What are the unintended consequences of American protectionism?

Protectionism is often associated with patriotic zeal and concern for America. While citizens should certainly have concern for their nation, protectionist measures do not necessarily secure the economic results desired. Acton’s director of research, Samuel Gregg, writes about the unintended effects of protectionism in a recent article for The Stream. Continue Reading...

Washington showdown looms over Ex-Im Bank and cronyism

President-elect Donald Trump Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, wants to change the rules of one of the biggest crony capitalist organizations in Washington.  He wants to make it easier for the Export Import Bank to dish out large amounts of corporate welfare to companies such as Boeing, which already brings in revenues upward of $95 billion per year. Continue Reading...

Trump: ‘They have to work, too’

Today at The Stream I provide some analysis of Donald Trump’s speech earlier this week at the Detroit Economic Club. As I conclude, “The trouble for Trump’s promised future lies in the impossibility of reclaiming a bygone era.” In Trump’s campaign there is a mix of both nostalgia and optimism, which bookend serious critiques of America’s more recent past and the legacy of his political opponents in particular. Continue Reading...

How Free Trade Helps the Poor

Several years ago economist Bryan Caplan provided the most succinct and helpful statement about how we should think about free trade: “We’d be better off if other countries gave us stuff for free. Continue Reading...

Cuba and The Buena Vista Social Club

The eyes of many in the world have turned to Cuba over the last day or so. A great deal has been made of the historic changes in the relationship between the US and Cuba and whether such changes fundamentally alter the situation of the political leaders and the elites in the island nation. Continue Reading...

Some Thoughts on Economic Patriotism

Sic semper tyrannis, eh? The Burger King acquisition of Tim Hortons and the resulting plans to move the corporate headquarters under the taxing authority of the Canadian government is being derided by some as unpatriotic. Continue Reading...

Every Market Form in a Single Chart

Reading through the German economist Walter Eucken’s work The Foundation of Economics (1951), I came across one of the most helpful charts for economic analysis I have yet to find. In it, Eucken gives every possible form of market in a single table: The Foundation of Economics, p. Continue Reading...