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Who Deserves Student Loan Forgiveness?

By Walter Block | Mar 22 2023
What is the libertarian analysis of the student loan forgiveness policy now being implemented (subject to Supreme Court approval) by the Biden Administration? Before we can offer any such examination, let us consider the following. The government first boosted tuition into the stratosphere by requiring all sorts of silly reports of universities, which necessitated the ...

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Prosecution of War Crimes: A Sign of Civilization

By Pierre Lemieux | Mar 21 2023

It is a cliché, but true, to say that war is an ugly affair. Which does not mean that there are no good moral and economic arguments for defensive wars. The world is not only inhabited by noble savages. But just as international thugs must be dissuaded from waging aggressive wars, soldiers on all sides .. MORE

Featured Comment

The fact that this whole student loan "forgiveness" business is an unserious endeavor, a simple vote buying scheme, is given away by the fact that they aren't also talking about reforming the process so that..

Mark Barbieri, March 22

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Business Economics

Fresh Air

By David Henderson | May 2, 2023 | 0

My wife and I went to see the movie Air on Saturday and I highly recommend it. If you follow this blog closely and have read the post about my Wall Street Journal op/ed, co-authored with Don Boudreaux, on Air and ESG, you might wonder how I could write an op/ed without seeing the movie. .. MORE

Institutional Economics

Hayek’s Critique of Unlimited Democracy

By Pierre Lemieux | May 2, 2023 | 0

I think the main interest of the third volume of Friedrich Hayek’s 1973-1978 trilogy Law, Legislation, and Liberty, titled The Political Order of a Free People, resides in its strong liberal critique of democracy as we know it. My review of this third volume is just out on Econlib. A few excerpts of my review .. MORE

Property Rights

Why Scott Alexander is wrong

By Scott Sumner | May 1, 2023 | 7

Scott Alexander pushes back against the argument that building more housing in a city will reduce housing prices in that city. He begins by noting that housing costs tend to be higher in places that are relatively dense, such as New York and San Francisco. He is aware that this argument is subject to the .. MORE

Economic History

How Many of Marx’s Interim Goals Have We “Accomplished?”

By David Henderson | May 1, 2023 | 9

  Today, May 1, is May Day. It is celebrated by communists in many countries. So I thought it would be a good idea to take stock and see where we are on the road to the communist ideal. In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels laid out 10 interim measures on the .. MORE

Trade Barriers

The cost of economic nationalism

By Scott Sumner | Apr 30, 2023 | 9

The price of flying from the US to China has risen very sharply in recent years. The primary cause is economic nationalism. Here’s the Financial Times: The US has offered to grant Chinese airlines the same number of weekly flights between both countries as American carriers — but only if they agree not to fly .. MORE

Media Watch

What Does “Marginalized Group” Mean?

By Pierre Lemieux | Apr 30, 2023 | 24

In the zeitgeist, “marginalized” seems to mean any group that a mainstram speaker must love. A loved group is typically a set of individuals who deserve some privileges required by “social justice” as understood in the chattering classes, who complain of “micro-aggressions,” and who are not sufficiently empowered to boss others around. By a strange .. MORE

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Book Club


#ReadWithMe: Power Without Knowledge Part 9: What Friedman Gets Right 7

Jeffrey Friedman’s Power Without Knowledge: A Critique of Technocracy is impressive in its scope and its argumentative strength. The book is a culmination of themes Friedman had been examining for years. As such, many of the arguments in the book were familiar to me, nonetheless, I still learned a lot by reading it. Some of .. MORE


The 1619 Project’s Tooth Fairy Economics 26

Ms. Hannah-Jones interviews Duke University economist William A. Darity, one of the most prominent academic voices behind the $13 trillion number. Darity has advanced similar dollar amounts in his scholarly work, including a 2022 article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. As with the Hulu episode, he offers this figure while eliding difficult questions about .. MORE

Regulation and Subsidies

Wisdom on Cities from Edward Glaeser 11

One of my favorite economists at Harvard is Edward Glaeser, who has done outstanding work on cities and on housing. Earlier this year, I gave a positive review of Conor Dougherty’s Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America. In that book, Glaeser is one of the heroes who recognizes that, as my title put it, .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

“F. A. Hayek and the Rebirth of Classical Liberalism”

By John N. Gray

In the recent revival of public and scholarly interest in the values of limited government and the market order, no one has been more centrally significant than Friedrich A. Hayek. His works have figured as a constant point of reference in the discussions both of the libertarian and conservative theories of the market economy; they .. MORE

Playing the Game of Life to Avoid Losing

By Arnold Kling

Reality doesn’t care about winning arguments; survival is what matters. —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life (page 13). 1 In his latest book, Skin in the Game, Nassim Taleb offers an approach to social and political philosophy that he believes will encourage socially constructive change and increased freedom. He .. MORE

An Unavoidable Theory of the State

By Pierre Lemieux

When the dust settles, Anthony de Jasay’s The State1 will probably be recognized as one of the great books of the 20th century. It may be the most serious and subversive challenge to state authority ever written. That this book is not banned must be proof that we are not living under real tyranny or at .. MORE

The State

By Anthony de Jasay

Though this book leans on political philosophy, economics, and history, it leans on each lightly enough to remain accessible to the educated general reader, for whom it is mainly intended. Its central theme—how state and society interact to disappoint and render each other miserable—may concern a rather wide public among both governors and governed. Most .. MORE