The Miracle of the Price System

This week's post at e3ne.org is about the miracle of the price system: Natural disasters harm people’s standard of living by destroying resources, but in a free marketplace, rising prices and profits in scarce goods give both buyers and sellers an incentive to heal the economic wound. Drawn by the possibility of making good profits … Continue reading The Miracle of the Price System

A New Measure of Political Risk: The DOG Factor

Governments behaving badly... We've all seen it. Get a bunch of libertarians from around the world together, and each seems to take perverse pride in proving that her own government is the worst of all. How can we quantify governments' badness? On the economic side, we might look to the Economic Freedom of the World … Continue reading A New Measure of Political Risk: The DOG Factor

Freedom and Prosperity: Some Comparative Historical Reflections on State Policies and Performance

In his 1982 book, The Rise and Decline of Nations, economist Mancur Olson argued that over time, stable societies accumulate "distributive coalitions," narrow special-interest organizations that complexify social life and burden the economy with overregulation and opaque forms of wealth redistribution. The notion that distributive coalitions are more often bad than good for economic performance, … Continue reading Freedom and Prosperity: Some Comparative Historical Reflections on State Policies and Performance

In which I overstay my welcome

One of the regular Pileus bloggers asked me to elaborate on a claim I made briefly in my earlier discussion of BHL. I had said "there is an intra-libertarian debate [that it is useful to have about philosophical justification: is a system of individual rights ultimately justified because it accrues the best results for the … Continue reading In which I overstay my welcome

Ruger on Zingales on Crony Capitalism

My sometime coauthor William Ruger has a piece in The American Conservative on Luigi Zingales' A Capitalism for the People. He compares Zingales to early Chicago School economist Henry Simons in his willingness to consider unconventional remedies to crony capitalism, lack of competition, and "bigness" more generally: Fast forward to today, and we see another … Continue reading Ruger on Zingales on Crony Capitalism

*Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School* by Ralph Raico (updated)

Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School is the latest collection of essays from Ralph Raico, published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Ralph was kind enough to send me a print copy. The introductory, eponymous essay concerns the relationship between Austrianism as an economic methodology and classical liberalism as a political program or ideology. Raico … Continue reading *Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School* by Ralph Raico (updated)