Category Archives: Knowledge problem

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

Liquid Assets

The Freeman has published a piece in which I contrast the disorderly allocation of water with the orderly allocation of gasoline. A slice: Now what about water in drought-stricken states? Water prices are set by “authorities” at arbitrary prices that don’t change to reflect water availability. The authorities allocate water to various uses. But howContinue 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

Let Market Forces Regulate – High-Speed Trading

Government regulation does not work as well as regulation by market forces. Government regulators have neither adequate knowledge nor good incentives to regulate effectively. The regulated parties always try, often successfully, to capture the regulatory process or game the system to their own advantage. Profit and loss in a system of private ownership and free exchange,Continue Reading

Wasting the Ultimate Resource

I heard this afternoon from one of my fine former students. He is now working in the mortgage banking industry. After I wrote back to say that Part III of Free Our Markets is about the interventions that caused the housing boom and the financial crisis of 2008, he wrote back to say this: I’m definitelyContinue Reading

“Market Discipline Beats Regulatory Discipline.”

“Market discipline beats regulatory discipline.” Thus began John Allison’s description of some of the problems with government regulation of banks at the 31st Monetary Conference at the Cato Institute in November 2013. Mr. Allison was CEO of BB&T Bank from 1989 to 2008. His talk is available on iTunes and at the Cato Institute websiteContinue Reading

What’s Wrong With ObamaCare, in Seven Words

From the standpoint of its economic consequences—not the intentions of those creatures in Washington who wrote and passed it, but its consequences—the “Affordable” Care Act now going into effect is a destructive, retrograde, pernicious piece of legislation. American healthcare and health insurance have been badly in need of reform for decades, but the Affordable CareContinue 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 – Health Insurance Standards

In a healthy economy, who should determine health insurance standards, and how? Reporting this morning on Washington’s scramble to make it legally permissible for Americans to keep individual health insurance policies now being cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act, the Wall Street Journal refers to “health insurance policies that don’t meet the new law’sContinue Reading

Janet Yellen Becomes Fed Chair

As usual, I find Russ Roberts’s opinion sound and wise. His concluding sentence: But until the political incentives change, who is chair of the Fed is simply not important as we pretend it is. I expect Janet Yellen to be more of the same. On the Fed in general, here is a passage from Free OurContinue Reading

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