Tag: Economics

Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 »

President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act on October 24, 1978. That law phased out the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) over the next four years, ending five decades of federal regulation of passenger airfares on interstate commercial flights and entry into the airline industry. One of prime movers behind this first legislative initiative...
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Jean Tirole, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences »

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Jean Tirole of the Toulouse School of Economics. According to Reuters, the prize recognizes Professor Tirole’s work aimed at “taming” private business firms through governmental regulatory interventions and antitrust law enforcement. That summary is true as far as it goes. Professor Tirole indeed spent...
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Amazon’s “Dark Side” Is a Bright Spot for Workers and Consumers »

Jim Hightower is an old-fashioned Texas progressive, who, if memory serves, once ran unsuccessfully for the governorship of that state. He may be a great polemicist—see “The Dark Side of Amazon”—but he does not know the first thing about how markets work and how Amazon.com, like Wal-Mart, is a benefactor of consumers nationwide and...
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Debunking Democracy with James M. Buchanan »

Among the first questions young people ask upon their political awakening is one that should concern Americans of all ages: Why don’t democratic governments operate the way our civic classes taught us? Perhaps no one of his generation thought more deeply about this question than the economist James M. Buchanan (1919–2013). The late Nobel...
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The Worst (Still) Get on Top »

How often when discussing politics, listening to the news, or hearing about the latest government debacle do you hear something like, “If only John Doe was in office” or “If we could just get the right people in there, things would be better?” How often are issues like corruption, waste, and other perverse outcomes...
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Celebrating Human Action—Ludwig von Mises’s Masterpiece »

September 14 marked the 65th anniversary of the publication of Ludwig von Mises’s masterpiece Human Action. I have been studying Mises’s classic text very carefully the past two years, as I’ve completed the manuscript for a forthcoming Independent Institute book, Cooperation and Enterprise: The Economics of Choice, that crystallizes the essence of Human Action...
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Are Students Afraid To Be Free? »

Class is back in session for most colleges and universities across the country. Last year, I had the privilege of teaching college economics courses for the first time. We discussed many issues, from the economics of War on Drugs and the War on Terror, to the minimum wage, to why airlines offer discounts to...
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Long-Term Unemployment Benefits Expire; Long-Term Unemployment Falls »

The unemployment rate has fallen from 6.7% at the end of 2013 to 6.1% in August 2014. That decline is primarily the result of the expiration of long-term unemployment benefits. Unemployment compensation usually expires at the end of 26 weeks of unemployment, but during the last recession Congress extended that period, and many states...
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Politics and Inequality »

The Federal Reserve has just released a survey indicating that income and wealth inequality has been growing in the United States since 2007. Meanwhile, President Obama has called for government action to reduce inequality. So, it is worth a remark that the growth in inequality reported by the Fed pretty much coincides with the...
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Gross Domestic Product: Is Health Spending Figured Out? »

Relying on a government agency to tell us the value of goods and services produced in our nation may not be the best way to estimate Gross Domestic Product. Nevertheless, it is widely accepted. Health spending was a non-issue in the Department of Commerce’s release of the advanced estimate of second-quarter GDP, which came...
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