During the earliest part of the industrial revolution, workers who were upset about losing their jobs to advanced machinery would throw their shoes into the machines in order to sabotage production. We’re seeing recurrence of sabotage again today, but there’s no more successful saboteur than regulation. Duke University Professor Michael C. Munger explains.
When government and private military contractors get too close, “People are shipped off to fight and die without making our nation any safer”. Unfortunately as a result of the Military Industrial Complex in the U.S. not all acts of war actually end up making our nation any safer. When govt and private military contractors get […]
Why are cities across America considering bans on e cigarettes and vaping? And what do the tobacco industry and anti-tobacco groups have in common? Prof. Aeon Skoble looks at the motivations of the groups who want to ban e cigarettes and vaping. While anti-tobacco groups want to ban e cigarettes out of concern for public […]
Who knew “happy hour” was a banned term? Until 2014, it was illegal in Virginia for a bar to advertise “happy hours” or “drink specials” outside. Bar & restaurant owners still face onerous prohibitions on how they sell alcohol, from speaking about to serving it. Professor Antony Davies explains that these laws were made with […]
Netflix recently debuted season two of its original series House of Cards. Some have suggested the show reflects a deeply cynical view of politics, but Prof. Steve Horwitz argues that it is an unromantic and realistic portrayal of how the incentives politicians have in the United States can give rise to the same kind of […]
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 amount of testing conducted and consumers can use the information provided by certification firms to make their own decisions. It is difficult to say how […]
Have you ever wondered why it is illegal to purchase alcohol in many U.S. cities, states, and counties on Sunday? It is not illegal to drink alcohol on Sunday. Professor Bruce Yandle explains that such laws benefit two distinct groups: bootleggers and Baptists. The Baptists benefit because they have seen to it that alcohol sales […]
Corn growers receive billions of dollars each year in subsidies from the U.S. government. The average American family pays $400 per year to subsidize corn. As a result, corn products and derivatives can be found in many items at American grocery stores. In the video, Professor Daniel J. D’Amico discusses how farm subsidies and other […]
Historical trends in gas prices can largely be explained by changes in supply and demand. Demand for oil rose through the 20th century. Although this put upward pressure on price, supply initially increased even more rapidly as people produced newer and less expensive production methods. Professor Art Carden shows how oil prices changed based on […]
Rising gas prices fuel public outrage, and the popular explanation is that unscrupulous oil companies are taking advantage of helpless consumers. This makes a good story but, as Professor Art Carden explains, it’s not accurate. Instead, gas prices can be explained by the laws of supply and demand. Supply shifts occur when it becomes easier […]
Why is it that organized interest groups such as the National Rifle Association wield such powerful influence in policy discussions? According to Professor Mike Munger, the reason is simple. In politics, small but organized groups win. Politics is sometimes more complicated than simply having the majority of voters on your side. Prof. Munger explains the […]
Coca-cola used to be made with real sugar, but in 1984 the makers of the soft drink replaced sugar with corn syrup. Why did this happen? Part of the reason is because corn syrup became less expensive than sugar. In fact, sugar is nearly twice as expensive in America as in the rest of the […]
The United States economy suffers from corporatism and cronyism, which occurs when businesses collude with government to obtain special benefits. The Occupy Wall Street movement has decried this rampant cronyism, but what is the best solution? Professor Jason Brennan contends that while it may seem like the solution is to allow government more power to […]
Dr. Jeffrey Miron at Harvard highlights two different approaches to libertarianism. The first approach, which he refers to as philosophical libertarianism, claims that individuals have rights. These libertarians believe that their rights are often infringed upon by government action, and therefore, are averse to most government action. The second approach, which Miron spends the bulk […]
Why do politicans never seem to cut government spending? Using public choice economics, or the economics of politics, Prof. Ben Powell shows how voters are rationally ignorant of what politicians do. This leads to a phenomenon called “concentrated benefits and dispersed costs,” which favors recipients of government payments at the expense of the average taxpayer.