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, […]
One of the signature features of President Donald Trump’s campaign was his hostility to free trade. Then-candidate Trump repeatedly denigrated various multilateral trade pacts as bad deals for the United States. Pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, appointing opponents of free trade—such as Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro—into key positions, and promises of tariffs that are likely to […]
There’s a reason why, in times of war, countries have blockaded others.
Among economics data watchers, a country’s exports enjoy a hallowed status. The ability of producers in country A to sell goods and services to people in other countries is taken as a sign of A’s economic strength, although the underlying metric for economic strength goes unmentioned. In addition, job counters across the spectrum constantly count […]
Consensual sex is legal. But as soon as one party offers cash to another in exchange for sex and that money is voluntarily accepted, it’s considered prostitution, and that is illegal.
The idea is wrongheaded on both counts: they would harm citizens of the US as well as those of Latin America.
“The market is not a place, a thing, a collective entity. The market is a process, actuated by the interplay of the actions of the various individuals cooperating under the division of labor.” – Ludwig von Mises
Learn how to drop the word “déblocage” into your romantic evening
Are Trump’s cabinet full of generals, his openness to torture, and the “peace through strength” message from the White House all signs that he plans to rely on military power.
One of the gravest economic mistakes that humans can make is to forget that ours is unavoidably a world of scarcity.
We don’t have to have to be like Brady and have an absolute advantage to profit.
Free trade doesn’t just make us better off. It makes us better people. Donald Trump claims that raising barriers to trade is one of the things it will take to “Make America Great Again,” but he is wrong. Greatness—both of wealth and of moral character—comes from trade. And we have known this for a very […]
One of the most egregious misunderstandings about trade is that the government of country A should allow its people to trade freely with peoples of other countries only if governments of, and producers in, other countries “play by the rules” – which usually means “plays according to the rules that the rulers and politically powerful […]
Trump-style economic nationalism, like the more full-throated fascism with which it shares much, aims to bring back the mythical glory days of the nation. But if we really want to make America great (again), we should learn the lesson of history, as well as economic theory, that prosperity comes from the free movement of goods, services, and people regardless of arbitrary political lines.
On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. His victory in the 2016 election was a surprise to many, and his success in the so called Rust Belt made it happen. Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania all went to Trump, something that hadn’t happened for a Republican […]
Commerce brings out the best in human beings by providing incentives to care about others. Those who can’t rise above focusing on their short-term narrow needs have little ability to meet the needs of others.
In today’s globally connected world with dynamic global supply chains for raw materials and inputs, and global marketplaces for final sales, it’s an economic fact of the modern world economy that: a) exporters are importers and b) importers are exporters.
Only individuals, separately or in voluntarily formed groups such as firms, trade; countries as such do not trade.
Donald Trump is president. Here are his six biggest threats to liberty.
“The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.” — Adam Smith
The problem is that business experience does not automatically translate into good economic policy.
We spend a lot of time and energy getting gifts for our loved ones. Yet a look at the return lines in many stores this time of year seems to indicate our time could be better spent wrapping a corresponding amount of cash. Why don’t we?
For almost a decade, Congress debated creating an immigration system free from discrimination by nationality, country of birth, or country of residence. President-elect Trump, however, now proposes to discriminate unlawfully against certain foreign nationals on the basis of the same protected grounds without any legislation from Congress.
Trump’s base will be hurt the most by his wealth-destroying and punitive trade policy.