Isolationism and internationalism in Black Panther

I finally got around to seeing Black Panther last night, and my early reaction echoes so much of the overwhelmingly positive response to the film. As so many superhero tales do, Black Panther weaves together complex ideas within the often deceptively fantastical trappings of science fiction and fantasy. Continue Reading...

Free trade propaganda from … Communist China?

In the wake of the last presidential election, the American people appear to be fracturing and shifting on the long-held consensus about the benefits of free trade. Meanwhile, state-owned television in the People’s Republic of China is churning out pro-trade propaganda such as this (HT Pethokoukis): Yet the underlying irony is a bit overstated, I’d suspect. Continue Reading...

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

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...