The Puzzle of Economic Growth

Why are some countries rich and others poor? The answer to that question is complex – and hotly debated. But economist Alex Tabbarok outlines several key ingredients to consistent economic growth -productivity, incentives, institutions – and explains how they are combined with factors such as a country’s history, ideas, culture, geography, and even a little luck. Continue Reading...

Why Protectionism Is Like Drinking Salt Water

Protectionism, the practice of shielding a country’s domestic industries from foreign competition by taxing imports, has a strong appeal for Americans because it seems so obvious. If the globalized economy is a zero-sum game, then a “win” for China in the form of increased manufacturing jobs is likely to be a “loss” for America. Continue Reading...

Why Protectionism Makes Americans Poorer

Yesterday, in my post about how Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders plan to raise taxes on the poor and working class, I promised to explain why it is not possible to “bring jobs back to America.” I realize today that explaining why jobs are lost to overseas competition is even more difficult than I had imagined. Continue Reading...

What is Crony Capitalism?

Here on the Acton PowerBlog we talk a lot about crony capitalism. But what exactly does the term mean? And why is it so bad? In this short video from Prager University, Jay Cost, a staff writer at The Weekly Standard, explains what it is, why it’s wrong, and proposes a solution that every society could benefit from. Continue Reading...

How Geography Affects Economic Growth

The continent of Africa has so much space that you could fit most of the United States, China, India, and a lot of Europe onto it. But if you compare Africa to Europe, Europe has two to three times the length of coastline that Africa has. Continue Reading...

The Executive’s Conscience: Where Work and Wage Meet

“The twin tracks of work and wage do not meet, and cannot be scientifically related. They are bridged by morality, not by mathematics.” -Lester DeKoster Low-wage workers continue to picket and protest around the country, demanding an increased minimum wage, improved access to benefits, and better working conditions. Continue Reading...