Category Archives: Limiting government

What’s Holding Up Economic Growth

Three articles in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal offer a sampler of the kinds of government intervention that are hampering the world economy, from South Africa to Detroit to France. On page A8 a headline declares, “Blackouts Stall South Africa Economy.” Why doesn’t South Africa have dependable power? Because the country’s power provider is aContinue Reading

Is College Worth It?

Towson University’s commencement, a lovely event on a perfect May afternoon, aroused mixed emotions in me this year, thanks to Bryan Caplan. I had recently listened, twice, to his excellent talk at a Cato Institute event whose topic is the title of this blog post. So while I was proud of my university and happyContinue Reading

Central Planning of Housing Finance

Here is a letter I just sent to the Wall Street Journal: To the Editor: The subtitle of yesterday’s front page lead article, “In Reversal, Administration and Regulators Push to Make More Credit Available to Boost Housing Recovery,” raises the question of why the U.S. government should direct credit to housing at all. It pointsContinue Reading

Policy Fixes For the Current Economy, in Twenty Minutes

A little past four today a college student friend from summer camp asked me for my ideas on how to fix the current economy—in time to go into a project due in a 4:30 class! The following whirlwind exchange ensued. Readers might find it entertaining. I’m going to post it verbatim, and I’ll be interestedContinue Reading

Let Market Forces Regulate – Mortgage Standards

Part II of Free Our Markets argues that regulation by market forces outperforms government regulation. One of several reasons why governments make bad regulators is that two or more of the government restrictions, prohibitions, or mandates that bear on a particular kind of business may conflict with one another. That conflict can make it difficult,Continue Reading

“What to Do When ObamaCare Unravels”

It looks increasingly likely that ObamaCare will fail, and not even mostly because of the website problems. If it does fail, what comes after it matters tremendously to human well-being. If more government intervention and centralization follow, the damage will be awful. But if freer markets in healthcare and health insurance follow, not only willContinue Reading

Free enterprise. Repeal licensing.

How governments destroy enterprises and the jobs they create is calmly, and infuriatingly, illustrated in this recent video from the Institute for Justice about appalling business licensing in Chicago. Toward the end, IJ’s voiceover says, “To allow entrepreneurs … to flourish, local governments have to change their approach to licensing business start-ups.” Rarely do IContinue Reading

Let Market Forces Regulate – Airline Competition

Here’s an email I just sent one of my classes: Hello, History of Thought Students, This came into my mailbox in the last half hour. It illustrates the “activist anti-trust policy” that the Ordoliberals favored. From my classical liberal perspective it is another example of foolish restriction of competition. Competition is what enterprises do toContinue Reading

Free and Competitive Health Insurance Markets

H: What’s the ”free and competitive markets” approach that would provide insurance to Kendall Brown, a 26-year-old with Crohn’s Disease? And in what country does such an approach – or one like it – now exist? http://okc.net/2013/09/30/open-letter-lawmakers-human-cost/ This challenge came on Facebook Tuesday from my friend and former student Prof. Jon Isham of Middlebury CollegeContinue Reading

Stay Out of Syria

Though this blog is primarily about the economy and economic policy, I feel strongly enough about the unwisdom of getting involved in the civil war in Syria that I address it now. My objection to having our government intervene militarily in Syria in any way rests largely on the same grounds as my objection toContinue Reading

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