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How the Collapse of Communism Has Undermined Faith in American Capitalism

At their presidential campaign stops, U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren charged that American capitalism has, since the early 1970s, been “rigged” and “corrupted” by the rich and powerful for self-aggrandizement, to the detriment of middle- and lower-income Americans.1 The drumbeat continues in the media: The root cause of American workers’ economic problems over .. MORE

Book Review, Kling's Corner

Mir McLuhanism

… digital media not only enhance information exchange and render offline life obsolete—they also reverse literacy and retrieve orality. … This book is about orality, which once was obsolesced by writing, and about literacy, which is now becoming obsolesced by digital media. —Andrey Mir, Digital Future in the Rearview Mirror: Jaspers’ Axial Age and Logan’s .. MORE

Book Review, Kling's Corner

Economics when Value Is Intangible

Microsoft’s market value in 2006 was around $250 billion… The traditional assets of plant and equipment were only $3 billion, a trifling 4 percent of Microsoft’s assets and 1 percent of its market value. By conventional accounting of assets then, Microsoft was a modern-day miracle. This was capitalism without capital. —Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake, .. MORE

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Cross-country Comparisons

Dictatorship Doesn’t Promote Prosperity

By Pierre Lemieux

Labor Market

Barriers to Entry as Baseball Bats

By John Phelan

Politics and Economics

The Internal Contradictions of Nationalism

By Scott Sumner

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

My Weekly Reading for June 23, 2024

By David Henderson

Cross-country Comparisons

Does a Price Decrease Fuel Deflation?

By Pierre Lemieux

Macroeconomics

Ask a stupid question . . .

By Scott Sumner

Labor Market

Consumer Adjustments to Minimum Wage

By Kevin Corcoran

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Henderson Review of Build, Baby, Build

By David Henderson

Cross-country Comparisons

The French, the Americans, and the Plague of Politics

By Pierre Lemieux

EconTalk

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econtalk-podcast

Arnold Kling on Reforming Government and Expertise

Economist and author Arnold Kling talks about improving government regulation with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Kling suggests ways to improve the administrative state–the agencies and regulatory bodies that often write the regulations that they enforce. The conversation concludes with Kling’s idea for holding public intellectuals accountable for their pronouncements.

econtalk-podcast

Leon Kass on Human Flourishing, Living Well, and Aristotle

Leon Kass, long-time teacher of classic works at the University of Chicago and now Dean of Faculty at Shalem College in Jerusalem, talks about human flourishing with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Drawing on an essay from his book, Leading a Worthy Life, Kass gives a broad overview of Aristotle’s ideas on how to live. This .. MORE

EconLog

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Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

My Weekly Reading for June 23, 2024

The Deadly Tobacco Drug War Down Under by Jacob Grier, Reason, June 17, 2024. Excerpt: Since March of last year, the Australian state of Victoria has been rocked by a series of arsons and firebombings. Some of the targets are victims of extortion; others are caught in an escalating turf war between rival gangs. Two .. MORE

Cross-country Comparisons

Does a Price Decrease Fuel Deflation?

Nearly everybody seems to think so, including many economists: when a price rises, it fuels inflation. The venerable magazine The Economist doesn’t think twice about it. Speaking of Argentina, it writes (“Javier Milei’s Next Move Could Make His Presidency—or Break It,” June 19, 2024): Monthly inflation may creep up in June as energy prices rise. .. MORE

LIBERTY CLASSICS SERIES

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continued relevance of our classic titles.

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Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

By Charles Mackay

Charles Mackay, Scottish poet, journalist, and editor was best known in his day for his verses, some of which were set to music. His book, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions, was first published in 1841 (London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street, Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty), with a promise of additional material “should these be .. MORE

“Finance and Banking in the Austrian Empire and the Republic of Austria”

By Ludwig Mises

The 12th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was published as a two-volume supplement to the renowned 11th edition, during the post-WWI era. These sections from the articles “Austrian Empire” and “Republic of Austria” were written by Ludwig von Mises.

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Some Unpleasant Thoughts: Refugees and Wealth

By Kwok Ping Tsang

A book review of The Wealth of Refugees: How Displaced People Can Build Economies by Alexander Betts (Oxford University Press, 2021)1 A key idea in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations is that people have a persistent and ever-present drive to “better their own conditions”. Leave people alone, and prosperity and other improvements of life .. MORE

Ludwig von Mises’s Socialism: A Still Timely Case Against Marx

By Steven Horwitz

Revisiting classic texts in economics normally needs no justification beyond the benefits that come from looking at old ideas through new eyes. As we learn and grow as readers, we see new things, are more skeptical of old things, and make connections that we never did before. Some of my favorite books in my collection .. MORE

Conversations

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A Conversation with Gary S. Becker

Gary Becker (1930-2014) was one of the most original and pathbreaking economists of modern times. His 1992 Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences was described as his “having extended the domain of microeconomic analysis to a wide range of human behaviour and interaction, including nonmarket behavior.” Becker’s early work on discrimination led to his further work .. MORE

VIDEO

A Conversation with Milton Friedman

Recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Milton Friedman (1912-2006) has long been recognized as one of our most important economic thinkers and a leader of the Chicago school of economics. He is the author of many books and articles in economics, including A Theory of the Consumption Function and A Monetary History .. MORE

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Supplementary materials for popular college textbooks used in courses in the Principles of Economics, Microeconomics, Price Theory, and Macroeconomics are suggested by topic.

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From the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Government Policy, Schools of Economic Thought

Behavioral Economics

How Behavioral Economics Differs from Traditional Economics All of economics is meant to be about people’s behavior. So, what is behavioral economics, and how does it differ from the rest of economics? Economics traditionally conceptualizes a world populated by calculating, unemotional maximizers that have been dubbed Homo economicus. The standard economic framework ignores or rules .. MORE

International Economics, Government Policy

Third World Debt

[Editor’s note: this article was written in 1991.] By the end of 1990 the world’s poor and developing countries owed more than $1.3 trillion to industrialized countries. Among the largest problem debtors were Brazil ($116 billion), Mexico ($97 billion), and Argentina ($61 billion). Of the total developing-country debt, roughly half is owed to private creditors, .. MORE

Economic Regulation, Government Policy, The Economics of Special Markets, The Marketplace

Telecommunications

Telecommunications matters economically for two reasons. First, it plays a role perhaps second only to brain power in the operation and rapidly expanding productivity of the modern “information-based” economy; indeed, it supplies a primary technical means for productively harnessing the information and knowledge spread among individual economic actors throughout the global economic order. Second, the .. MORE

Quotes

Without theory, one can never understand the general underlying mechanisms that operate in different situations. If not harnessed to solving empirical puzzles, theoretical work can spin off under its own momentum, reflecting little of the empirical world.

-Elinor Ostrom

This, then, is freedom in the external life of man—that he is independent of the arbitrary power of his fellows. Ludwig von Mises, Socialism

-Ludwig von Mises Full Quote >>

Among the works of man which human life is rightly employed in perfecting and beautifying, the first in importance surely is man himself.

-John Stuart Mill Full Quote >>