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Posts Tagged ‘Free Markets’
August 18th, 2017 at 1:51 pm
Image of the Day: A Powerful Tribute to Free Market Capitalism
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Economist Deirdre McCloskey will soon release her new book entitled “Bourgeois Equality:  How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World.” It it, she describes the unprecedented transformation  and improvement of human wellbeing through the power of economic freedom, as illustrated by this graph:

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The Power of Free Markets

The Power of Free Markets

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As McCloskey summarizes, that’s the result of the free market revolution:

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[I]n the two centuries after 1800, the trade-tested goods and services available to the average person in Sweden or Taiwan rose by a factor of 30 or 100.  Not 100 percent, understand – a mere doubling – but in its highest estimate a factor of 100, nearly 10,000 percent, and at least a factor of 30, or 2,900 percent.  The Great Enrichment of the past two centuries has dwarfed any of the previous and temporary enrichments.  Explaining it is the central scientific task of economics and economic history, and it matters for any other sort of social science or recent history…

The modern world was made by a slow-motion revolution in ethical convictions about virtues and vices, in particular by a much higher level than in earlier times of toleration for trade-tested progress – letting people make mutually advantageous deals, and even admiring them for doing so, and especially admiring them when Steve Jobs-like they imagine betterments.  The change, the Bourgeois Revaluation, was the coming of a business-respecting civilization, an acceptance of the Bourgeois Deal:  ‘Let me make money in the first act, and by the third act I will make you all rich.'”

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It’s something for which we should all remain grateful, and hopefully more readily defend against the eternal onslaught of statism.

June 17th, 2013 at 4:33 pm
In the Battle of Ideas, the South is Winning
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Federalism essentially allows us a controlled experiment in which we can examine which policies work and which don’t by examining the contrasts between states that have chosen different paths. The results, as Joel Kotkin notes at the Daily Beast, are pretty lopsided:

The North and South have come to resemble a couple who, although married, dream very different dreams. The South, along with the Plains, is focused on growing its economy, getting rich, and catching up with the North’s cultural and financial hegemons. The Yankee nation, by contrast, is largely concerned with preserving its privileged economic and cultural position—with its elites pulling up the ladder behind themselves.

… While the Northeast and Midwest have become increasingly expensive places for businesses to locate, and cool to most new businesses outside of high-tech, entertainment, and high-end financial services, the South tends to want it all—and is willing to sacrifice tax revenue and regulations to get it. A review of state business climates by CEO Magazine found that eight of the top 10 most business-friendly states, led by Texas, were from the former Confederacy; Unionist strongholds California, New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts sat at the bottom.

… Over the past five decades, the South has also gained in terms of population as Northern states, and more recently California, have lost momentum. Once a major exporter of people to the Union states, today the migration tide flows the other way. The hegira to the sunbelt continues, as last year the region accounted for six of the top eight states attracting domestic migrants—Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. Texas and Florida each gained 250,000 net migrants. The top four losers were New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and California.

There are only two options for the boutique coastal states and the union-dominated interior: emulate the South or be supplanted by it. This should be fun to watch.

May 30th, 2013 at 3:48 pm
Podcast: In Defense of Capitalism
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In an interview with CFIF, Roger Ream, President of The Fund for American Studies (TFAS), and Michael Cox, Sr. Fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and Director of the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, discuss TFAS’s online videos: “It’s a Wonderful Life (with Capitalism)” and “How Nations Succeed: What’s the Secret to Ending Poverty.” Ream and Cox also discuss what young people are learning in college about freedom and free markets, and what accounts for America’s tremendous progress over the last 100 years.

Listen to the interview here.

October 22nd, 2012 at 5:43 pm
Go West, Young Man … Just Stop Before You Hit the Ocean
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Take it from this Californian — the Golden State is no longer the destination du jour for starry-eyed dreamers looking to turn ambition into fortune. The rest of the west, however, looks pretty good. From the Daily Caller:

If you are looking to start a new business, Wyoming might be a place to consider moving. According to the Tax Foundation’s annual State Business Tax Climate report, Wyoming ranks first among the fifty states for most business-friendly tax code.

Behind Wyoming are South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, and Florida. Washington, New Hampshire, Montana, Texas and Utah rank in the top ten.

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s eight of the top ten states for business located in the West. And if a pro-energy candidate wins the White House, expect the numbers from those states to become even more impressive, given the tremendous amount of resources in the region.

California has chosen gilded decline and reaped economic disaster. The rest of the west, however, has chosen freedom. And prosperity is following closely behind.

June 28th, 2011 at 9:14 pm
Economics in One (Video) Lesson
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It’s as clear a statement of what works (and what doesn’t) in providing economic growth and well-being as you’ll find. It’s a guide to not only the rightness but the utility of freedom. And it can be viewed in the time it takes to wait for a stoplight to change. It’s the new video from the good folks (yes, we’re not afraid to say it) at the Charles Koch Foundation. The only thing wrong with this project? That there aren’t more videos like this one:

February 4th, 2010 at 2:17 pm
Pro-Markets, Not Pro-Business
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As the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter memorably put it, the free market is about “creative destruction” —  rank, privilege, and status mean nothing if you can’t compete in the marketplace. Bad companies and products wilt under competition from more capable rivals.

Applying these kinds of first principles to policy debates can be unwieldy at times, however, if they don’t exactly square with your political coalition. Republicans have been wed to the business establishment for decades on the notion that those who philosophically support the free market and those who actually grind the gears of commerce on a daily basis are natural allies. Not necessarily, says Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan in an interview with RealClearPolitics. When asked about the current state of the economy:

Republicans messed this up too. We have to remember that we’re also to blame for having practiced crony capitalism. But where we are right now — it’s a systematic expansion of this doctrine. For us, it’s easier to fix because we just have to rededicate ourselves to our principles. For Democrats, they would have to repudiate theirs, because crony capitalism sits nicely with their philosophy. You can sort of see an alignment here where big business and big government find a common agreement and that is a very big danger to our free market system. So we need to go back to being pro-market, instead of just pro-business. And there is a difference.

Ryan is one of the brightest members of Congress around (his comprehensive plan for restoring America’s economic health is referenced extensively in the interview and can be found here) and it’s nice to see an elected official finally making this too-oft ignored distinction.