Before economics, human freedom: Learning from Venezuela’s collapse

The Venezuelan people continue to struggle and suffer under the weight of severe socialist policies, facing economic collapse, widespread poverty, and mass starvation. In response, socialism’s critics are quick to focus on the external features, noting how all of this could have been easily avoided with a basic respect for property rights, free exchange, free prices, and so on. Continue Reading...

Recalling the one lesson: The US-China trade war revisited

Influential thinker Henry Hazlitt argued that the “art of economics” could be distilled to a generally applicable single lesson: looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy [and] tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups. Continue Reading...

Why should Christians support free markets?

One of the abiding joys of working at a think tank like the Acton Institute is that interesting people are always asking you big questions. I was recently asked, “Why should Christians support free markets?” The question is large, interesting, and necessitates the answering of a more basic question first, “Why should Christians be interested in economics?” Adam Smith, and his many antecedents, began crafting the analytical tools which we would come to call economics in response to phenomena which they saw in their world. Continue Reading...

Education, efficiency and liberty

Alaska’s university system is currently facing $130 million in funding cuts to an annual budget of $900 million, which included $327 million in state funding last year. These potential cuts have sparked criticism from researchers at other universities, University of Alaska President James Johnsen, Alaskan state legislators, and citizens. Continue Reading...

Time to deep-six the Jones Act?

In the past three years New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts have announced plans to build offshore wind farms that would generate hundreds of megawatts of power. Massachusetts and New Jersey have already awarded building contracts to energy companies and New York is in the process of reviewing bids. Continue Reading...

Is income inequality acceptable?

In the past few weeks, democratic presidential hopefuls outlined income inequality fixes anywhere from $1,000 per month basic income to free college and single payer healthcare. While many operate on the assumption that income equality results in a fair economic system, I do not. Continue Reading...