Karl Marx’s greatest lesson

Karl Marx famously concluded in his 1845 Theses On Feuerbach with his eleventh thesis: “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” How this change from analysis to activism can be justified in light of Marx’s own materialist conception of history is an enduring puzzle. Continue Reading...

The futility of artificial intelligence economics

Salesforce, an American cloud-based software company, earlier this year announced an initiative to develop an artificial intelligence economist. Stephan Zheng, the lead research scientist at Salesforce Research, describes the moonshot goal of this project as to build a reinforcement learning framework that will recommend economic policies that drive social outcomes in the real world, such as improving sustainability, productivity, and equality.” Continue Reading...

Cuba loosens restrictions on private businesses to battle COVID-19

Over the past decade, Cuba’s private sector has experienced slow-but-steady growth thanks to a mix of entrepreneurial grit and incremental policy changes. Although the Communist government continues to waffle on the scope and duration of various restrictions, the number of self-employed Cubans has risen from 150,000 to 600,000 since 2010 – that is, until the outbreak of the global health pandemic. Continue Reading...

Riots and the broken window fallacy

The cost of the nine days of rioting following George Floyd’s death has already exceeded $100 million. Yet some economists believe that damage actually benefits our country. In the epicenter of the riots, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has appealed to the federal and state governments to foot the bill for the destruction, which stands at a preliminary estimate of $55 million. Continue Reading...

“Minneapolice” state creates its own monster

In a May 30 article I published for the Italian media outlet Nouva Bussola Quotidiana, “Minneapolice”, repression and anger behind the violence, I explain that plenty of kindling was laid during American COVID-19 lockdowns for heated unrest that has erupted nationwide following George Floyd’s killing.  Continue Reading...

Profitable Vatican museums postpone opening during phase 2

In an article I published today in Catholic World Report, “The profitable Vatican Museums remain closed, look toward a June opening,” I posed some tough questions to Rev. Kevin Likey, a priest of the Legionaries of Christ from Flint, Michigan, who is currently serving as the director of the Vatican Museums Patrons’ Office. Continue Reading...

The 1619 Projection: 3 lies Pulitzer should not reward

The 1619 Project’s introductory essay, written by Nikole Hannah-Jones, won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary—and, notably, not for history or public service. That distinction is illuminating. The 1619 Project makes unfounded assertions about the role of slavery in American political and economic history, and it inverts reality to portray slave owners as the embodiment of free-market principles. Continue Reading...

The great price of America’s great lockdown

One reason why economists are viewed as modern-day Cassandras is that they tell us many things we don’t want to hear. Economics points relentlessly to the costs and benefits associated with particular decisions about alternative uses of scarce resources. Continue Reading...