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Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
21m ago
Tweet In a new paper for AIER, Samuel Gregg explains that “free trade generally enhances US national security, while economic nationalist or neo-mercantilist policies tend to undermine it.” Writing in the New York Times, my GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan makes the case that “the best plan for housing is to plan less.” Three slices: I would be the first to argue that if an economist claims to know of a cure-all policy — a reliable way to relieve a long list of social ills in one fell swoop — common sense tells you to stop listening. So it is awkward for me to declare that I know of something ..read more
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Quotation of the Day…
Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
4h ago
Tweet … is from page 2 my former Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold’s April 2023 paper with Andreas Freytag, “Balance of Trade, Balance of Power: How the Trade Deficit Reflects U.S. Influence in the World“: The [U.S. trade] deficit is not a symptom of weakness in manufacturing or the overall economy, or of unfair trade practices abroad, but a manifestation of underlying strength, enhancing U.S. “soft power” in the world during a time of rising tension with global rivals such as Russia and China. DBx: This visual shows per-country inflows, in 2019, of foreign direct investment (FDI). Eve ..read more
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Disagreement Over Means Does Not Imply Disagreement Over Ends
Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
18h ago
Tweet Earlier today I wrote about a particular factual error that Oren Cass continually makes. But his errors don’t end there. He’s also wrong, for example, to assert that libertarians do not hold human flourishing to be an end. Cass mistakes libertarians’ rejection of his description of the way that markets work for libertarians not sharing his undoubtedly genuine belief in the importance of human flourishing. Perhaps we libertarians are mistaken, and Cass is correct, about how markets work. But we libertarians, no less than Oren Cass, nevertheless cherish human flourishing. Cass leaps from ..read more
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Oren Cass Continues to Misunderstand Both Economic Reality and Economic Theory
Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
23h ago
Tweet Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Editor: Greg Ip quotes Oren Cass offering his now-familiar claim that “things that used to be made in America are now made elsewhere in exchange for pieces of paper” (“Republicans Are Fracturing on the Economy,” July 11). Nothing could be more misleading. The implication that Americans no longer produce tangible things is false: The real value of U.S. industrial output hit an all-time high in September 2018 and is today only a fraction of a percentage point below that level. Importantly, U.S. industrial output is now 21 percent higher than in ..read more
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Some Links
Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
23h ago
Tweet My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague, Veronique de Rugy, looks with clear eyes at the GOP’s 2024 platform. A slice: Abundance isn’t achieved by the same old subsidies or tax breaks for special interests, price controls, or spending loads of taxpayer money on transfer payments. It’s achieved by freeing up the supply side of our economy. That means freeing producers and innovators from excessive regulatory obstacles and heavy tax burdens (including tariffs) so they can provide more of what Americans need. GMU Scalia Law School professor Ilya Somin explains that “support for globalizati ..read more
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Quotation of the Day…
Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
1d ago
Tweet … is from page 81 of Daniel Boorstin’s 1958 volume, The Americans: The Colonial Experience; here Boorstin writes of the early 18th-century English trustees of the colony of Georgia (original emphasis): What could most profitably be grown in that remote part of the New World? How many acres did a man need for subsistence? The Trustees knew the answer to neither of these questions – nor, for that matter, to any of the other elementary problems of land-use or natural resources in their colony. Their sin was not so much that they were ignorant (although they might have done more to acquain ..read more
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Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
2d ago
Tweet Who’d a-thunk it?: “California fast food workers now earn $20 per hour. Franchisees are responding by cutting hours.“ (HT Reuvain Borchardt) And here is Reason‘s Emma Camp. Benjamin Gedan tweets: A good reminder to China hawks that the US reluctance to negotiate free trade agreements sends natural US partners, such as Uruguay’s president, rushing to Beijing. George Will applauds the two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that rein in the discretionary power of the administrative state. Two slices: When a federal agency ordered four small fishing companies to pay the estimated $700-a-d ..read more
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Quotation of the Day…
Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
2d ago
Tweet … is from page 631 of the 5th edition (2015) of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics: In centrally planned economies, we have seen the planners overwhelmed by the task of trying to set literally millions of prices – and keep changing those prices in response to innumerable and often unforeseeable changes in circumstances. It was not remarkable that they failed so often. What was remarkable was that anyone had expected them to succeed, given the vast amount of knowledge that would have had to be marshaled and mastered in one place by one set of people at one time, in order to make such an ar ..read more
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Cartoonland
Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
3d ago
Tweet Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Editor: Reading Barton Swaim’s insightful ruminations (July 10) on progressives’ despondency over their sudden awareness that Joe Biden is unaware, and that Americans might actually vote in droves for Trump, prompts this realization: Too many people – mostly on the left, but increasingly also on the right – understand reality in the way of kindergartners. The world is populated with helpless children whose fate is determined by the outcome of cartoon-character battles: cape-adorned heroes battling for control of society against mustache-twirl ..read more
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Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux
3d ago
Tweet My colleague Chris Coyne and GMU Econ alum Abby Hall call for patriotism that is thoughtful, not knee-jerk. GMU Econ alum Liya Palagashvili exposes the methodological flaws in a recent study of “the instant-delivery workplace of DC.” A slice: Last year, Georgetown University published a study by geographer Dr. Katie Wells on “The Instant Delivery Workplace in D.C.,” with Dr. Wells interviewing 41 delivery workers about their experiences working with on-demand delivery platforms such as DoorDash, UberEats, and Instacart. Since the gig economy is my area of expertise, I read the study wi ..read more
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