Mercantilist Follies, Then and Now

– September 21, 2022

“Mercantilism encouraged governments to create and prop up inefficient domestic sectors, and incentivized merchants to curry favor with governments to extract privileges from them.” ~ Samuel Gregg


Some Pictures Are Indeed Worth a Thousand Words

– September 19, 2022

“No data or sets of graphs, regardless of how carefully constructed and intelligently interpreted, can convey a complete picture of an economy. Yet, such data can convey important information, which is often the opposite of popular narratives about the economy, generally, and about trade in particular.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux


Helping Y’all Understand Protectionism

– July 22, 2022

“Given that protectionism violates the central purpose of any government, which is to benefit all its citizens, it replaces the justice of voluntary arrangements with the injustice imposed by involuntary arrangements.” ~ Gary M. Galles


With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

– June 22, 2022

“Unfortunately, the patriotic protectionism story confuses American consumers’ friends and enemies. Our supposed enemies, foreign producers, are actually our friends, and our supposed friends, domestic producers and the US government, are actually our enemies.” ~ Gary M. Galles


Trade, Debt, and Growth

– April 21, 2022

“What are we getting for this unprecedented debt? Mostly, all it’s purchased for us is political leadership which can only charitably be characterized as mediocre.” ~ Robert F. Mulligan


Microchips and Potato Chips

– March 30, 2022

“The fact that we produce more Z doesn’t imply that we thereby can afford to acquire and use more Z. This reality is inescapable whether ‘Z’ stands for potato chips or for microchips.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux


In Respectful Disagreement with Alex Salter

– February 15, 2022

“While Alex is correct to note that cross-border trade doesn’t ensure against belligerence, it almost certainly does make such belligerence more costly and, hence, less likely. We abandon such trade at our peril.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux


Lessons from the Tokugawa Shogunate 1603 – 1868

– February 5, 2022

“The impact of the Shogunate was one of stability and unification over the course of the 1600s. The Shogunate established peace and stability after a period of destructive civil war, which in turn allowed commerce and domestic industry to flourish.” ~ Robert F. Mulligan


The Federal Republic vs. Crony Capitalism

– December 22, 2021

“Taylor believed the economic liberty and virtue of the independent farmer flourished only in a decentralized, republican, and constitutional order. Congress’s rhetoric of the glories gained from governmental intervention threatened that order.” ~ Aaron N. Coleman


On Hayek’s “Kinds of Order in Society,” Part I

– December 6, 2021

“In ‘Kinds of Order in Society,’ Hayek identified two categorically different kinds of orders – ‘spontaneous orders’ and ‘organizations’ – that are both common and useful to humans.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux


Is Free Trade Elitist?

– November 29, 2021

“Intellectuals almost always feature prominently on any side of any debate over any issue. Free trade is nothing more, or less, than freedom and fairness. The notion that it is an elitist scheme is a grotesque canard.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux


To Fix the Shipping Crisis, Start by Repealing the Jones Act

– October 25, 2021

“The Biden Administration should immediately suspend the Jones Act, at least until the shipping backlog is remedied. That, instead of coddling special interests wielding ludicrous (and arguably long out-of-date) arguments, would be a true ‘gamechanger.'” ~ Peter C. Earle