There is a problem in public affairs. If there is a state, with the capacity to do good, the temptation to do something is irresistible.
The Trump administration has imposed a rule that two existing regulations must be removed for every new regulation imposed on the economy. Unfortunately, the two-for-one rule does not apply to the trade policies consuming much of the administration’s attention.
Don't become cynical; embrace the challenge; and as teachers of a subtle scientific discipline it is vital to remember that the students will remember what is emphasized in the class, so emphasize throughout the lectures the enduring principles that are embodied in the economic way of thinking.
Feldstein taught his students and readers to think about economic policy decisions in rigorous ways, backed by hard numbers.
Because the American government is democratically elected, there’s a widespread presumption that the actions of this government are, as a rule, the best ones possible. Yet this presumption is mistaken.
What preferences do you want? In traditional neoclassical economics, that’s a nonsense question, because preferences are taken as idiosyncratic, fixed, and exogenous. Of course, that’s only a modeling assumption; no one really claims that’s descriptively accurate.
Every unforced decision to trade represents a spark of insight, a hope for a better future, and the instantiation of a human relationship that affirms the dignity of everyone involved. Sometimes that relationship is personal; it is even more awesome to consider the enormously complex impersonal relationships that make up the vast global networks of exchange that make our lives wonderful.
The problem is that we have discarded importance in favor of interesting.
If socialism can’t be made to work in such a small and simple case like this, why would one think that all these problems would go away once you expand the idea of common ownership to the whole of society and all existing goods?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is from New York, where garbage disposals are not very common in apartments because they were only legalized in the 1990s, as incredible as that seems. But now she lives in D.C., and she has discovered that there is one in her apartment.
Unlike progressives and conservatives, libertarians judge society and government policy by how well individuals are able to fulfill their goals; libertarians do not suppose that individuals who comprise the large collectives that we call “countries” do or should aim at fulfilling the non-existent higher goals of these large collectives.
Yes, the greatest political show on earth. It’s just too bad that so few of the performers that are listed on the campaign-program flyers to entertain us have any belief in and policy platforms for advancing individual liberty, free markets, the impartial rule of law, or constitutionally limited government. Still, sit back and watch the show, and experience also being taken for a ride on the collectivism carousel.
Social systems must be able to serve people in periods of stability, by creating predictable patterns of rules and expectations, and to serve people in times of disruption, by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship without breaking down.