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Trump’s Tactic Is Certain to Create “Regime Uncertainty” »

President-elect Donald Trump’s so-called Carrier deal, which seems to amount to a threatening conversation he had with Carrier’s managers, combined with some tax concessions by the state of Indiana, exemplifies the approach he has more or less announced he will take in dealing with U.S. companies that propose to move operations abroad. He threatens...
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I, Peach: A Lesson in Comparative Advantage »

As part of my lunch today, I enjoyed a big, ripe, sweet, firm peach. “So what?” you may be asking. Well, my doing so is more remarkable than one might think. You see, I live at the extreme end of the road, near a remote, isolated village in the farthest southeast corner of the...
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How Not to Make America Great Again »

Donald Trump promises to “Make America Great Again.” Unfortunately, his “us versus them” view of economic exchanges, prominent in his “America doesn’t win anymore” rant, would fail introductory economics. And his protectionist promises cannot make us great again, only less great and poorer. Trump’s protectionism rehashes a bogus patriotism argument. Imports are pilloried as...
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Douglass C. North (November 5, 1920 – November 23, 2015) »

I met Douglass C. North exactly forty-eight years ago, during the final week of 1967, when the American Economic Association was holding its annual meetings in Washington, D.C., and I went to Doug’s room at the Shoreham Hotel to be interviewed for a faculty opening at the University of Washington, where he was chairman...
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The Biggest Threat to North Korea Might Be Dessert »

This past summer, some 200 South Korean activists and North Korean defectors launched 50 balloons into North Korea. The purpose? To deliver 10,000 Choco Pies—a cake and marshmallow combination coated in chocolate (think Moon Pie)—to the citizens of North Korea. The pies saw their introduction in North Korea in 2004. The treats were given...
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Tax Day Tea Party »

I was invited to speak on entrepreneurship at San Jose’s Tax Day Tea Party event last week, so I thought I would post my remarks. I took a markedly global perspective that focused on free trade and open immigration. The take away is that economic freedom is the key to growth. Of course, a...
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When Krugman Was Good »

Relatively speaking, of course. It’s easy to forget that Paul Krugman was once a sensible thinker, at least in some areas. From a lengthy New Yorker profile: Krugman’s tribe was academic economists, and insofar as he paid any attention to people outside that tribe, his enemy was stupid pseudo-economists who didn’t understand what they...
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