Dr. Anne Rathbone Bradley is the Vice President of Economic Initiatives at the Institute, where she develops and commissions research toward a systematic biblical theology of economic freedom. She is a visiting professor at Georgetown University, and she also teaches at The Institute for World Politics and George Mason University. Additionally, she is a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy. Previously, she has taught at Charles University, Prague, and she has served as the Associate Director for the Program in Economics, Politics, and the Law at the James M. Buchanan Center at George Mason University.
Dr. Rathbone Bradley’s other academic work has focused on the political economy of terrorism with specific emphasis on the industrial organization of al-Qaeda. Her research has been published in scholarly journals and edited volumes. She is currently working on a book that analyzes the political economy of al-Qaeda post 9/11. Based on her academic research she also worked as an economic analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Terrorism Analysis.
Dr. Rathbone Bradley received her Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2006, during which time she was a James M. Buchanan Scholar.
As we begin the cleanup in the aftermath of three very powerful hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Maria, we see devastation that has not been seen before. Irma at one point registered as a Category 5 hurricane and wreaked havoc on the Caribbean Islands, Puerto Rico, and parts of Florida. This just days after Category 4 Hurricane Harvey left Houston and the surrounding areas in shambles. Cleanup for Harvey alone is estimated as to cost as much as $100 billion. And now Hurricane Maria has left all of Puerto Rico in the dark.It would be wonderful if we could enact a policy that would eliminate hurricanes
Summer is the perfect time to settle into a slower pace of life and savor a great book, whether it's an old favorite that you continue to enjoy or an unfamiliar one with new ideas to ponder. And so before the summer ends, I have a challenge for you: I’m going to share five of my favorite books and essays with you, and I’m hoping you’ll read at least one before the beginning of the semester. Not only are these fun summer reads, they are classic works that were foundational to my intellectual journey as an economist. They will shape the way you think about society while helping you articulate
Venezuela is an unfolding story of the chaos resulting from government intervention in economic affairs. President Maduro faces a political crisis, and violent protests pose real threats to his desperate attempts to retain power. The economy is collapsing in front of our eyes, but the real tragedy is not the macro indicators that we read about daily: soaring inflation rates, increasing unemployment numbers, nonexistent consumer goods, and crashing oil prices. The real tragedy is that the innocent citizens of Venezuela suffer and that suffering is the new normal.The Maduro administration continues
The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design. –F.A. Hayek In one of my favorite books, Basic Economics, economist Thomas Sowell tells the story of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s experience visiting an American grocery store. The story perfectly captures the wonders of the unplanned economy that we so often take for granted. In 1989, Yeltsin was on a diplomatic visit to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Underwhelmed by the space station, Yeltsin asked to be taken on an unscheduled trip to
The conflict over income inequality, the rich versus the poor, is a tale as old as time. The relevant and modern policy question is what, if anything, should be done about it. Is it exploitative that Bill Gates has extravagant homes and private planes while some are struggling to find their next meal? Are there systemic distortions built into market economies that allow the rich to perpetuate their wealth at the expense of the poor? These are important questions. To do well by the world, we must first understand the world’s problems; only then can economic thinking help us craft a better way
The capitalist engine is first and last an engine of mass production which unavoidably also means production for the masses. . . . It is the cheap cloth, the cheap cotton and rayon fabric, boots, motorcars and so on that are the typical achievements of capitalist production, and not as a rule improvements that would mean much to the rich man. Queen Elizabeth owned silk stockings. The capitalist achievement does not typically consist in providing more silk stockings for queens but in bringing them within reach of factory girls. - Joseph Schumpeter Global poverty is radically declining, but most
I’m no football expert, but it’s easy to see that Patriots comeback, led by Tom Brady, was amazing. It is reasonable even to assert that Tom Brady is the best quarterback of all time. (He now has more Super Bowl wins than any NFL quarterback in history.) That kind of talent is rare, giving him an advantage over possibly everyone. In economics, we would call this an absolute advantage. But most of us aren’t Tom Brady. We are not the best in the world in our jobs, our studies, our hobbies. If we were the best in some field, how we spend our time would be a pretty straight forward calculation:
In 1962, philosopher Richard Wollheim published an interesting article entitled “A Paradox in the Theory of Democracy” in which he pointed out an inherent contradiction in the concept of democracy. Wollheim asked us to imagine a committed democrat who sincerely believes that social policy should be determined by a democratic process. When such a person votes on whether a particular policy should be adopted, he is expressing his personal belief on the matter. Now imagine that after the votes are counted, the democratic process indicates that a policy inconsistent with the one supported by that
Making things free only makes them more expensive. Making things free sounds like a good policy idea. Who doesn’t like free things? These days, a lot of policy-makers are calling for no prices (or at least lower prices). “Free higher education” is the form this refrain takes the most, especially during presidential debates. But free higher education is a policy unicorn. Making college free sounds great, but it will bring great harm instead of great benefits. Free of Charge, but Free to Provide? Presumably, the goal of making college free is to make it more widely available. We’re facing
President-elect Donald Trump ran his entire campaign as a renegade outsider. A man who has never held a political office is now our new president. Part of his allure is that he spoke to a class of voters who feel marginalized and disenfranchised by elite Washington insiders on both the Right and the Left. It is reasonable for middle-class and working-class Americans to feel disenfranchised, because in Washington the elites typically mingle and consort only with each other. Part of Trump’s rise to power is that he ran on a campaign that denounced the cronyism at the very heart of American politics.
Have you ever stopped and looked around the grocery store? Take a minute the next time you enter one and see. There are thousands of products neatly arranged and conveniently located just for you. In fact, there are over 42,000 items in the average grocery store. When you throw a box of Cheerios, Band-Aids, or shampoo into your shopping cart, that’s your way of voting for those products and the store you buy them from. These votes we cast day in and day out both in our own communities and across the globe are the votes that matter most for our health, prosperity, and happiness. While the owner
Terrorism may seem like a new phenomenon, but it’s as old as people. In fact, the modern word “terrorism” first appeared during the French Reign of Terror in 1793-1794 and was used to describe the actions of the French government. The technology of terrorism is certainly changing. That forces us to reconcile ourselves with real solutions to tough policy questions. To do this well, the economic way of thinking must be our guide. September 11, 2001 drastically changed how Americans perceive and respond to terrorism. The 9/11 attacks were the most violent and fatal ever experienced on American
Entrepreneurs have beliefs about the world in its current state, a vision of how the world could be, and a plan to get from the former to the latter. They do great work when they have incentives to produce goods and services that people like. But when those incentive aren’t there, they become unproductive entrepreneurs—using their creativity to make life worse for others One of the great things about a commercial society is that it can channel our most vicious impulses of greed into the service to others. What Markets Do to People You have probably heard some people criticize high-level executives
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