Center on Wealth & Poverty

Primitive Party Animals

Since the 1976 presidential election, the Democrats have not received more than 50 percent of the popular vote. Most organisms, except for very primitive ones, usually modify their behavior after repeated failure in order to survive. Much has been written about why the Democrats continue to fail in the polls. But as an economist, I have been particularly struck by Read More ›

Good News From Europe

Back in 1984, if you had bet Bulgaria would in 2004 host a convention of European free market think tanks including many from what were then communist countries, you probably would have been given very good odds. Yet during the last days of October, a remarkable conference — the First European Resource Bank — was held in the pleasant ski Read More ›

Halting French Economic Thrust

Are you aware of the ongoing world war between a French-led high tax alliance and the United States and its free market allies? France and its statist allies have been losing the war for economic supremacy to the lower-tax developing and developed countries, like the United States. The French are well aware that their economy and those of other statist Read More ›

Tax Hypocrisy

Sen. John Kerry keeps telling us that “the rich” need to pay more in taxes. The senator and his wife are among the 400 richest Americans. He says that he has “a plan to tax the rich.” Under the senator’s tax plan, what percentage of the Kerrys’ income do you think they would pay the IRS? (a) 50 percent, (b) Read More ›

La Grippe of the Trial Lawyers

JOHN KERRY wasted no time jumping on President George Bush about the unexpected shortage in flu vaccines this year. Why wasn’t Bush paying attention? He should have done things differently. And of course Kerry had a “plan” to solve the whole mess. If Kerry thinks he can solve the flu vaccine problem, he need look no further than his own Read More ›

How To Deal With Evil

Assume you were on a ship that sank in the middle of the ocean. You, your family and 200 fellow passengers manage to reach a small isolated island where you think you can survive. Assume this happened before the advent of satellites, aircraft, and modern communications. This made it a rescue unlikely for many months, or perhaps years. A fellow Read More ›

America’s New Jingoes

With markets at last recovering from the turn-of-the-century crash and the attacks of September 11, it is an opportune time to debate America’s future in a rapidly changing world economy. America’s establishment of liberal economists and media pundits, however, are joining in a cramped new nationalism that jeopardizes the future of American technology and prosperity. Like reactionary jingoes of the past, they are priming John Kerry with the delusional view that the U.S. and its workers are somehow victims of global trade and capital movements. But as the presidential debates turn to domestic policy and economics, voters need to recognize the realities of world economic transformation and the real threats to American dominance.

In a popular image, “Benedict Arnold CEOs” are seen to be offshoring factories and outsourcing jobs. Once-prestigious economists such as Paul Samuelson and once-responsible analysts such as Paul Krugman and once-sensible financial pundits such as Lou Dobbs are adducing twisted new theories of how free trade is no longer a win-win proposition. The alleged victims of expanding trade and globalization run from low-wage American workers to Third World environments, from aging American software engineers to overall U.S. competitiveness. Mr. Kerry is showing a disturbing receptivity to this alarming turn among his economic allies and advisers.

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Taxing Questions . . . and Misfires

Have you noticed the press tends to ask the candidates the same old tired questions, whether at a press conference, interview or debate? Yet there are many basic questions on tax policy (and other topics) Americans should have answers to before they vote. Here are some of those questions, which I am urging reporters with access to Mr. Bush and Read More ›

TV News: Blind to Market?

If you managed a business and noticed one of your five major competitors had changed its product design and was gaining market share against your firm and other competitors, what would you do? A decade ago, the world’s automobile manufacturers noticed firms with SUVs in their product line were gaining market share. Companies that produced no SUVs quickly added them Read More ›

Consent of the Governed

If I told you the world is becoming both more and less democratic at the same time, you might reply, “how can that be?”. Follow along and you shall see. Do you believe “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed?” It is not just the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe in Read More ›