Tag: Free Market

Gary S. Becker, R.I.P. »

I first met Professor Gary Becker (1930-2014) about 15 years ago, when he came to Oxford, Miss., to present a public lecture at the University of Mississippi sponsored by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. My coauthor and then-colleague Bob Tollison and I breakfasted with him early on the morning of Dr. Becker’s visit, after...
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Common Core Makes Simple Math as Complicated as the Tax Code »

Those of us recovering from tax day should be more than ready to answer a simple subtraction problem: What’s 427—316? If you mastered elementary math sometime before the onset of Common Core national standards and after “new math” had fallen out of fashion, then you can solve this problem in about three easy steps,...
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Joseph Stiglitz: The Price of Inequality »

Although Joseph Stiglitz has a reputation as one of the most prominent defenders of big government, I found much to agree with in his book, The Price of Inequality. It does appear to me that throughout the political spectrum, from left to right, there is a substantial consensus that government is the cause of...
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Challenge of Liberty Student Seminars—Application Deadline: March 31 »

The Challenge of Liberty Student Seminars are returning for another exciting season! Thanks to the generous support of donors, we will hold two seminars for college students—one at the University of Denver (June 16–20) and one at the University of California, Berkeley (July 7–11)—and one seminar for high-school students at the Independent Institute’s headquarters...
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President Obama’s Investment Skills »

After the Obama administration bailed out General Motors by purchasing a 60.8% ownership share in the company for $49.5 billion, President Obama said, “We expect taxpayers will get back all the money my administration has invested in GM.” (I do like the way the president takes responsibility for the investment.) Now, the president’s administration...
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The Hayekian Liberty of Ender’s Game »

Finally, after much encouragement from my college freshman daughter, I just finished reading Ender’s Game, the best-selling science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card that won the Nebula and Hugo awards when it was published in the mid-1980s. The story follows the cultivation of a 6-year-old, boy-wonder, military tactician, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, as he...
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President Obama on Inequality: Rhetoric vs. Reality »

President Obama has recently promoted inequality as a fundamental threat to our way of life, saying, “The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe.” You can read the rhetoric here. Let’s look at...
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U.S. War on Poverty Failed While Global Poverty Declined 80%: Economic Liberalization Begets Prosperity and Equality »

50 years after LBJ declared a “War on Poverty,” the U.S. would do well to take a page from the global playbook—whereby economic liberalization and more open trade has resulted in an 80% decline in abject poverty since 1976. The graphs below, taken from the National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, “Parametric Estimations...
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Judge the Pope’s Exhortation by Results, Not Rhetoric »

Pope Francis recently urged all people to have greater compassion for the poor. And to his credit he emphasized the moral imperative of helping to reduce poverty around the world. Unfortunately, the approach advocated by Francis would result in more human suffering, not less. In his strongly worded apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” or “The...
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Private Exchanges: Getting Ready For Individual Health Insurance To Be The Standard »

Professor John H. Cochrane of the University of Chicago had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on December 25, in which he gave a brief description of (among other things) a market in which individuals buy our own health insurance—and not from an Obamacare exchange. According to Professor Cochrane: “...we should transition to...
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