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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Milton Friedman’s Solution for Social Security Would Work for Government Pensions, Too »

Milton Friedman, the 1976 Nobel Laureate in economics, was interviewed on the television program Uncommon Knowledge in 1999, and he offered a solution to Social Security’s financial problems: shut it down. But Friedman didn’t advocate that the federal government walk away from its promises. Social Security participants are owed a stream of payments during...
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Outsourcing Public Schooling »

What do you do with a public school district that spends more than $16,500 per student, runs deficits upwards of $11 million, and where student performance has stalled? Outsource school management, according to officials in one Michigan city. Highland Park City Schools are among the lowest ranked schools in the state. Highland Park Community...
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Freedom Is Not Compatible with Government’s Initiation of Force against Innocent People »

In yesterday’s New York Times appears an op-ed article by Edward L. Glaeser, a professor of economics at Harvard. Glaeser’s article is remarkable because arguments in favor of freedom, insisting that economic analysis implicitly rests on a moral presumption that individual freedom has fundamental value, do not appear every day—or every month—in “the newspaper...
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The Economist on the Austrian School of Economics’ Relevance in Explaining the Current Crisis »

A Buttonwood column in the new issue of The Economist, “Taking von Mises to pieces: Why is the Austrian explanation for the crisis so little discussed?,” discusses the enormous relevance of the Austrian School of economics, including the work of F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Lawrence White in explaining the current economic crisis....
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“American Pie” – Altered to Lament My Life and Times as an Economist »

A long, long time ago . . . I can still remember, Mainstream theory used to make me smile. And I knew if I had my chance That I could make equations dance And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while. But Joseph Stiglitz made me shiver With every paper he’d deliver. Bad news...
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The Business of Business is to Make Profits »

In the debate triggered by Aneel Karnani’s essay on corporate social responsibility published in the Wall Street Journal (Aug. 23)—see the letters to the editor published on Aug. 30—a critical point was overlooked. If, as the late Milton Friedman taught, the sole objective of business is maximize profits, then the managers of those private...
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Can the Dead (Capitalism) Be Brought Back to Life? »

I pose this question seriously, not as a physiologist, but as an economic historian. I am provoked to raise the question by an advertisement that Amazon sent me recently, calling my attention a book titled Can Capitalism Survive? Creative Destruction and the Future of the Global Economy. Seeing this sales pitch, my immediate reaction...
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New Paper: Human Rights and Economic Liberalization »

Carden, Art and Robert A. Lawson. 2009. Human Rights and Economic Liberalization, under review at Business and Politics. This paper has made the rounds at a handful of conferences and is finally available. Thanks to everyone who has offered comments and suggestions. The abstract: Using several case studies and data from the Economic Freedom...
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Newsweek Tries to Narrow Its Subscriber Base »

I’ve subscribed to Newsweek for more than 30 years. I started subscribing in the 1970s, partly because I wanted a magazine that summarized the week’s news (plenty of choices there) and partly because Newsweek ran a monthly column by Milton Friedman. When I started subscribing I didn’t notice what some might call a liberal...
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