Art Carden is a Senior Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. He is also an Associate Professor of Economics at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
A government could, undoubtedly, make beer. But the right beer with the right flavor profiles for a world of nearly infinite variety of tastes — not all of them consistent? For that, you need a market.
You’re not spreading prosperity when you choose the labor-intensive option just because it’s labor intensive. You’re actually wasting resources.
Should we study and learn from the past? Of course we should. Should we yearn for the past, seek to return there, and perhaps undo the progress of the last several centuries? Of course we shouldn’t.
Or in the musical context, the capitalist achievement consists not of softer seats at the opera for the king and queen but access to a practically infinite library for pennies a day.
Let’s just try a mental experiment. Let’s regard the players on the team as some seem to regard themselves, exploited and underpaid. The same claims are made for many people around the world. The commonly proposed solution is the boycott.
We aren’t respecting others’ liberty, dignity, and autonomy as independent and independently valuable moral agents when we coerce them.
Empirically, the socialist record is one of dismal and at times murderous failure. Why, then, do intellectuals, scholars, and commentators continue in their romantic attachment to it?
"Every individual, it is evident, can, in his local situation, judge much better than any statesman or lawgiver can do for him." ~ Adam Smith
For all its imperfections, American business does a pretty good job — a much better job, Cowen argues, than most people think, and I, for one, agree.
There are a lot of ways firms and workers can adjust to higher minimum wages without anyone actually losing his or her job.
Countless minds and countless hands have contributed to the slow march of civilization and helped to create a modern world (one fraught with problems, which I don’t minimize) in which I can perform innumerable operations closed off to previous generations without thinking about them.
Hayek worked in the context of the near death of civilization in the world wars, near-universal enthusiasm for socialism among the intellectuals, and repeated exhortations in the face of periodic economic troubles that this time really was the Final Crisis of Capitalism.
People can vote with their feet for different political, economic, and social institutions. They have overwhelmingly voted for liberty, opportunity, and prosperity when free to do so.
Would it be a tragedy if Williamson were an anthropology virtuoso who, in dropping out of Duke and taking his talents to the NBA, eschewed a career of path-breaking, world-rocking anthropological scholarship? No.
So long as there are new ways to think about the conflict between someone who has been bitten by a radioactive spider, a crime lord who has lost his family, and a mad scientist with mechanical tentacles, there will be room for economic progress.
One lesson you should take from that is that as much as this sounds like the takeaway point from a bad high school commencement address, the end of your formal schooling is just the beginning of a life of sustained inquiry.
Pretty much every economics textbook explains how money has four functions. It is first and foremost a medium of exchange, and it ultimately derives all of its other functions from its usefulness as a medium of exchange.
What does the Austrian theory of the trade cycle have to do with Gordon Ramsay? Plenty.
Successful banks move resources from lower-value to higher-value uses while unsuccessful banks move resources from higher-value to lower-value uses.