Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. He is available for speaking and interviews via his email. Tw | FB | LinkedIn
Jeffrey A. Tucker
Articles from Jeffrey A. Tucker
The kids are being forced into institutions that have proven themselves unable to protect students against violence, and also face no real accountability when they fail to do so. Force is the watchword even without the direct threat of violence from guns and bombs. Why does nearly everyone think this is normal? Because compulsory schooling laws have been part of the living reality of every single living American.
Wyoming has a thin population base, astonishing natural beauty, and a wonderful crew of politicians and regulators who believe in independence, innovation, and technological progress. Thanks to some wise activism from knowledgeable people in the space, the legislature just passed a series of bills that will make Wyoming something of a safe space for crypto.
The classic story of Peter Rabbit is ultimately a tale about property rights: where they come from, how they are enforced, and the consequences of their violation. Here is the core of what makes the film remake of this story so wonderful. It challenges us to think carefully about the topic, and, as a bonus, offers up a Humean-Misesian view of property (an improvement over John Locke) and its meaning in our lives.
It’s been a beautiful thing to observe the wonderful effects of the tax cuts and deregulation of the last year. The tariffs take us off this clear path to the goal. The only question remains: is this a cul-de-sac or a u-turn? My own hope is that the political posturing is over in this one sector and we can move forward again with progress toward a world of peace, prosperity, and free trade, and that arbitrary rule will not permanently derail the rule of law in international economic relations.
The fall of the Oscars is only one sign of a larger trend. Technology fueled by economic considerations has given people more options than ever. We are curating culture according not to some mythical “national” sense of things but rather in accord with our individual preferences. This is happening now simply because we can. The economic trajectory of technology has made it possible. Any institution that strives to embody some mythical ideal of a unitary culture will fail.
And this isn’t only about the price of beer (you won’t say “dilly dilly” to $2 Bud Lights). It is about cars, computers, homes, offices, fixtures, and countless other items you use every day. The costs could very easily take away all the benefits accrued from income and corporate tax cuts. It also makes a joke of the Trump administration’s position against red tape and regulation. If my company can’t shop around for the best deal for my customers but instead must face a terrible trade bureaucracy to decline or permission in my every choice, we don’t have free enterprise.
There are many wonderful things in the world, but right now I want to talk about a product of the human mind that is a material celebration of the potential for creativity to overcome and rise above the state of nature. To put it briefly and simply, I’ve found a toilet plunger that embodies the essence of the human drama and reveals why humanity, despite every strong-armed attempt to stamp out progress and subvert the good life, somehow manages not only to survive but thrive through the ages, including even our own.
Yes, I’m suggesting a series of dramatic changes to the way employment works. No more payroll tax. No more withholding. No more health-care mandates. No more mandates of any kind. And no more policing of either hiring or firing by the state. In other words, free the market. Economic exchange is about equal power between negotiators, which only means that the same rules should apply to everyone. The more we mess with the freedom of contract, the more we privilege one party over another, with sometimes unpredictable results.
It is absolutely essential to understand the distributed model even to have a first-level conception of what cryptocurrency really is. It is not a proprietary product. It is not a company. It is not even a brand. It is a technology. It is a technology that, by design and structure, doesn’t have an owner – or, more accurately, it is owned by anyone and everyone. It is a distributed ledger. The purpose of it is to carefully delineate ownership claims and provide a chronological and immunity audit trail of changes in ownership rights. Bitcoin is a token that provides evidence of authority and access to make changes in the ledger, and thereby absorbs and reflects the value of the services provided by the ledger itself.
If not armed teachers, if not gun-free zones, if not gun bans, if not granting to the government an exclusive domain for security and the threat of violence, what is the answer? The least satisfying answer is actually the right one: we do not know precisely how to secure schools. We – “we” as in intellectuals, pundits, or society in general – do not know how to secure banks, jewelry stores, shopping malls, or casinos. How can we find out? By devolving that responsibility to institutions themselves, you allow the emergence of security solutions that are adaptive to the particular conditions of time and place.
Ever since the invention of cryptocurrency, people have asked whether governments will just create their own to compete directly with private issuance. Many governments have talked about doing so. In the greatest of ironies, it was Venezuela (socialist “paradise” of hunger, poverty, and massive emigration) that has made the most public attempt with the pre-sale of a new token called the Petro. It was a fiasco.
There is a reason to the rhyme of why dealers, rappers, and pimps wear their wealth. It all comes down to the legal gulf that separates their professions and art from civic practices. If you want to keep what you have earned, and take every precaution against having it pillaged by the police, it’s best to carry it with you.
If you are prevented from leaving your own nation, what kind of nation is it? Prison state comes to mind. So many people I know have come to favor closed borders because they somehow think there is a connection between big government and heterogeneous populations. What they do not seem to understand is that closed borders themselves are big government program, one that will always come back to bite its own advocates.
The parable of top-down socialism vs. bottom-up Bitcoin tempts one to adopt a general theory of the relationship between ideas and social change. It might be the case that bad ideas come from the top down and good ideas from the bottom-up, as a general expectation and principle. That seems to cover most use cases, until the point comes when liberal intellectuals become hugely influential in academia. We’ll wait a long time for that to be the case.
The news has been packed with fake economics for the weeks since the correction in stocks began. Story after story has claimed that rising wages could translate into higher inflation, setting off fear and trembling on Wall Street. These claims have caused anyone with contemporary economics knowledge to slap their heads with exasperation. This is precisely how fallacy lives on and on: it keeps being reported by journalists who don’t know better.
Some great minds are remembered mostly for one moment in time, a momentous action or revelatory piece of writing. Such is the case for John Perry Barlow, who died on February 7, 2018. Born in 1947, he was a remarkable visionary, a lyricist for the Grateful Dead who later became a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends your rights as a citizen of the digital age. He is the author of the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace.