The History Wars Continue, Part VI

Today we move on to the economy and the role of government. Sparks are sure to fly. 6. “A few government and U.S. history textbooks suffer from an uncritical celebration of the free enterprise system, both by ignoring legitimate problems created by capitalism and failing to include coverage of government’s role in U.S. economic system.” (a) Here, according to the Texas Freedom Network, are the … Continue reading The History Wars Continue, Part VI


Thanks to James Pethokoukis and economists Richard V. Burkhauser, Jeff Larrimore, and Kosali I. Simon for tackling the Left’s absurd claims about income stagnation for the middle class. I’ve never understood how the stagnation argument gets any traction, since it’s obviously false. Anyone who has lived in America for the past several decades knows that there has been a tremendous rise in the median family’s standard of … Continue reading Inequality

Letting the VAT Out of the Bag

Obama and the Democrats have been spending money like there’s no tomorrow, sinking the country deeper into debt than we’ve ever been before. Moreover, we’re getting nothing for our money. At least the New Deal gave us the San Antonio Riverwalk. The U.S. has already been downgraded, and is bound to be downgraded again if Obama is reelected. Can’t Democrats do math? Don’t they realize … Continue reading Letting the VAT Out of the Bag

Are You Smarter Than a Wall Street Occupier?

That’s New York magazine’s title. They asked 50 people in Zuccotti Park some questions. Here are some of the results. Maybe the most interesting question concerned the capital gains tax rate. What should it be? The occupiers were all over the map. 14% said zero. 10% said between 10% and 25% where it is now. 30% thought it should be between 25% and 50%; 28% … Continue reading Are You Smarter Than a Wall Street Occupier?

If the United States were a business….

our stock price would be plummeting. That’s the upshot of this report, which is worth studying. The beginning: Our country is in deep financial trouble. Federal, state and local governments are deep in debt yet continue to spend beyond their means, seemingly unable to stop. Our current path is simply unsustainable. That’s what the Tea Parties have been all about. And that’s what the Left … Continue reading If the United States were a business….

A Tsunami of Taxes

It’s no surprise that the economy is sputtering: The Obama administration has done its best to attack the private sector ever since it came to power. Its regulatory expansion, its massive and little-understood bills governing health care and the financial sector, its attacks on business in the media and before Congressional committees, and its push for cap-and-trade, card check, and other anti-business legislation have sown … Continue reading A Tsunami of Taxes

Spring Break Slowdown

Posting has been light this week, which was my spring break.  Despite the well known spring break acceleration of time, however, the explanation has little to do with spring break and much to do with a cat, an open laptop, and a bottle of Hefeweizen. Luckily, the cat and the laptop survived. Here are some links to articles that I find well worth reading: Jonathan … Continue reading Spring Break Slowdown

“Markets fail; let’s use markets”

That’s a capsule summary of the George Mason University economics department (HT: Brian Hollar): Adjunct professor Arnold Kling offered a terser précis of the GMU way. “My simple way of describing it is that at Chicago they say, ‘Markets work; let’s use markets.’ At Harvard and MIT they say, ‘Markets fail; let’s use government.’ And at George Mason, we say, ‘Markets fail; let’s use markets.’” … Continue reading “Markets fail; let’s use markets”

Bad Policies = Good Politics?

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are proposing policies—abrogating NAFTA unilaterally, precipitous withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, tax increases in the face of recession threats—that are not merely bad but obviously bad. Reasonable people can disagree about many things in politics. In my view, however, they cannot reasonably maintain that abandonment of free trade agreements with close allies is economically or diplomatically beneficial; that … Continue reading Bad Policies = Good Politics?

The Cost of a College Education

Ilya Somin makes the case against government subsidies for college tuition at the Volokh Conspiracy. His point is that the higher-than-inflation increases in the cost of college over the past forty years are justified by the even greater increases in expected returns on a college education. According to a 2002 Census Bureau study, a college graduate, on average, earns $1,000,000 more than a high school … Continue reading The Cost of a College Education