Author Archives: Howard Baetjer Jr.

Yes, Free Speech for Fascists – a Confession

Last week, when one of my students caught sight of me approaching on a campus walk, he pulled out his smartphone to show me a picture he had taken. “Look at this,” he said, disgusted. “It was in the Liberal Arts Building.” The picture showed a hand-lettered sign, hung over an atrium railing, that read,Continue Reading

Central Planning Does Not Work for Schooling, Either

Here is the opening of a recent post at Learn Liberty’s blog: In Kentucky, says scholar Caleb Brown, it’s easy to find a barista who has a bachelor’s degree, but manufacturing companies can’t find the machinists they desperately need — whose pay would start at $60,000–$80,000 a year. That slice of modern economic life comesContinue Reading

Great Book: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

This past Christmas break I treated myself to a (third?) re-reading of Robert Heinlein’s science fiction classic, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. What a yarn. The rising generation needs to know about it, I thought, so I wrote a plug for it at Learn Liberty. A slice: [D]on’t miss this book. Not only is itContinue Reading

Trump’s Proposed Wall and Tax Are Folly

After “The White House … floated the idea of imposing a 20 percent tax on goods from Mexico to pay for a wall at the southern U.S. border” in January, I went on record about the idea at FEE.org. Learn Liberty also posted the piece. A slice: [Y]es, immigrants do take some jobs that peopleContinue Reading

Senator Tom Cotton and Rep. Mike Pompeo Spread Four Myths About Immigration

In September 2016, Senator Tom Cotton and Rep. Mike Pompeo advocated immigration restrictions in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Their argument reaches wrong conclusions from wrong premises, as I explain in a letter to the editor. Here is the abbreviated version of the letter published in the WSJ. Learn Liberty published the full text of the letter in October. AContinue Reading

Profits in “Perfect” v. Actual Competition

“I learned in economics that in ‘perfect competition’ profits are zero, so any actual profits come from some kind of monopoly power. So how could profits be good?” This question was asked of me by a student at a recent economics seminar hosted by the Institute for Humane Studies. The simple explanation is that whileContinue Reading

Government Regulators are Monopolies

Here is the third article in a series on regulation I have been publishing at FEE: “Government Regulators are Monopolies.” It is part of a project to challenge the validity of government “regulation,” which should more properly be called government “restriction,” as that word describes what government agencies mostly do: they restrict people’s freedom to make voluntary exchanges. The aimContinue Reading

The Welfare Cliff, a.k.a. the Low-Wage Trap

Pretend you are a poor, single parent of two in Chicago, earning $12 an hour, working full time, and determined to do what is best for your family. And suppose your employer, impressed with your work, offers you training for and promotion to a new job paying $15. Should you take the offer? It soundsContinue Reading

Government Regulators are Themselves Unregulated; That’s a Problem

Here’s a delayed posting of a link to a second article in The Freeman online about regulation. The first, “There Is No Such Thing as an Unregulated Market,” made the point that “If a market is free, it is closely regulated by the free choices of market participants.” This means that “Government regulation is not the only kind ofContinue Reading

Value in a Free Market

Here is a response to a comment posted by TheOneSpam on May 30, 2016, on “What If There Were No Prices?“, a Learn Liberty video by Tomasz Kaye and me: +TheOneSpam I’m one of the authors of this video; I like much of what you say; here are my responses to your comments: “how “value”Continue Reading

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