Imagine a Horse Race Between Smith, Schumpeter, and Stupidity

– April 12, 2020

What we are witnessing right now is macroeconomic volatility caused by an exogenous shock due to a public health crisis combined with a policy response that has shut down the economy.


Why the Political Class Freaked Out

– April 9, 2020

Politicians, including the President, try to adjust expectations about what a “good” or “bad” outcome would look like. If the outcome is bad and lots of people die they can always come out with the “good thing we did something or this would have been much worse” excuse.


Do Economists Believe in “Magic”? No, We Believe in Markets

– April 8, 2020

The entire dismal science rests on this very, very simple insight: specialization makes our labor more productive. We could complicate this in all sorts of different ways, and that’s exactly what we do when we move from specialization to supply and demand.


The Creation of a Surveillance-and-Snitching Society

– April 1, 2020

We muddy the message when we don’t let prices change, and we tear the ties that bind us together when we create a snitching society.


It’s the Poor Who Are Suffering Most

– March 24, 2020

Let’s be very clear about what’s happening: Coronavirus is a rich man’s disease, and the economy-crushing shutdown something created by the relatively rich. The poor? They’ll be the victims of this freakout born of mass affluence.


The Top Economic Takeaway of the Coronavirus Panic

– March 16, 2020

Ultimately, our wealth consists chiefly in the ongoing willingness and ability of millions of strangers to work for us daily. Any obstacle to large numbers of people performing their daily jobs means hardship for us all.


Without Individual Autonomy, There’s No Equality

– March 15, 2020

Economists usually say, “SINCE exchange is voluntary….” but the rest of the world says, “IF exchange is voluntary….” It makes a difference. To explain why, I have developed a concept of “truly voluntary” exchange in a number of writings, including one …


The Economics of Thinking One Step Further

– March 13, 2020

The world is dynamic, not static; it is equilibrating and adjusting, not mechanical. The economic way of thinking teaches us that.


COVID-19 Prompts the Question: Why Value Human Life?

– March 7, 2020

Have you noticed how philosophical COVID-19 is making us? The possible presence of imminent death of so many – true or not – is causing a reassessment of fundamental issues.


Warren Got Specific, and Everything Fell Apart

– March 6, 2020

Her approach took the centrist consensus of the last couple generations to a logical limit only a lawyer could find and ended up with something not that far from Sanders’ socialism.


A Case for Corruption

– March 5, 2020

Suppose you live in a country with nationalized communications companies, indifferent and intermittent service, and extremely slow maintenance and repair responses. But you have an idea that is likely to produce tens of millions of sales, and quickly.


There Is No Way You or Anyone Can Fully Understand the Economy

– March 3, 2020

The economist’s main value to society lies in his or her ability to reveal that which in the economy typically remains unseen. This function of the economist is explained most famously by Frédéric Bastiat. But also, of course, this understanding of the …