The world has lost a great economist. Alberto Alesina suddenly passed away from cardiac arrest while on a walk with his wife on May 23. He was 63. A prolific researcher, his voice will be missed in the coming years, as we must yet again debate the merits of austerity in the aftermath of COVID-19-inspired, all-out spending.
For the few last ...Read more
One of the new ways critics like to slice and dice rich people these days is to question the value they provide to others by minimizing the importance of their charitable giving. For instance, the top 20 richest people in America gave a cumulative $8.7 billion to charity in 2018, but we are told that this sum is only 0.8% of their wealth....Read more
It was going to be the party of the year: my 50th birthday. I rented a fantastic place, picked a great menu and sent funny invitations designed by my hilarious friend Brooke. I was counting down the weeks. Then COVID-19 hit. Lockdowns were ordered. No party for me. Yet what replaced it was the purest expression of the best that humanity has to ...Read more
The coronavirus did apparently originate in China. Now President Donald Trump wants to punish that country for its role in letting the virus spread to the United States. This is just another poor excuse to push the same protectionist policies he has always favored. It's also a way for him to deflect responsibility for the failures of his own ...Read more
Have you ever wondered why it seems like some places have a high concentration of elected officials with little to no economic knowledge whatsoever? I have. While I don't have a solution for this deficiency, I'd like to highlight one city in particular where this seems to be the case: San Francisco.
The COVID-19 pandemic now underway in the ...Read more
In times of crisis like the one we are now going through, calls to grow an already-bloated bureaucracy abound. Whether it's through more centralization, more powers to the federal government or the creation of new bureaucracy to address the pandemic, the hope is that next time around, a new arrangement will allow for a better and faster response...Read more
In good economic times, the burdens of big government and excessive regulation are easy for many to ignore. When the system comes under heavy strain, however, those costs quickly become intolerable.
That's why, even as freedoms are being restricted to unprecedented degrees in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19, politicians are also lifting...Read more
A pandemic is not the time for imprudent public policies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis, like many earlier ones, has resuscitated some seriously flawed ideas. I fear we may see two such notions implemented within the next few days or weeks.
One such unwise idea is a call by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro for an executive order to ...Read more
Governments in the United States are restricting freedoms to unprecedented degrees in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. As dangerous as this expansion of power is, in some ways, federal, state and local governments are also reducing their intrusions into our lives by cutting many regulations.
This deregulation falls into three ...Read more
It's easy to feel depressed and scared these days. News about the impact and death toll of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, is constant. Government responses have been chaotic, ranging from near-indifference to suddenly shutting down the economy, with politicians offering to pay for everything.
Yet we shouldn't lose sight of the exceptional ...Read more
While many of us turn to the government for answers to the COVID-19 pandemic, others rightfully seek solutions from the private sector. Last week, the Hoover Institution's Russ Roberts asked his many twitter followers to help "create a list of voluntary (non-coercive) actions taking place right now to reduce COVID-19 spread or impact." The ...Read more
As the saying goes, "Nothing is certain but death and taxes." I would add, "and anti-price gouging legislation in times of crisis." Yet price increases in the face of sudden shortages are an important impetus to restore supply and demand market conditions that are closer to normal.
As many of us have experienced in the past few weeks, buying ...Read more
Following increased interest in expanding access to paid family and medical leave, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., joined forces with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to promote the Family and Medical Insurance Leave, or FAMILY, Act. If we believe the act's supporters, it would cost close to nothing and provide essential benefits to employees who ...Read more