When all you have is a hammer, everything does indeed look like a nail. This is the best way to describe government officials' unoriginal and often destructive thinking. No matter the problem du jour, the answer is always more government spending. But more spending requires more tax revenue, which is not always easy to acquire in the modern ...Read more
Politicians, the Federal Reserve, and Fed and administration apologists like to claim that the inflation we face is caused by supply constraints. This claim goes against the facts on the ground. According to the World Trade Organization, even though there was a collapse in trade at the beginning of the pandemic, trade in intermediate goods -- ...Read more
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed legislation that strips Walt Disney World of its independent, special district status after the company objected to the state's new law regarding discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in classrooms. While the motive behind this action is problematic, some of its supporters argue that there ...Read more
Next Sunday, French voters will decide on their next president. While most of the country and the rest of the world are united, for valid reasons, against populist Marine Le Pen, the truth of the matter is that voters have a choice between two shades of illiberalism: the aggressively populist one of Le Front National and its authoritarianism-...Read more
One of the most important lessons in tax policy is that the person who is handed the bill and sends the check to the taxman isn't necessarily the person shouldering the entire cost -- or even the bulk of the cost. A tax might first directly hit a few rich taxpayers, but it never remains confined there. Case in point: the logic and marketing of ...Read more
History has a way of repeating itself. Or maybe it's that people cling to defunct beliefs, stubbornly refusing to learn from experience. Such stubbornness is on display when pundits, legislators and President Joe Biden blame inflation on corporate "greed." The fix, they claim, is price controls. But such controls would only bring further ...Read more
Many people still blame today's inflation on snags in globe-spanning supply chains. The chief proposed solution is to dismantle decades of globalization and bring production home. Some are also pushing for measures to offset inflation, including robust child subsidies and tax rebates for gas and food.
These proposals are rooted in a ...Read more
It's well known that Joe Biden -- who regularly rode the Amtrak train between Wilmington and Washington as a senator and to his 2021 presidential inauguration -- loves trains, always touting their environmental efficiency and value to the U.S. economy. Yet the Biden White House has been noticeably hostile to the variety of trains that play a far...Read more
We've all heard stories about university administrators cracking down on free speech. But free expression is suffering even without these enablers, and that should worry us.
In a recent New York Times op-ed, University of Virginia senior Emma Camp powerfully defended freedom of expression as she described her own practice of self-censoring ...Read more
The brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia has renewed conservatives' calls for large increases of our defense budget. The extra money, we are told, would fund more weapons to better prepare us to respond to aggression in a world that looks increasingly dangerous. As compelling as these arguments can be in a stressful time, it's not quite so ...Read more
The tragic events of the past week highlight the wisdom in maintaining a fiscally sound house, rather than a highly indebted government, before emergencies strike. Russia's barbaric invasion of Ukraine and the West's response will likely drive inflation even higher. At home, expect calls for more government spending to help Ukrainians defend ...Read more
Someone recently asked me when Congress would hold hearings to ensure the accountability of government officials who faltered during the pandemic. After all, there is lots to be learned from mistakes made at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Federal Reserve, and in the Trump and Biden administrations. ...Read more