Overcoming ‘Anti-Foreign Bias’ in Trade and Immigration

Many conservatives exhibit a peculiar tendency to be pro-liberty when it comes to business, trade, and wages, but protectionist when it comes to the economic effects of immigration. It’s an odd disconnect, and yet, as we’ve begun to see with figures like Donald Trump and Rick Santorum, one side is bound to eventually give way. Continue Reading...

Amazon and the ‘All Jobs Delusion’

In the movie Annie Hall, Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) tells an old joke about two elderly women having dinner at a Catskill mountain resort. One of them says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” Alvy says that’s essentially how he feels about life: it’s full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly. Continue Reading...

Why Is It Easier To Become An EMT Than An Interior Designer? Big Government

Okay, maybe this needs a license… EMTs have incredibly difficult and stressful jobs. They may go long stretches with little to do, and then be suddenly very busy, very fast. They need to know how to calm down a child with a broken arm, treat a woman pinned in a truck in a massive interstate pileup during a snowstorm, and deal with a potential elderly stroke victim. Continue Reading...

Resisting a ‘Social Engineering’ Approach to Development

A conference held in Washington earlier this month sought to forge relationships between leaders of secular and faith-based groups working to alleviate poverty. Representatives from the World Bank Group, the German/British/US government development agencies, the GHR Foundation, World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, Islamic Relief USA, American Jewish World Service, McKinsey & Company, and more gathered for the occasion. Continue Reading...

The Moral Crisis of Cronyism and Corporate Welfare

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, in an article for www.mlive.com, discussed the recent charter expiration of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) and how that is a good first-step toward reducing the corporate welfare and crony capitalism that has infected American politics and economics: If a man swipes your wallet, he’s a thief. Continue Reading...

The Greatest Country in the World: What is it to You?

I believe that greatness, if defined by power, economic and cultural influence, requires us to acknowledge that the United States of America was once the greatest country in the world. However, as it ceases to lead the world in these areas – as one survey after another shows – and other countries take its place, it can no longer be considered the greatest. Continue Reading...

Jeb Bush Says Work Harder; Americans Respond By Complaining

During a recent interview, presidential candidate Jeb Bush outlined his economic plan, which included a goal of achieving 4 percent economic growth. As for how we might achieve that growth, Bush went on to commit a grave and sinful error, daring imply that Americans might need to work a bit harder: My aspiration for the country — and I believe we can achieve it — is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see,” he told the newspaper. Continue Reading...

Pope Economically Confused in Bolivia

Today at the Library of Law & Liberty, I examine Pope Francis’s recent speech in Bolivia, in which he calls for “an economy where human beings, in harmony with nature, structure the entire system of production and distribution in such a way that the abilities and needs of each individual find suitable expression in social life.” I have no objection to that, but what he seems to miss is that the very policies he criticizes all characterize those countries in the world that most closely resemble his goal. Continue Reading...

3 Things I Wish Pope Francis Knew About a Free Economy

Pope Francis has said that he’s generally “allergic” to financial matters. Yet that hasn’t stopped him from criticizing capitalism and suggesting radical changes for a global economic order. During his recent trip to Latin America, the pontiff has been especially denunciatory, saying the unfettered pursuit of money is “the dung of the devil.” Not surprisingly, many critics have complained that Francis is presenting a distorted, incomplete, and naive view of capitalism. Continue Reading...

Economists as Engineers of Markets?

A bit of humility is in order. Alvin E. Roth to Russ Roberts on EconTalk: … I think that economists have to approach their role as engineers with great humility. There’s a lot we don’t understand. Continue Reading...