Topic: Free Markets


Something to Celebrate: New CAFE Regulations

– April 10, 2018

The car was the foundation of the second industrial revolution. Encroaching government regulations are robbing it of its future. We once dreamed of a flying car. The regulators are putting us in the position of just dreaming about returning to the glory days of the 1970s. That’s just pathetic.


Cities Offloading Public Property

– April 6, 2018

The enthusiasm for imperious government impositions at the level of cities and states has waned dramatically. Governments are out of money. More importantly, they are out of ideas. All the most exciting innovations of our time come from the private sector and the brilliant process of market competition. With stretched budgets and a dearth of new ideas, government has nothing to lose by just selling assets lot by lot. 


The Cash Register: In Memoriam

– April 5, 2018

There is real inspiration to be had by looking at the iterative process of innovation, how that funny little machine from 1883 gradually evolved into the tiny payment processing units we use routinely today, an epic story of improvement in machinery in which the current stage is knitted to all previous stages through an invisible thread of passion for solving problems and serving others.


Power and the Main Threat to Liberty

– April 2, 2018

It used to be a cliche to observe that libertarianism is neither left nor right. I don’t hear that much anymore, so it needs to be restated. Mostly it needs to be understood. Left and right emerged in the 19th century as a revolt against liberalism. They each favored different forms of statism to push back against the progress liberty was making possible. It remains the same today. 


Highlights from the GSMA’s 2017 Mobile Money Report

– March 16, 2018

The continued growth of mobile money should excite anyone who believes private sector innovations are the best means of achieving sustainable economic and financial development across the developing world.


Economics Gave Unified Culture a Mercy Killing

– March 6, 2018

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.


This Toilet Plunger Reveals the Secret of Civilization

– March 1, 2018

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.


Labor Markets Work When They Are Free

– February 28, 2018

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.


Centrally Planned Security Doesn’t Work Either

– February 25, 2018

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.


Earthquake Economics

– February 21, 2018

Let us not forget the contribution of free economies to making life safer. It wasn’t the regulations that made the difference. It was the innovations in the context of free enterprise.


Remember What the Internet Is All About

– February 9, 2018

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.


If You Love Progress, Embrace Markets

– February 1, 2018

People talk often of how technology is disruptive. That’s only part of the story. Technology also serves the oldest values and the most ancient aspirations of the human experience, and does so in a way that is organically peaceful with how we live. It’s the much-maligned market economy that makes it all possible, and does so without elections, speeches, legislation, and scary leaders we don’t like. We should love markets more than we do. Their proven benevolence forms a beautiful narrative history of our lives, connects the generations, and points to a bright future.