Topic: Economic History

‘Shock Values’: An Idiosyncratic Economic History

– April 15, 2024

“While it provides a concise accounting of the many efforts taken to address inflation and deflation over the history of the republic, there is a cost to recounting such a rich history in so few pages.” ~Paul H. Kupiec


Big-Government Welfare Crowds Out Beneficial Social Behavior

– April 11, 2024

“Means tested welfare necessarily crowds out the poor from productive employment by substituting government grants for family earning and community support.” ~Donald J. Devine


The Middleman Is a Public Servant

– April 10, 2024

“Letting people make their own choices is an important part of respecting one another as free equals… We don’t help people by prohibiting the choices they actually make.” ~Art Carden


20th Century Ideology, Modern Mixed Economies

– April 4, 2024

“Neither the Chinese communists nor the Russian communists ever redistributed significant resources from the able to the needy. If anything, they did the reverse.” ~John Goodman


Government Project: The Eternal Folly of Central Planning

– April 1, 2024

“Edward Banfield’s careful case study of the Casa Grande project, based on his review of the detailed government records, is a sobering critique of government planning and social engineering.” ~Mark Pulliam


Baseball, a Beer, and a Dog

– March 29, 2024

“The most expensive beer in the major leagues is found where everything seems to be most expensive: Washington, DC. At Nationals Park a single beer will set you back $14.99.” ~James R. Harrigan


“The Price of Time” and Broken Central Banking

– March 26, 2024

“The unique value of Chancellor’s book, beyond tracing this intellectual history of interest and illustrating it by financial debacles up and down the centuries, is to connect the social and market outcomes with the broken money markets.” ~Joakim Book


How the West Won the Money Race

– March 15, 2024

“Today the world still benefits from monetary and financial innovations begun in China, then picked up and carried like a baton in Renaissance Europe.” ~Paul McDonnold


Division of Labor Makes Us Wealthy…And Fragile

– March 8, 2024

“Our dependence on the ability to serve others in highly specialized ways is contingent on the rest of the system working constantly and efficiently. Our shrinking command of general competence puts us at greater risk.” ~Michael Munger


Tariff Truths

– February 26, 2024

“President Biden has maintained his predecessor’s duties on some $370 million worth of Chinese imports. Both national conservatives and liberal protectionists are dead wrong about tariffs and growth.” ~Tarnell Brown


Coats, Pencils, and Division of Knowledge

– February 19, 2024

“‘Wonder’ is not too strong a word to describe a social process that allows us to get so much bread and so much clothing for so little sweat of our brows.” ~Art Carden


Can Adam Smith Save Gen Z?

– February 7, 2024

“Convincing this generation of college students requires making the positive argument for the free market, restoring to prominence the real case Adam Smith made for markets, individual liberty, and restrained government against the backdrop of official state control.” ~Blake Ball