According to Prof. Steve Horwitz, one contemporary economic myth is that the cost of living has consistently risen for Americans over the past century. In fact, prices are higher today than they were 100 years ago. However, prices today have been heavily influenced by inflation. One way of avoiding inflationary distortions is to look at […]
Two central values of American political life are liberty and equality. Are these two values in tension with one another? As philosophy Prof. James Otteson explains, it depends on how you define equality. He traces two conceptions of equality. Formal equality comes from the form of institutions, such as equality before the law: all laws […]
Prof. Ben Powell discusses the economics of sweatshops. He begins with a few photos and personal travel stories to demonstrate typical working conditions in third world countries. He then discusses the economic forces that determine working conditions and wages. Looking at empirical data, he finds that sweatshop workers earn higher wages than non-sweatshop workers in […]
Prof. Ben Powell discusses the importance of sweatshops in third world countries. Despite conventional views on the issue, sweatshops are actually the best alternative available to several third world workers. Further, sweatshops are part of an industrial development process that leads to higher wages and better working conditions. Heartfelt attempts to eliminate sweatshops actually reduce […]
Prof. Susan L. Brown addresses the topic of women and minorities through a historical and anthropological overview of human history. She traces the evolution of human society and sociability from the beginning of the species, through hunter-gatherers, early agriculture, the emergence of the state, to the present day. Through this history, she shows how human […]
From the IHS Vault: How well-off are we? Using economic data, economics professor Steve Horwitz addresses questions about inequality, consumption, happiness, and well-being. Are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Is there income mobility in the United States? Are Americans happy? Are we “objectively” better off than we used to be? This […]
People often say that “the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.” Economics professor Steve Horwitz explains why in the United States, this characterization is largely a myth. Real income levels of the poorest 20 percent of Americans have actually risen over time. Further, the individual households that comprise the bottom income […]
What do we mean when we talk about equality? How does equality relate to our concept of respect for others? Philosophy professor Aeon Skoble challenges students to take a fresh look at two seemingly familiar ideas.