Free trade is a mirage. Mobile capital, technology transfer, protectionism, and manipulation of exchange rates are used to offset the comparative advantage America might once have had. When the transfer of input factors is complete, comparative advantage is lost forever. The United States is left with dead-end jobs or no jobs at all. The U.S. […]
The issue is not that Ricardian theory is wrong; it’s that the theory relies on assumptions that don’t conform to the real world, and is therefore useless as a guide to policy. If comparative advantage is a chimera, and if putative free trade is a rigged game, why do elites insist upon it? Elite support […]
Free trade, based on Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, does not produce optimal outcomes because it is never free; it is a house built on the quicksand of assumptions that don’t reign in the real world and never will. Floating exchange rates are not stabilizing; they are invitation to currency wars. Exchange rates are ripe […]
We are there again. Stocks are approaching all-time highs again. The bond bust hasn’t happened. Mortgage interest rates are near the lows of the early 1960s. Exchange rate volatility is low. Unemployment is at 50-year lows. Real wages are rising (at least a little). There are more job openings than job seekers. ISIS is defeated. […]
We know that China is a bad actor. China is not our friend. China sees the United States as its global adversary and is taking the steps necessary to “win” the great power conflict of the 21stCentury. Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro’s policies are not only causing the deaths of thousands of his own people, he’s […]
How many people know how Hitler actually became a dictator? My bet is, very few. I’ d also bet that more than a few people would be surprised at how he pulled it off, especially given that after World War I Germany had become a democratic republic. Hitler and his fellow members of the National […]
We’ve wandered a long way from the Founders’ vision. The intellectual turning point was the complete obliteration of the concept “rights” during the twentieth century, when individual rights were “supplemented” with “collective rights” and when rights went from protecting a man’s freedom of action to guaranteeing him certain outcomes (so-called welfare rights).
Genuine rights don’t conflict — they enable us to live together without intractable conflicts. They don’t sadlle other people with obligations save one: to respect the equal rights of others.
That’s what drug illegality has done. It has caused the price of illicit drugs to soar. In the absence of the drug war, drugs would be reasonably priced, so that drug addicts would be able to afford to pay for their addiction. Once drugs are made illegal, they don’t disappear. Instead, they continue to be […]