Category Archives: Crony capitalism

Does the FDA’s Monopoly Increase or Decrease Public Health?

A dear friend of mine (and fine physician), Dr. Chris Granger, took issue with this article I wrote with Patrick McLaughlin and Jonathan Nelson at the Mercatus Center: “Markets Can Protect Patients Better than the FDA.” He responded as follows on Facebook: My dear friend … each major stage of the FDA’s history of providing aContinue Reading

Can the Oil-Export Ban

Here is a letter to The Wall Street Journal: To the editor: Why do we have a taint of Soviet-style central planning in the American oil industry? Americans’ high standard of living, not to mention our status as a free society, results from private ownership rights and freedom of exchange. So why should American oilContinue Reading

Undermining Terrorism With Property Rights

If young men in the Arab world had meaningful prospects of economic advancement, they would not be drawn into jihadi groups. Hence the key to successfully opposing ISIS and other extremist groups is to set up the institutions necessary for free-market capitalism: private ownership and freedom of exchange. So argues the great Peruvian Hernando deContinue Reading

No Public Service Here

Here is a letter to the Baltimore Sun: To the editor: By its decision to regulate Uber as a “common carrier” (“Uber is ‘common carrier,’ commission rules,” Thursday, August 7), the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) stands athwart the tide of technology and history. Allowed to stand, the ruling would harm Marylanders. Why restrict Uber’s freedomContinue Reading

St. Louis Government Regulators v. Uber and St. Louisians

Here is a letter to the St. Louis Business Journal: To the Editor: I have been following the contest in St. Louis between Uber and St. Louisian riders, on the one hand, and the forces of darkness, repression, and crony capitalism on the other. I object to the title and first paragraph of your reportContinue Reading

Who’s Anti-competitive?

Here’s a letter to the Baltimore Sun: To the editor, The Annapolis mayor’s and taxicab companies’ justifications for regulating Uber conflict with the facts (“Annapolis gives Uber a warning,” July 15, 2014). The mayor “insists that [Uber be] regulated…like…taxicabs…to keep our citizens and visitors safe.” But Uber already checks its drivers’ backgrounds and requires they beContinue Reading

Let’s Free City Ride Services

The Freeman online has published a piece I wrote suggesting that instead of subjecting Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services to burdensome taxi regulations, local governments should instead stop burdening taxis with regulations. A slice: If we had free markets for city ride services, that would be the whole story so far. The preferred rideContinue Reading

Let Market Forces Regulate Occupations

Yesterday presented me two articles on occupational licensing, one unsatisfying, the other very satisfying indeed. The first was “Why License a Florist,” a New York Times op-ed. Here are the first paragraphs: IN Minnesota, more classroom time is required to become a cosmetologist than to become a lawyer. Becoming a manicurist takes double the number ofContinue Reading

Should the State License Occupations At All?

An entertaining, all-but-unbelievable article about a Texas lawsuit being litigated by the inestimable Institute for Justice brings to mind one of my favorite passages from The Wealth of Nations. The article’s title suggests the infection in American jurisprudence that IJ is out to cure: “Should government rules have to make sense? Texas argues no in eyebrowsContinue Reading

Distinguishing Free-Market and Crony Capitalism

The distinction between free market capitalism and crony capitalism is crucial to the public understanding of the economy. Free market capitalism consists of voluntary exchanges from which participants expect to benefit. These generally lead to improving living standards for all. Crony capitalism consists of involuntary “exchanges” that use government to take from some (against theirContinue Reading

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