Mexican Politics and the Economy

I have argued on this site that the last thing America needs is European style government-by-demonstration, and that the massive street demostrations over illegal immigration perhaps were a sign of the Left’s intention to import exactly that style of guerilla theater politics into America. Continue Reading...

Outsourcing Education

A couple years ago I wrote a commentary that didn’t exactly defend outsourcing, but did recognize its benefits and argued that it could be done morally if done correctly. I won’t pretend that my writing is read widely enough to generate voluminous responses of any sort, but that piece did elicit a significant number of responses, many of them negative. Continue Reading...

Bono: Give Us a Call

The Rock Star, sounding kind of Acton-ish: Bono acknowledges that four years ago when he toured Africa with then U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, bringing private sector with him would never have crossed his mind. Continue Reading...

Geldof Trades Up

Sir Bob, Free Trader? The May 16 Independent is guest-edited by the ubiquitous Bono and sports the RED brand–another Bono project where a share of the profits from the mag will be donated to fighting AIDS and poverty in Africa. Continue Reading...

Free Workers, Free Trade

You can read my piece today responding to an article in the New York Times over at National Review Online, “Free Workers & Free Trade.” The NYT piece passes on the allegations of numerous immigrant workers at garment factories in Jordan that they have been lured into the country, had their passports taken, and then forced to work long hours for illegally low wages. Continue Reading...

Immigration is a Symptom

Large numbers of migrant populations going out of a particular area or nation should be viewed in large part as a signal of something. There are reasons for people to pick up and move, and policy and governing bodies would do well to examine these reasons. Continue Reading...

The Growing Backlash against Globalization

Actonites know about all the benefits of globalization. Most of these benefits are economic but also have much greater and often unseen social impact as well. Increased international trade in goods and services promotes division of labor and an efficient use of scarce resources, resulting in lower-priced, higher-quality products. Continue Reading...

Fair Trade Futility

I was intereviewed for this article in yesterday’s New York Times, but I apparently didn’t make the cut. Nevertheless, in “Fair Prices for Farmers: Simple Idea, Complex Reality,” Jennifer Alsever does an excellent job bringing to light some of the dangers that are inherent with external and artificial adjustments to the price mechanism. Continue Reading...

Offshoring Spurs Productivity

Here’s a brief note about a recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, “Service Offshoring and Productivity: Evidence from the United States.” According to the NBER digest, “service outsourcing is doing more than fueling an economic boom in the tech-savvy provinces of India. Continue Reading...

A Time of Flux for Electrolux

Richard Longworth An interesting news story on local Grand Rapids television last night concerning the long awaited closing of an Electrolux plant. While the story was fair and optimistic, I got a bit of a kick out of soundbite from Chicago writer Richard Longworth who said: “A wonderfully decent way of life is now just being undermined by productivity, by the global economy.” Now, losing a job can be a terrible thing (its worth noting, though, that one of the workers in the story seemed glad to have the chance to “do something new” with his life–so sometimes change can be good as well). Continue Reading...