Tag: Free Market
Entrepreneurial Economies
Academic institutions increasingly are recognizing the importance of entrepreneurship to the performance of an economy, and in response, many (including my own institution, Florida State University) have established entrepreneurship programs to give students some skills that can help them succeed as entrepreneurs. I’m supportive of these efforts, but the degree to which individuals in...
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Tax Havens, or Intergovernmental Competition
President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have convinced the other G-7 countries to implement a 15% minimum global corporate tax rate. The argument in favor is that some countries (the linked article names Ireland) are establishing themselves as tax havens–lowering their tax rates to attract businesses from higher-tax countries. Another way to view...
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Rush Limbaugh on Air
After failing at numerous radio jobs in the 1970s, in which he tried out various styles, including his first broadcast gig at KUDL in Kansas City, the famed talk-radio giant Rush H. Limbaugh III (1951–2021) began his real radio-broadcast career when he hosted a daytime talk show that innovatively mixed conservative politics and humorous...
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The Judeo-Christian Origins of Liberty
In his monumental book, Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (Penguin, hardcover 2014; Harvard University Press, paperback 2017), American-born, British intellectual historian Sir Larry Siedentop (Keble College, Oxford University) argues that Western “classical liberalism” has been the child of Christianity. That is, the Judeo-Christian principles, understandings and intuitions, that evolved from the...
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The U.S. Economy’s Hidden Resilience
One of today’s pivotal questions is the ability of the economy to cope and adapt in the face of mandatory and voluntary social distancing. Real GDP in the second quarter of 2020 fell at an annualized rate of 32.9 percent, an unprecedented drop. It has become commonplace (and bipartisan) to assume that economic vitality...
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Why Is Unemployment Rising?
The obvious answer to the question in my title–that unemployment is rising because of the COVID-19 pandemic–is not quite correct. The virus is not causing unemployment to rise. The government’s response to the virus is causing unemployment to rise. I won’t offer an opinion on whether the government response, overall, goes too far or...
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Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste
Remember the Golden Age of Laissez-Faire, the grand epoch brought to a tragic end by the COVID-19 crisis, which laid bare its failures for all to see? Me neither. And yet the New Narrative is already being written. “The Era of Small Government Is Over,” writes Jamelle Bouie in the New York Times. US federal, state, and local government...
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Coronacrisis and Leviathan
In his magisterial Crisis and Leviathan, Robert Higgs shows that the growth of government in the twentieth century can largely be explained by patterns of crisis and response. These crises can be real (World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, stagflation) or imagined (inequality, the various isms). In either case new government programs, agencies, and policies...
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No $1,000 Handouts, End Payroll Taxes!
As a small business owner, I don’t need a $1,000 handout. This is a gimmick—let’s instead focus on solutions tailored to the problem. I need the tax relief of suspending the payroll taxes I and my workers pay. Some math—my workers are all being paid their normal salaries for the foreseeable future, despite trials,...
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President Trump and the Popularity of Socialism
The Cold War, which effectively ended thirty years ago with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, was a contest between the capitalist democracies of the West against the socialist dictatorships of the East. The result was a decisive victory for capitalism and democracy. Now, with the rise of self-described socialists like Bernie Sanders and...
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