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Who Are the Demanders of Local Government Services? »

Local governments produce lots of services that people value: schools, police protection, water and sewer services, and more. Who are the producers of these services accountable to, and who determines the characteristics of the services local governments provide? Ideally, the people who live in the jurisdictions of those local governments would be the people...
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Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics »

My book, Advanced Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics, is being translated into Korean, and the translator asked me to provide a short preface for the Korean edition. I’m reproducing it below, partly just to give my book a bit more publicity (it’s affordably priced, if you go with the paperback), partly to...
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My Vagina Doesn’t Care for Your Identity Politics »

A couple years ago I arrived in New Orleans for a small conference. Prior to the opening dinner and reception, I went to the hotel gym to exercise. There was a man on one of the other cardio machines, and a national news network was on the TV. I got on the treadmill and...
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Escaping Philly’s Soda Tax »

On January 1, the city of Philadelphia enacted a soda tax, or a “Sweetened Beverage Tax ” (SBT). The new policy levies a tax of 1.5 cents per ounce on most drinks containing a sugar-based sweetener or artificial sugar substitute (e.g. high fructose corn syrup). The following infographics from the Philadelphia Inquirer show the...
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More Money, More Problems: Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Won’t Help Inflation »

It seems like Venezuela always provides great classroom examples for all the wrong reasons. I’ve written on this blog multiple times about the government of Venezuela and the polices it has enacted. I’ve argued that falling oil prices aren’t to blame for the country’s troubles and that the once-high oil prices only masked the underlying...
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NPR Blows a Chance to Teach Sound Economics »

This week, thanks to the Independent Institute, I was interviewed by NPR’s Marketplace for a piece on Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on goods that come from China. (It’s the first story for the January 3 show here at 2:44.) The interviewer wanted to look back at the effects of the Reagan administration’s...
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Sexism and Zombie Economics »

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine linked to an article on Facebook titled, “Sexism in Hollywood is Rampant, and Emma Watson Says her Career Proves It.” The article was published in late 2015, but similar pieces pop up from time to time with similar themes. Despite my better judgment, I clicked on...
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William Easterly and the Pitfalls of Foreign Intervention »

In one of my recent blog posts, I discussed the work of NYU economist William Easterly. In particular, I noted how his work on the pitfalls of modern economic development planning bear a striking resemblance to the work and ideas of F. A. Hayek and James M. Buchanan. Easterly makes a distinction between “planners”...
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Colombia Joins Argentina and Venezuela in Adopting Backward Economic Policies »

The Colombian government recently “persuaded” food producers to agree to have the prices of some of their goods “frozen.” Soon the prices of products like red meat, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, and processed foods will be set by the Colombian government. Once imposed, producers of these goods will be unable to raise their prices. According...
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The Season of Giving and the Economic System that Fosters Great Generosity »

Christmas will soon be here, and preparations for this holiday are proceeding apace. People are buying gifts for family members and friends and making preparations for great feasts at which family, friends, and other loved ones will gather to share the joy and love of the occasion. Notice how much effort and expense are...
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