Howard Baetjer

Howard Baetjer

Lecturer
Towson University

Howard Baetjer Jr. is a Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, where he teaches courses in microeconomics, money and banking, comparative economic systems, and the history of economic thought.  He blogs at freeourmarkets.com. He is the author of Free Our Markets, A Citizens’ Guide to Essential Economics, which explains why people flourish better, the freer the markets they live in. Dr. Baetjer is also a frequent faculty member at IHS Summer Seminars.

Dr. Baetjer earned a B.A. in psychology from Princeton in 1974, an M.Litt. in English literature from the University of Edinburgh in 1980, an M.A. in political science from Boston College in 1984, and a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University in 1993.

Baetjer was a founding trustee of Children’s Scholarship Fund Baltimore (www.csfbaltimore.org), which provides nearly partial scholarships to low-income Baltimore children, to help them attend private and parochial schools their parents choose.

Students: Want to hear Professor Baetjer in-person? Apply for the free IHS Summer Seminars and spend a week discussing ideas with great faculty and participants from around the world.  Find out more.

 

Blog Posts

How the government ruined health care for those who need it most

If you develop an expensive chronic illness, you might think the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will protect you. Instead, you’re likely to end up with subpar coverage or no coverage at all for your condition.

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How this screwy IRS policy kickstarted the American health care crisis

As a believer in small government, I usually favor anything that reduces taxes. But this tax break has wreaked havoc on American health care.

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Who has Walmart shareholders’ wealth?

Many good people condemn the free market system on the mistaken belief that the wealth of the wealthy benefits only the wealthy.

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Why your boss isn’t ripping you off. Marxism 101 debunked.

Have you ever thought your employer was exploiting you? That the company you work for doesn’t really earn its profits — it just rips off its workers?

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Immigration policy is first and foremost about property rights

Should governments have a blanket right to exclude immigrants?

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A Letter to a Minimum Wage Denialist

Dear Ms. Murray, Your article in the Baltimore Sun (“A $15 minimum wage benefits Baltimore business”) almost completely ignores the most important economic argument against minimum wage laws: that they cause…

Yes, free speech for fascists — a confession

Free expression is so important that we must tolerate even the expression of opposition to free expression.

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Baristas with BAs: The result of central planning for schools

Government school systems fail to provide different kinds of instruction as appropriate to different kinds of students in different places and times.

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Trump’s proposed wall and tax are folly

The idea is wrongheaded on both counts: they would harm citizens of the US as well as those of Latin America.

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Lunar prisoners fight for freedom in Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

My message to you today is simple: don’t miss this book. There is a lot to be learned about liberty here.

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The imperfect assumptions of perfect 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?”

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Senator Tom Cotton and Rep. Mike Pompeo spread four myths about immigration

If we believe in liberty for migrants as well as Americans, we must grant them liberty peacefully to travel the world unmolested and to settle wherever they find homes to rent and enterprises to work for.

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The Welfare Cliff and Why Many Low-Income Workers Will Never Overcome Poverty

Policies backed with even the best of intentions can still have detrimental effects on those they aim to help. The “Welfare Cliff” is one such example.

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Raising the Minimum Wage Cannot Benefit the Economy

In the current debate about the minimum wage, some argue that higher minimum wages boost the economy overall. If workers receive higher wages, the reasoning goes, then they will have…

Open Letter, Part 2: Minimum Wage Laws Are Immoral

Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of an open letter from Prof. Howard Baetjer to a friend who commented on one of his Facebook posts about minimum wage laws. You…

Open Letter: Minimum Wage Laws Are Immoral

Editor’s Note: This is an open letter from Prof. Howard Baetjer to a friend who commented on one of his Facebook posts about minimum wage laws. Baetjer and his friend,…

When the Government Tries to Protect Your Freedom and Ruins Everything

“That, gentlemen, is freedom.” So spoke an esteemed friend and mentor to me, decades ago, on listening to clarinetist Edmund Hall play an effortlessly glorious solo on the Louis Armstrong record…

Should America Kill the $100 Bill?

“Is Now the Time to Kill the $100 Bill?” That’s the title of a Wednesday, February 17 article in the Wall Street Journal, prompted in part by a blog post…

Why Is Unemployment Persistently High for Low-Skilled People?

A student recently asked me why unemployment remains so stubbornly high, especially for lower-skilled people. Here’s an adaptation of my answer. No one can know for sure the precise causes of…

Hydraulic Fracturing and the Ultimate Resource

One of the most valuable economic insights is that human creativity is The Ultimate Resource. (The great economist Julian Simon wrote a book by that name.) It follows that as…

Medicare: The Numbers Don’t Speak for Themselves

I got a powerful reminder a few months ago of a lesson I learned in grad school: numbers don’t speak for themselves. We must interpret them alertly if we are…

Programs

Videos

There’s No Such Thing As An Unregulated Market

We all want the safety and dependable quality that “regulation” is supposed to provide. Government can provide it to some extent, but markets can do it better, if we let…

Freedom of Speech: What Is Your Opinion? #SpeakFreely

Does free speech offend you? Do you believe that freedom of Speech gives you the freedom to speak your opinion? Professor Howard Baetjer from Townson University is asking college students…

What if There Were No Prices? Railroad Thought Experiment

What if there were no prices? How would you use available resources? To appreciate why market prices are essential to human well-being, consider what a fix we would be in without…

Should the terminally ill have the right to try risky, non FDA approved drugs?

What do you think about these questions? Let us know in the comments and check out the extended version here: http://youtu.be/bV2idyygYzk The FDA approval process can take years, and thousands of terminally…

Extended Cut: Should the terminally ill have the right to try non FDA approved drugs?

What do you think about these questions? Let us know in the comments! Should terminally ill patients have the right to try risky, non FDA approved drugs? Or should they have…

The Most Dangerous Monopoly: When Caution Kills

Everyone wants the items they buy to be safe to use or consume. When products undergo third-party certification processes to determine their safety, market forces are able to optimize the…

Profit, Loss, and Discovery

From the IHS Vault: Economics professor Howie Baetjer of Towson University explains how the market process generates improvements in the human condition. In particular, he highlights how profit & loss…