Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality

Market Economics and the Conservative Movement

The following speech was given by Discovery Institute Senior Fellow George Gilder to The Philadelphia Society at their national meeting in Chicago, Illinois on May 1, 2004. This is a great celebration. Forty years of the Philadelphia Society devoted to the concept of ordered liberty under God. Through this it reconciles the two great themes of conservative thought: free markets Read More ›

Beguiling Curves of the Swedish Model

When considering the Swedish model, one can be forgiven for thinking of a comely statuesque blond with blue eyes. However, to economists and policy junkies, the Swedish model refers to the “third way” between socialism and capitalism many on the American left laud as the ideal. Does the Swedish model work as advertised? According to a new paper by the Read More ›

Confusing Control and Security

Suppose you were a sadist and really hated your fellow men — what type of job would you try to get? Well, you might try to become head of airline security for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), where you could devise a system like the following.

You would:

  • Hire people who are wannabee drill instructors, to order passengers around as if they were new Marine Corps recruits.
  • •Demand passengers show their IDs up to four times before boarding, even though you know IDs are easily forged.
  • •Require people to wait in long lines, even though you know almost precisely how many people will travel through each airport each hour.
  • •Force people confined to wheelchairs or who have implants or pacemakers to go through unnecessarily lengthy, degrading, embarrassing and intrusive physical inspections.
  • •Take away relatively harmless personal items, such as tweezers, hat pins, sewing scissors, etc., while leaving people with items that are much more lethal in trained hands.
  • •Harass small children, elderly women, infirm individuals, and young attractive women by making them go through difficult body motions and inappropriate touching.
  • •And finally, waste taxpayer monies by hiring excessive personnel to ask the same questions over and over or allow them to hang around doing nothing.

You would think, of course, what is described above could not possibly occur in a society that calls itself free and democratic, but unfortunately every day millions of Americans are subject to some or all of the above if they try to fly.

People are being unnecessarily abused by agents of their government because those charged with our security all too often fail to distinguish between security and control, fail to use basic cost-benefit analysis when designing systems and procedures, and are ignorant or insensitive to civil liberties.

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Economics Chasm Between

Sen. John Kerry and his fellow Democrats seem to believe that by attacking President Bush for “inadequate” job creation the Republicans will be too inept to remind the American people that it was the Clinton economic policies that gave us the recession and the job losses. With polls showing Mr. Kerry ahead on economic issues, the Democrats chutzpah is succeeding. Read More ›

How to Create More Jobs

Why aren’t more jobs being created? Ask President Bush’s political opponents and even some of his friends. It is a legitimate question and it deserves a serious answer. Mr. Bush’s Democratic opponents blame him but fail to admit the recession began on the Clinton/Gore watch. Neither do they tell us precisely what they would have done or will do now Read More ›

Minority Party Syndrome

“There are two political parties in America, the stupid party and the evil party,” goes the old adage. This is about the stupid party — the Republican Party. The majority of Americans consistently tell pollsters they prefer lower taxes and less government spending. More Republicans than Democrats consistently say they believe in smaller government and lower taxes. Given these statements Read More ›

Kerry’s Economic Beliefs

Would John Kerry’s economic policies be better than those of President Bush? To answer this question, we need to know what these candidates propose regarding taxing, spending and regulation. President Bush has just provided us a detailed budget. In addition to his spending plans, he has made it clear he wants Congress to make his tax cuts permanent. Given his Read More ›

Offshore Finance

Grand Cayman — Some of you reading this maybe thinking, “Ah Cayman, isn’t that the place with all the illegal financial activity?” It is true Cayman is the world’s largest offshore financial center, and the world’s fifth-biggest financial center, even though it is in the middle of the Caribbean on a small, pleasant island with only 40,000 people. But contrary Read More ›

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The Deficit Bugaboo

Are we better off having lower taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains (and other taxes on capital) or having a lower deficit? Obscure as it may seem, this is the central economic debate being fought in the political arena. To fund any given level of government spending, our political leaders have to choose how much of the spending should Read More ›