- Matt Ridley asks Why is the left reviving apartheid?
Identity politics is taking us backwards to division and prejudice.
- Tom G. Palmer on A New, Old Challenge: Global Anti-Libertarianism
A spectre is haunting the world: the spectre of radical anti-libertarian movements, each grappling with the others like scorpions in a bottle and all competing to see which can dismantle the institutions of liberty the fastest. Some are ensconced in the universities and other elite centers, and some draw their strength from populist anger. The leftist and the rightist versions of the common anti-libertarian cause are, moreover, interconnected, with each fueling the other. All explicitly reject individual liberty, the rule of law, limited government, and freedom of exchange, and they promote instead radical, albeit aggressively opposed, forms of identity politics and authoritarianism. They are dangerous and should not be underestimated.
- Russ Roberts on The Human Side of Trade
Free trade is on the run. The president-elect of the United States calls the free market the “dumb market.” He wants to renegotiate past trade deals. The death spiral of manufacturing jobs makes people wonder if trade with China was really such a good idea. Some economists claim to have found evidence that increased trade with China causes an increase in suicide. It is tempting to argue then, that free trade, while good for the economy, is not so good for human beings.
- Timothy Taylor on the Economics of Gentrification
"Gentrification" arises when a neighborhood in a city that has in the past offered relatively low-cost housing to relatively low-income people experiences the entry of a wave of higher-income buyers. The new entrants often buy the older housing stock and rebuild or refurbish it, pushing up housing prices in the rest of the neighborhood. On one side, this process offers lower-income people who own their homes a chance for a financial windfall, and can also offer benefits to the neighborhood like improved local job opportunities, shopping options, and public safety. On the other side, gentrification also disrupts existing neighborhoods and can displace low-income residents, some of whom may have been living in the neighborhood for a long time.
- Michael Reddell on Brexit, Trump and all that
Last week, The Treasury hosted a guest lecture featuring two visiting academics under the heading Brexit, Trump & Economics: Where did we go wrong. When the invitation went out, I was rather puzzled by the title? Who was this “we” that apparently “got things wrong”?
- Tyler Cowen on Prizes are flourishing.
Stumped for solutions to hundreds of industrial and technical problems, businesses and governments alike are turning the search for innovative ideas into prize-worthy puzzles that capitalize on the ingenuity of the crowd.