by Alfredo Pascual
The world is attentively observing and in most cases praising Uruguayan legalization of cannabis before the recently approved law is carried out. As a Uruguayan and lover of individual freedom I would like to be the first one to stand up and celebrate this big step to end the war on drugs, but I cannot avoid being skeptic.by
Coercive government actions that target another country often act like a boomerang, turning around and knocking down freedoms and liberties in the “throwing” nation. Two developments in the United States illustrate the boomerang effect: the rise of government surveillance and the growing militarization of the police.by
In an old joke, President Bush (it doesn’t matter which one) claims that the problem with the French is that they have no word for “entrepreneur.” I don’t know if that joke is supposed to be on the Bushes, the French, or both. I do know that readers of French economist Thomas Piketty’s new book Capital in the Twenty-First Century might be convinced that the joke is actually true.by
It’s easily forgotten that it all started with a multiple hijacking. To have prevented it was to have prevented a crime that’s been around since the early years of commercial airlines. It’s the problem of how to prevent a wonderful service from being used by evil people toward evil ends. As with any problem of crime, absent the mass conversation of the hearts of all of humanity, the solution is technical. What went wrong that such a solution was not in place on that fateful day?by
Randall G. Holcombe recently spoke with the Mises Institute about his new textbook Advanced Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics, now available from Edward Elgar Publishing.
Mises Institute: Why did you decide to write this book?
Randall Holcombe: I received an inquiry from Edward Elgar, the publisher, asking me if I’d be interested in writing it, and I agreed. They wanted a short book of about 50,000 words that would introduce people to the ideas of the Austrian School, and that’s what I wrote. The text runs just 116 pages, which doesn’t count the preface, index, and an extensive list of references at the end.by
by John Charalambakis
We are approaching the time when the ECB will pull the trigger and will start buying paper “assets” (i.e. someone else’s liabilities) in the ultimate hope of stimulating a paralytic EU economy that is devastated by regulations, high taxes, unsustainable debt and unfunded liabilities. The zero-bound interest rate trap is about one thing: depressing the expected rates of returns to real investments and thus setting up the economy for an era of diminished expectations. This is the epoch where the self-inflicted wounds are coming not from what we hate (putting our economic and financial houses in order), but rather from what we love (easy money).by
by Sydney Williams
Arne Duncan blinked. After being hammered for much of the summer by the two main teacher’s unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), the Education Secretary said states could delay the use of test results in teacher performance evaluations by another year. It was disappointing, but understandable, as he and his Party have been financially reliant on Teachers’ unions. Let us hope he only blinked and not shut his eyes, as did so many of his predecessors. Teachers’ unions (and, in fact, all public sector unions) have Democrats in a chokehold. (Collectively, unions are the largest contributors to political campaigns.) Over the past twenty-five years the NEA and the AFT have given about $100 million to political campaigns, with 97% of that going to Democrats. The relationship has been symbiotic, as elected Democrats have ensured that the demands of union leaders are met.by
by Mark Lutter
There has been a lot of discussion about what Tyler Cowen calls shareholder states. A shareholder state is a territorial governance structure where the decision-makers have a monetary incentive for performance: Decision-makers would be rewarded for decisions leading to long-term growth. This system contrasts with democracy, where decision-makers rarely think past the next election cycle.by
Professional economists rather than politicians are being called in by political leaders facing economic difficulties. French President Francois Hollande is the latest to follow this path. But such appointments can spell danger when the technocrat fails to understand that their role is the scapegoat for government failure and not a pathway to international economic stardom.by