Imagine that the government creates the Furniture and Desk Association, an agency which declares that only IKEA is allowed to sell chairs.
The beauty of the market is that it rewards people for creating value for others. Discover new means of creating value means trying new things, being entrepreneurial, and, yes: failing.
Protectionism is the belief that domestic producers have a higher claim to your money than you do.
The real minimum wage is zero, despite the best efforts of the economically illiterate public sector do-gooder.
Free market economists argue that individuals make the best choices for themselves because they are the most aware of their specific preferences. But what happens when people come across decisions where they need specialized knowledge? How do you influence other people’s decisions in this case? In the Learn Liberty video below, Professor Antony Davies and graduate student […]
Doing the research necessary to make good choices can be very time consuming. That’s why, as we learned in the last video, people resort to using heuristics to make better decisions. In the Learn Liberty video below, Professor Antony Davies and graduate student Erika Davies explain how people sometimes rely too heavily on heuristics, which can lead […]
How does a shoe shopper decide what type of shoe to buy? How can that customer possibly make the best decision in the face of so many choices—within a reasonable amount of time? The consumer in today’s economy has an almost limitless variety of products to choose from. This abundance of variety creates a paradox of […]
Why does economic education matter? Look no further than the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, where the Washington Post is reporting that food shortages are so bad that people are attacking food trucks when they make deliveries. It all started when Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, tried to formulate public policy while ignoring economics. […]
Each presidential election year—perhaps this year more than most—we hear from friends, family, and celebrities the familiar refrain of, “If he/she wins, I’m moving to Canada!” Actress Lena Dunham is just the most recent example of this, claiming that if Republican Donald Trump is elected she “really will” move to Canada. The prevalence of this […]
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 can view part 1 here.Baetjer and his friend, Adam, look at the minimum wage issue from very different perspectives, so Baetjer wrote an open letter. […]
The Washington Post recently blared the headline: “Majority of Millennials Now Reject Capitalism, Poll Shows.” I suspect, perhaps unfairly, that this is a matter of some pleasure for the Post’s editorial board. But if you actually read the article, a different picture emerges. In fact, 42 percent of the millennials polled say they support capitalism. […]
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 […]
The presidential campaign has brought up several economic issues, and international trade has been front and center of the debate. So, as I look at my Donald Trump tie that was made in China and my Donald Trump shirts that were made in Bangladesh and Indonesia, I want to clarify some basic economic concepts dealing […]
“If we look at the history of the world, a huge fraction of the improvements in standard of living has come because private businesses have created new products, have given people jobs, have generated profits that raise people out of poverty and allow them to live fruitful and productive lives with reasonable standards of living.” […]
Markets can be regulated by the figurative force of competition or by the literal force of government. Which better protects buyers and sellers? Contrary to popular belief, regulation by competition usually renders regulation by government either unnecessary or counterproductive. Regulations are usually presented to the public as a matter of guarding the public interest and […]
You hear the words “socialism” and “capitalism” thrown around a lot, but what do they really mean? And what are the pros and cons of each system? In this special On Demand program, we take an honest look at these concepts and explore the practical and philosophical issues behind them. Is socialism a fairer system […]
Capitalism is frequently misrepresented on the news, on social media, and in numerous other places. These sources portray the big, evil company as the “dark side”, which is personified by a CEO. In contrast, the “mom and pop” small business owner is heroic – that is, until they become a “big player” and start “exploiting” […]
Big crises raise big questions. And in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, economists are asking billion-dollar macroeconomic questions: What causes market fluctuations? What causes business cycles? In this series of videos, Professor Tyler Cowen vets contenders for the title of “top macroeconomic theory” – Keynesian, Austrian, and Monetarist, and Real Business Cycle […]
What do UFC fighters and prostitutes have in common? Both deal with individual adults who choose to use their bodies how they see fit, in various ways. The former was almost banned thanks to Senator John McCain who compared mixed martial arts (MMA) to human cockfighting, while the latter remains illegal, except in certain counties […]
The argument no proponent of central planning has ever been able to overcome; if humans can’t be trusted with freedom, how can they be trusted with power?
If you follow the news, you’ve probably seen plenty of coverage on ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act. Even if you don’t follow the news, it’s hard to go for more than a few days without hearing someone mention their insurance premiums, high cost of care, or some other frustration with health care. All the […]
This quote comes from David Friedman’s book, “The Machinery of Freedom,” in which he makes the case for private markets in law enforcement, courts, and other conduct typically defined as the exclusive realm of the state.
The following article by professor Howard Baetjer appeared on the Freeman on December 3rd, 2015. Below is an excerpt. But suppose these kinds of legislated disadvantages were done away with, so that we had truly free labor markets and quality schooling even for the poor. Would that mean equal employment opportunity for all? Full freedom […]
In this On Demand Program, our professors will explain the means and ends of arguments for social justice through the lens of classical liberalism. You’ll learn more about how to adapt your own arguments to fit the critiques of markets and individual liberty that come from advocates for social justice. Then we’ll look at the […]