The following is a lightly edited, slightly condensed transcript of the talk “Adam Darwin: Emergent Order in Biology and Economics,” presented by Matt Ridley at the Adam Smith Institute in 2012. I’ve called my lecture “Adam Darwin” to stress how congruent the philosophies of Adam Smith and Charles Darwin are. The common theme, of course, […]
To discover the Next Big Thing, you need to think outside the box.
The government issues thousands of new patents every week — each one a new regulation — with little to no oversight or review.
Jobs are the means, not the ends in themselves.
“Oh for the days of Ma Bell!” is not a lament we’re likely to hear. And for good reason. Before the breakup of AT&T, America’s telephone system was a government-sanctioned monopoly characterized by stagnant service offerings, high costs, and a glacial pace of consumer-facing innovation. So it was distressing when a federal appeals court engaged […]
Last night, millions of movie buffs, entertainment fiends, and celebrity gawkers from across the globe tuned in for the Oscars. While a few of us aficionados waited with bated breath for the announcement of Best Live-Action Short (Timecode was robbed!), for many viewers the awards ceremony isn’t the main event: The red carpet is what […]
Like something straight out of a Neal Stephenson novel, Bitcoin has cyberpunk sex appeal. It foreshadows a radical change in the social and economic order and is shrouded with a mystique and aura that can be difficult to penetrate.
To survive, even the most successful companies have to be willing to quickly dispense with yesterday’s winning business plan
Would you give up air travel for $100,000? What about foregoing automotive travel for $500,000? Why or why not?
The petty tyrants that occupy county zoning offices or health departments are exactly why we can’t have nice things.
Two front-page stories in the Metro section of Monday’s Washington Post depict protected service providers desperately trying to fight off innovations that might serve customers better and threaten the comfortable incomes of the established providers.
“We’re going to need to see your birth certificate,” the manager said, making a notation on my employment application, “But you’re hired. Show up a 10 a.m. on Thursday for training.” I was too young and dumb to realize he was calling my bluff. I had to be 16 to take the job and I […]
It’s not BlackBerry’s fault the Apple iPhone has become the go-to smartphone for consumers worldwide.
Entrepreneurs pitch an endless stream of Ideas. Everyone argues over which can work. A few attract funding. Most fail. This competitive market process ensures only the best survive.
This week Apple released its iPhone 7, the latest tech marvel from Silicon Valley, which has enjoyed relative freedom from government regulation. In contrast, the healthcare industry, which is controlled by countless regulations and edicts, is floundering. Premiums are expected to rise by double-digits again next year, a problem that was supposed to be solved by […]
Adjusting for inflation, that a regular NES and 30 games would be about $2450 in 2015 dollars. And we can get all that today for $70. That’s a 97 percent price decrease without adjusting for quality
The real minimum wage is zero, despite the best efforts of the economically illiterate public sector do-gooder.
Outdated regulations prove to be a roadblock to ride-sharing innovation.
The English poet John Donne once wrote that “no man is an island.” It often feels quite the opposite what with the ever increasing technological advances made and the preoccupied-with-our-phone age we find ourselves in. Yet, the same technology that sometimes feels divisive is actually one of the best ways to stay connected. (Think Pokémon Go). The […]
Fans of increased government intervention in the economy often like to justify their position by pointing to the success of the moon landing. “If we can put a man on the moon,” the refrain goes, “we can surely rebuild our crumbling infrastructure (or provide everyone with healthcare, etc.).” There’s no question the moon landing was […]
I use a lot of books in my line of work. I can get a lot of them from the library. I use Amazon’s Kindle app to download a lot of books and organize my notes on them. Some books—like F.A. Hayek’s Individualism and Economic Order—are available for $0 download or on a website like […]
Technology is putting humanitarianism on steroids. In the video below, digital humanitarians show how e-Nable, a global community of individuals who are using their 3D printers to create free 3D-printed hands and arms for those in need, is transforming the humanitarian community. Dr. Jon Schull, a professor at the University of Rochester and founder of […]
For many, a “helping hand” is supposed to come from the government, especially when it comes to things related to health care. But innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship are proving that this is not always the case. In the video below, University of Rochester Professor and e-Nable founder Dr. Jon Schull shows how invention and crowdsourcing […]
For decades, the debate around health care has centered on access. No question access to health care is important. But this focus has ignored — and come at the expense of — topics that are much more important, namely quality and price. In the video below, Robert Graboyes, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, […]