Tag: Mercantilism

The Anachronistic 1979 Oil Export Ban »

Political pressure is building to repeal the 1979 ban on U.S. exports of crude oil to the rest of the world. I blogged on that issue recently in Inside Sources, which was picked up by Orangeburg, South Carolina’s Times and Democrat. Other blogs on that policy issue are forthcoming. Several reasons for lifting the...
Read More »

Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could...
Read More »

Big Pharma, Trial Lawyers, and Harry Reid Kill Patent Reform »

Now that the smoke has cleared after the collapse of efforts to push patent litigation reform legislation through Congress, pundits are busy discussing just what happened. The President and members of both parties agreed that some reform was necessary. Reform legislation seemed to be a sure thing. Sources close to the negotiations on reform indicate...
Read More »

All Government Policies Succeed in the Long Run »

A crazy claim you are probably thinking after reading my title. After all, “failed policies” are a staple of discussions and debates about government actions in the United States. Everybody, regardless of political preferences, has a list of what he regards as the most glaringly failed policies. This way of looking at the matter,...
Read More »

Creative Destruction—The Best Game in Town »

In his justly famous 1942 book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Joseph A. Schumpeter described the dynamics of a market economy as a process of “creative destruction.” In his view, innovation—“the new consumers’ goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization that capitalist enterprise creates”—drives this...
Read More »

Jim Crow and the Progressives »

Historians often speak glowingly about the Progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Typically they write off the racist statements made by many of its leaders—Herbert Croly, John Dewey, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and others—as minor “blind spots” unrelated to Progressivism. But perhaps the apologist historians also have trouble seeing clearly....
Read More »

Libertarian Wishful Thinking »

As a rule, libertarians incline toward wishful thinking. They constantly pluck little events, statements, and movies from the flow of life and cry out, “Eureka! Libertarianism is on the march!” With some of my friends, this tendency is so marked that I have become amused by its recurrent expression—well, there he goes again! Some...
Read More »

What Gives Rise to “Crony Capitalism”? »

The term crony capitalism has appeared frequently in the popular press of late, but rarely has it been used—let alone defined—in the academic literature. Independent Institute Research Fellow Randall G. Holcombe, a frequent contributor to The Beacon, helps remedy this deficiency in an article published in the Spring 2013 issue of The Independent Review. “Crony capitalism,”...
Read More »

The Best Tax Code Money Can Buy »

Among the celebrants at the inaugural balls will be top contributors to the President’s reelection campaign, but their real celebration will be April 15, when they continue to be the beneficiaries of a “tax loophole” Obama pledged to close in 2008—but that remains gaping wide open despite his rhetoric about now making “the rich”...
Read More »

Queen for a Day-Based Voting »

Here I go, dating myself again. In the early 1960s, there was an absolutely horrible game show called “Queen for a Day,” in which each week several women would compete for who had the most pitiful life of hardships. At the end of each show, the audience would vote on who would be—literally, crowned—Queen...
Read More »