America can run trade deficits forever.
You earn $1,000 this week. You spend $650 on consumption items (rent, food, gasoline, a new pair of jeans) and save – you admirably prudent person you – $350. You use this $350 to buy three shares of stock in Apple, Inc. (which are priced today at just over $116 per share). The rest of […]
Trump’s trade policies miss one of the most fundamental economic concepts: When two parties engage in trade, they are both better off.
Here is what you should know about NAFTA, the perennially controversial trade agreement
When it comes to trade, the best US policy, or that of any country, is the elimination of all barriers to imports. This can be done unilaterally. Abundance should always be preferred to scarcity.
Each consumer is free, on his or her own, to visit farms and factories and processing plants in order to purchase items directly from producers. But, of course, such visits would be enormously time consuming and would cost quite a lot in airfare and other travel expenses. We know that retailers and other middlemen perform valuable services because we observe consumers, everyday, voluntarily paying for these services.
Unions leverage special government-granted powers (e.g., unique exemptions from antitrust laws) allowing current employees to prevent competition from others willing to do the same work for less.
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.
Paying bone marrow donors is not only economically efficient, it’s also a more ethical means of securing live saving treatment for those in need.
The Economic Way of Thinking can help improve decision-making, even in areas you wouldn’t think to look.
Businesses aren’t charities. They are money-making ventures that exist by and for profit. Everything else is a bonus.
Protectionism is the belief that domestic producers have a higher claim to your money than you do.
A preoccupation with jobs over productivity is not sound economics as Professor Mihail Nica explains.
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 […]
This piece was originally published at the L.A. Times. Foreign trade took a beating at both major party conventions, with speakers blaming free-trade agreements for all but wiping out U.S. manufacturing and eliminating millions of middle-class jobs. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have promised to renegotiate or abandon trade agreements with key U.S. trading […]
In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized Operation Wetback, a project that rounded up hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and deported them. Now policy leader Donald Trump is proposing that we do something similar—on a much larger scale. Think 11 million immigrants deported in two years. Now, many argue that if immigrants are coming to the […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
In this previous post I wrote that “[t]here is yet a deeper economic fallacy that infects Mr. Krugman’s recent defense of mercantilism – a problem that I hope to blog on soon.” What follows is that promised blog post. Mr. Krugman’s most-recent defense of mercantilism boils down to the assertion that the case for free trade […]
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 […]