NPR’s Goats and Soda recently covered a debate in India over surrogacy. In India, there is a thriving industry of women who are paid to be surrogate mothers, carrying another couple’s children. Many surrogates are impoverished women, and there are growing concerns that paying poor women to be surrogates amounts to exploitation. Some are calling […]
Cumbersome, top-down aid policies are not agile enough to effectively respond to the diverse needs of our communities.
Rather than invent new human rights, people who are concerned about poverty should first ask what kind of barriers government creates that prevent social mobility. Those barriers should all be removed before any thought is given to taxing some people in order to give money or resources to others.
Local communities have a better understanding of their communities’ needs than far off centralized government anti-poverty directives.
Saturday, September 17th will be the five year anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street protests. This week’s links cover the protests and what they did (or didn’t) accomplish. The Lasting Effects of Occupy Wall Street, Five Years Later Throwback: What Reason Saw at Occupy Wall Street Protests What Occupy Wall Street Got […]
The real world is a complex, messy, and difficult place and helping those who need it the most requires not just good intentions, but careful planning, advice from those who came before, and, most importantly, strict attention to the wishes and needs of the people themselves, since they are the ones who understand, more than anyone, what they truly need.
Raising the cost of making bad decisions makes bad decisions occur less. Conversely, subsidizing poor decisions increases their occurrence.
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.
What activists don’t see is that, by trying to eliminate child labor, they are taking away one of the few tools that children in impoverished countries have to escape bad situations.
We all know government debt is bad for the young. But it’s also bad for the poor. Hurting the Kids to Help the Elderly The well-known political philosopher Loren Lomasky recently reminded us of why debt is bad for the young. We might be able to justify spending now, and borrowing to finance the spending, […]
A small group of workers walked out at Walmart on Black Friday 2012, and the company has been for a few decades now a leading emblem of what is supposedly wrong with the modern global economy. Shouldn’t Walmart just be more generous? Not necessarily. First, the managers of corporations are answerable to their shareholders. This […]
As the election season heats up, candidates from both sides of the political spectrum seem to agree on one thing: Free trade hurts Americans. There is also a fierce debate about whether—or to what degree—free trade increases income inequality in the country. As commentators continue to disparage free trade (often on products like smartphones, computers, […]
Does the “Made in Bangladesh” tag on your shirt—which could just as easily be read as “Made by Child Labor”—make you feel bad? There’s no question it should make us reflect on the incredible standard of living that we enjoy. But as Texas Tech Professor Benjamin Powell explains, we shouldn’t feel bad or unethical for […]
There was an amazing, squirmingly funny Saturday Night Live skit (Season 10, 1984), with Eddie Murphy, called “White Like Me.” In it, the Eddy Murphy character dresses in “white face,” and travels around New York City. He finds that the disparity in racial treatment is even larger than he expected—and it takes the form not […]
Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature agreed to a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour across the state by 2022 in order to gradually increase the earnings of 6.5 million Californians. Regarding the proposal, Brown said: This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible […]
Mr. Sanders: In last-night’s debate you said: “I was on a picket line in the early 1990s against Nafta, because you didn’t need a Ph.D. in economics to understand that American workers should not be forced to compete against people in Mexico making 25 cents an hour.” I’m told that you’re a principled man who […]
The benefits of having a denationalized form of money are great. Apart from the inherent budgetary constraints it would impose on governments it also makes trading and the transferring of money cheaper and easier. The potential this has for emerging market economies is breathtaking. Professor Jerry Brito talks how Bitcoin can help alleviate poverty in […]
Payday lenders usually give out money in hours or less, but require as much as 3000% interest on repayments. Does the government have a responsibility to protect their citizens from payday lenders? What are the economic effects of outlawing loans with high interest rates?
Shamans knew they could bend the credulous to their will (and make a boatload of money) if the shaman could predict something like a storm, or an eclipse. “This very evening, the Night Wolf will devour the Moon Virgin! But if you pay me many coins of silver, I will force Night Wolf to cough […]
Without economic freedom, we cannot exercise our other freedoms. The freedom to speak is meaningless if the government prevents us from traveling from our homes or paying for a phone call. The freedom to write is meaningless if the government prevents us from selling newspapers. The freedom to worship is meaningless if the government forces […]
At tonight’s presidential primary debate, the topic of income inequality is almost guaranteed to come up. The widening gap between the rich and the poor is shaping up to be one of the defining themes of this election cycle. A recent, high-profile documentary called “Inequality for All” makes the case that this is a foremost […]