The Case for Retracting Matthew Desmond’s 1619 Project Essay

– February 11, 2020

Since the outset of the 1619 Project controversy, I have consistently argued that the overwhelming majority of the project’s problems derive from a single featured essay: Matthew Desmond’s piece on capitalism and slavery. This essay advances an explici …


How America Became Rich, According to a Historian in 1802

– January 30, 2020

For the last quarter century, I have tried to explain the causes of economic growth to my fellow historians. A few have caught on but not the ones whose publications garner the most attention. New Historians of Capitalism/Slavery are the worst offender …


FDR and Stalin Planned the Future of the World

– January 27, 2020

For the establishment of the UN, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave Joseph Stalin virtually everything the tyrant wanted.


The Overuse of the “Roaring Twenties”

– January 21, 2020

The problem is that this image is a fiction. In no way does the evidence from the field of economic history support it. Maybe it is politically useful to use it, but it is not historically nor economically accurate.


The Academic Voldemort Principle

– January 13, 2020

It’s fundamentally a case of academic misconduct — of denying another due credit for their work, or preventing that work from even entering the conversation as you simultaneously attempt to rationalize confining your opponents to the territory of “he who shall not be named.”


Who Is the Real Alexander Hamilton?

– January 12, 2020

What Hamilton did not do as treasury secretary is implement, or espouse, any system of protective tariffs or bounties.


The Soviet Economy Was Not Growing; It Was Dying

– January 10, 2020

Warren Nutter’s assessment was no abstraction, but rather the result of years of close study of the relationship between state policy and industrial concentration in the United States – the subject of his dissertation at the University of Chicago.


If Libertarianism Hollowed Out, Why?

– January 8, 2020

Becoming a libertarian doesn’t mean leaving your humanity behind; on the contrary, it means embracing it fully and believing that the potential of a free life on earth is far from fully realized.


Five Great and Recent Books on Economic History

– January 7, 2020

The field of economic history is a hard one to dabble in. It requires the assembly of rich and complex data from the past. Unlike modern statistical series, there are no “user guides” for economists and historians who deal with past data. One must simp …


The 1619 Project Debate: A Bibliography

– January 3, 2020

As the debate over the New York Times’ 1619 Project continues, it is helpful to have a list of resources that encompass the project’s contents and criticisms of the same. What follows below is a bibliographic reference to each, which I will also period …


The Year in Bad Ideas

– December 27, 2019

The Green New Deal. Hipster Antitrust. Breaking Up Big Tech. Protectionism. Billionaire Tears. New Tech, Old Jobs. Bitcoin Maximalism. Don’t Inhale That. Elizabeth Warren. National Conservatism.


My Most Notable Articles of 2019

– December 26, 2019

How Capitalist Abolitionists Fought Slavery This was my favorite piece to write over the last year because it explored a little-known historical episode in which the New York financier Lewis Tappan used market innovation to advance the abolition of sla …