by Iain Martin
From outside the US it is easy to see the 2016 presidential election purely in terms of a dynastic clash between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Will Hillary overcome the concerns that she wants to win but cannot figure out what she wants to do with the office other than be President? Can Bill behave himself during the campaign? Is the likeable Jeb too tainted by association with his brother to win the Republican nomination even though the former Governor of Florida is raising a lot of money? Can Jeb’s advisors convince him to invest in some decent suits and ties that don’t look as though they were bought 10 years ago at Walmart?by
A triumph of “free expression and democratic principles”? How stupid do they think we are?
It’s been painful to watch the gradual tightening of government control in the name of net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission’s decision to rewrite the rules and declare the Internet as a public utility seals the deal. It cartelizes the industry and turns a “Wild West” into a planned system of public management — or at least intends to.by
The cultural panic about the enormous commercial success of 50 Shades of Grey has gone on for years, and, from that, you might get the impression that the story romanticizes unspeakable things.
Though I’ve not read the book, my impression from the movie was entirely opposite. It is not a hymn to the secret glories of BDSM. It is a sophisticated allegory that takes apart, and ultimately condemns in the strongest terms, the psychological foundations of seemingly consensual human relationships that are actually based on dependency, abuse, and power.by
This year’s Valentine’s Day was disastrous — not just for me, but for many ex-couples. But as I sat there on Sunday nursing my broken heart, I realized what’s wrong with romance today: not enough regulation.
The United States government has wisely chosen to regulate most other aspects of life, from what wage you are allowed to work for to what medicines a patient is allowed to buy over the counter.by
by John Cochran
There is a sliver of good news on the central banking front. Given the Fed’s poor performance before and after the 2007–08 financial crisis and Great Recession, and its now recognized 100 year history of failure, at least some members of Congress, even without Ron Paul, are now willing to consider major reform.
Many libertarians who recognize that the correct long-run reform is to “End the Fed” — or essentially eliminate central banking (see here or here) — have focused most on the Audit the Fed Bill.by
Just about everyone agrees that incentives affect behavior, but economists really mean it. That’s because economists take the logic of incentives further than most other people are willing to. Such analysis often reveals that government policies have unintended consequences that seem shocking to the average person. The list includes welfare programs that lead to higher rates of birth out of wedlock, seatbelt laws that lead to more pedestrian deaths, and even the possibility of changes in estate taxation that lead to people strategically timing their deaths.by
When Leonard Read founded the Foundation for Economic Education in 1946, he did not intend to create an overtly political movement with particular political goals. He wanted something deeper, more lasting, and more culturally profound. He sought to inspire a love of liberty in all groups of society. Only this, he said, would create the basis of a lasting freedom that could resist despotism over time.
That dream has been gradually building for nearly 70 years, and today we have the opportunity to gain a glimpse of what it looks like and what it means for our future.by
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the first Turkish president to be elected directly by the people. He believes that gives him a far-reaching mandate. Mr Erdogan is pursuing a project under the slogan ‘New Turkey’ to profoundly transform the Turkish republic. His ambition is to make the country into a Muslim regional power and the world’s tenth strongest economy by 2023, the centenary of the foundation of the Turkish republic. His plans have polarised politics and society. Though he still has the backing of the majority of Turks, internal tensions have increased. The Kurdish question remains potentially explosive. The presence of 1.5 million refugees from Syria is meeting with growing resistance. Whether the AKP secures a two-thirds majority in the general elections in June 2015 will play a decisive role in Mr Erdogan’s political future. If it does, he could strengthen his long term position by passing a new constitution.by
“Report Suggests Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Are Vulnerable to Computerization,” screams a headline. The cry of “robots are coming to take our jobs!” is ringing across North America. But the concern reveals nothing so much as a fear—and misunderstanding—of the free market.
In the short term, robotics will cause some job dislocation; in the long term, labor patterns will simply shift. The use of robotics to increase productivity while decreasing costs works basically the same way as past technological advances, like the production line, have worked.by
One of the great myths about the capitalist system is the presumption that businessmen make profits at the expense of the consumers and workers in society. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In the free market, consumers are the sovereign rulers who determine what gets produced, and with what qualities and features. The sovereign consumers also determine who will be the owners and entrepreneurs of business enterprises.by