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Archive for February, 2017
Will Ecuador’s Voters Reject Failed Populism?

It is a pity that Ecuador’s presidential election, which will be held this coming Sunday, is not attracting more international attention. It should, now that the world is witnessing the rise of populist nationalism. For the past decade Ecuador has been governed by Rafael Correa. Like other Latin American populists, he won free elections…
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American Patients Can Access Far More New Cancer Drugs than Others Can

New research by scholars at the University of Pittsburgh shows that American patients have significantly better access to new cancer medicines than their peers in other developed countries: Of 45 anticancer drug indications approved in the United States between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2013, 64% (29) were approved by the European Medicines…
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Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics

My book, Advanced Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics, is being translated into Korean, and the translator asked me to provide a short preface for the Korean edition.  I’m reproducing it below, partly just to give my book a bit more publicity (it’s affordably priced, if you go with the paperback), partly to…
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Tariffs, Pickpockets, and the Nationalist Snake in the Moral Grass

Like nearly all economists, I am inclined to explain to people who favor tariffs that such taxes entail inefficiencies. They make the consummations of otherwise desirable trades more costly and hence discourage people’s actions that, absent the tariffs, would result in the creation of new wealth. After all, people who voluntarily purchase goods and…
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PC Cowards at Yale Rename Calhoun College

According to the BBC, Yale President Peter Salovey announced that Calhoun College would be renamed because John C. Calhoun’s legacy and principles are “at odds with the university’s values.”  Calhoun served in the House of Representatives, in the Senate, as Defense Secretary, and as Vice President of the United States.  He graduated Phi Beta…
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Filling the Federal Reserve Board Vacancies?

(See updates below, 2/13, 2/24, 6/12, 6/15, 7/27, 8/12, 9/8.) Five of the most important appointments Donald Trump will make during his first year in office will be to fill three vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board, to reappoint or replace Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Board Chair, and to designate one of the…
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Ninth Circuit and the Immigration Order: One Thing Missing

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to reinstate the travel ban imposed by President Trump.  The New York Times has this story on the litigation, and the Court’s opinion can be found here.  The case is likely headed to the Supreme Court.  Of course, if he’s not hankering for a fight, President Trump…
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Capping Federal Medicaid Funding Would Save $110 Billion to $150 Billion in 5 Years

Arguably more important than repealing and replacing Obamacare, a longstanding Republican proposal to change how Congress finances Medicaid would reduce the burden on taxpayers by $110 billion to $150 billion over five years, according to a new analysis by consultants at Avalere. Currently, state spending on Medicaid is out of control because Medicaid’s traditional…
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I’m Not a Pessimist. I’m an Economist.

I’ve been lucky, in my time as a graduate student and now as a professor, to give talks on a variety of subjects to many different groups. From business owners, to my undergraduate students, to MBA students, to high school students and more, I never get tired of talking about what I love. Unfortunately…
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Review: The Founder and the Questionable Ethics of Business

Those looking for an inspiring story of entrepreneurship won’t find one in The Founder, the new biopic depicting Ray Kroc’s dogged pursuit of building the McDonald’s Corp into an iconic brand and food-industry juggernaut. According to the screenwriter and story told on the big screen, little joy comes from the Golden Arches as Kroc…
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