competitiveness Ranking. […]

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If you want to understand how government really works, learn about “public choice.” This is the common-sense theory that politicians and other people in politics often make decisions based on self interest, and it does a very good job of explaining why we get so many short-sighted and misguided policies from the crowd in Washington. […]

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Should high-tax states such as California and New York get a bailout? I explained last month why that would be a mistake, in large part because bailouts would reward states for irresponsible fiscal policy (similar to my argument that countries like Austria and the Netherlands shouldn’t be bullied into providing bailouts for Italy and Spain). […]

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In the world of tax policy, big-picture issues such as tax reform can capture the public’s attention (should we junk the IRS, instance, and adopt a flat tax?). People also get very interested if politicians are threatening to grab more of their money. But many tax issues are tedious and boring, even if they involve […]

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I’ve written four columns (here, here, here, and here) on the general failure of government health bureaucracies to effectively respond to the coronavirus. The pattern was so pronounced that it even led me to unveil a Seventh Theorem of Government. I’m not surprised at this outcome, of course, given the poor overall track record of […]

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Since government officials have imposed severe restrictions on economic activity, I’m sympathetic to the notion that businesses should be compensated. But, as I warn in this CNBC interview, I have major concerns about big government and big business getting in bed together. As is so often the case with interviews on live TV, there are […]

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At the risk of understatement, I’m not a fan of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The international bureaucracy is the “Johnny Appleseed” of moral hazard, using bailouts to reward profligate governments and imprudent lenders. The IMF also is infamous for encouraging higher tax burdens, which is especially outrageous since its cossetted employees are exempt from […]

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The current crisis teaches us that excessive regulation and bureaucratic sloth can have deadly consequences. Here’s John Stossel’s video with another lesson, explaining that we need more capitalism rather than more government. This seems like a no-brainer, especially given the wretched economic performance of countries where the government owns or controls the means of production. […]

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Most economic downturns are caused by misguided government policy, which leads to predictable battles over how to address the fallout as well as battles over how to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Today’s crisis is different. It’s more akin to a natural disaster. But it’s not a one-off event like a big hurricane […]

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I’m not an optimist about Europe’s economic future. Most nations have excessive welfare states and punitive taxes, which is hardly good news. You then have to consider demographic trends such as aging populations (i.e., more people relying on government) and falling birthrates (i.e., fewer future taxpayers). That’s a very grim combination. Indeed, this is a […]

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Ten days ago, I shared an interview in which I pointed out that President George W. Bush acquiesced to a flawed narrative about the 2008 financial crisis. Bush and his team basically accepted the assertion of interventionists that it was the fault of “Wall Street greed,” when the crisis actually was caused by bad monetary […]

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The most obvious threat to free enterprise is Bernie Sanders, though other prominent leftists are giving “Crazy Bernie” plenty of competition. But I sometimes wonder whether the more tangible threat to capitalism comes from self-described conservatives who say they support markets but embrace trendy ideas that would expand the size and scope of the federal […]

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The coronavirus obviously is bad news, but I repeated my long-held view in this interview that excessive government intervention is the greatest threat to China’s prosperity. My hypothesis is that the coronavirus almost certainly will be a short-term challenge. What’s far more worrisome, especially in the long run, is that government has far too large […]

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Is Greece the international version of New Jersey or is New Jersey the American version of Greece? Is New Jersey the national version of Chicago, or is Chicago the the local version of New Jersey? The answer is yes, regardless of how the question is phrased because – in all cases – we’re talking about […]

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Back in 2010, I wrote about the absurd contention, promoted by some advocates of Keynesian economics, that wars are good for prosperity. According to this crackpot theory, destroying wealth is a net positive because people then have to spend money to rebuild. Now this “conceptual bad penny” is showing up again. The New York Times, […]

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