Tag: Economics

What Abercrombie and Fitch Can Teach Us about the Same-Sex Marriage Controversy »

When I was a young teenager, Abercrombie & Fitch was one of the “it” brands. Everyone in school wanted to wear it, and it was absolutely used to signal that one was up-to-date on recent trends. As the child of two schoolteachers, I learned very early in my life that paying $50 for a t-shirt I’d grow…
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Progressivism: Rhetoric versus Reality »

Contemporary supporters of an expanded role for government are increasingly moving away from calling themselves liberals and toward referring to themselves Progressives, so it is worth considering what the ideology of Progressivism entails. Progressivism began in the late 1800s as a political movement that advocated expanding the role of government. Before the Progressive era,…
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Welcome, High School Freshman! Pee in This Cup! »

High school is rough for a lot of kids. As the captain of my high school’s academic team (we took tests competitively and competed weekly with other students in academic competitions—yes, this is real thing), you can imagine I wasn’t on the ballot for “Ms. Popular.” Others undoubtedly experience worse. Between parents, puberty, and…
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The Ex-Im Bank Redux »

Adam Smith, the first and still best of all of the world’s economists and moral philosophers, once wrote in opposition to all systems of “preference and restraint”. That lesson is lost on most politicians and all special pleaders who support re-authorization of the taxpayer-financed Export-Import Bank, whose funding is once again set to expire…
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Tax Freedom Day, 2015 »

The Tax Foundation announces “Tax Freedom Day” every year to mark the date on which the average U.S. taxpayer has earned enough income to pay in full all federal, state and local taxes owed. The date this year is today, Friday, April 24, 2015. “Tax Freedom Day” is determined by taking the ratio of…
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An Argument for “Selling” Babies »

“Behave, or I’ll sell you.” This “threat” was one I heard with some regularity as a child. It was my mother’s way of letting me know that I was driving her up a wall. It was usually followed by something like, “then they’ll pay me to take you back.” (In retrospect, if this was true,…
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Google Agonistes »

News reports on Tax Day suggest that the European Commission wants to nail Google Inc.’s scalp to the wall as punishment for committing alleged antitrust (competition) law violations. At issue is the way in which the company assigns priorities to the links consumers see when they “google” generic search terms like “booksellers”, “cameras”, and…
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Employers Do Not Systematically and Persistently Pay Women Less than Men for Equally Valuable Work »

The quality of economic journalism in the United States is terrible. Day after day, journalists write about the causes and consequences of economic conditions and events without understanding the underlying economics of the situation, and their articles are, as a rule, simply bunk. Here is an example. I have not examined the actual report…
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Time to KO the Idea of Boxing Bans »

Upon watching the first session of women’s Olympic boxing in London in 2012, leading neuroscientist John Hardy stated that, We shouldn’t get our fun out of watching people inflict brain damage on each other. To me as a neurologist it’s almost surreal. Indeed, boxing has a reputation for producing some real medical nightmares. Having…
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The “Miracle” of Kirznerian Entrepreneurship »

I learned a lot about miracles recently thanks to a penetrating sermon by pastor Mark McNees of Element3 Church, a “progressive” non-denominational church in Tallahassee. And it prompted a lot of thinking about markets and entrepreneurship, particularly entrepreneurship as conceived by Austrian economists, most notably Israel Kirzner. (Kirzner is required reading in my social…
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