Tag: Free Market
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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Elizabeth Warren’s Proposed Wealth Tax

People tend to view taxes in one of two ways. One view is that taxes are the price people pay for government goods and services. The other is that taxes are a penalty levied on people who earn income or have wealth. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax takes the second view.

Sen. Rand Paul Eviscerates the Left in His New Book, The Case Against Socialism

Socialism has been tried on six continents and in numerous countries, but always with the same failed result. Despite geographic, economic, and other national differences, the experience of socialism follows a consistent trajectory, with its trademark features—poverty, shortages of resources, and repression—always on display. Senator Rand Paul’s new book, The Case Against Socialism, is...
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W. Dieter Tede (1933-2019)

I was privileged to present a tribute at the memorial celebration for the life of Wolfgang Dieter Tede, on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Independent Institute for over twenty years, and here is an edited...
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