No nation can harm another economically

My recent Mises Daily Article titled Two Common Objections to Unilateral Free Trade drew some criticism that I would like to answer. Unilateral free trade rewards the country that adopts it Several commented that my use of the term “unilateral” negated my argument. They resurrected the argument that free trade is beneficial to both parties […]

Delivering “Real” Free Trade?

No two political words in the English language are more misused and abused by the global political class than ‘Free Trade’.  Real free trade – as opposed to what so many claim to be ‘free trade’ – involves absolutely minimal restriction and unfettered market access. One only has to glance at the many, many pages […]

2016: the greatest year ever

Let us begin with poverty. At the time, 2015 was an astonishing year. The global target had been to cut extreme poverty in half from the 1990 level, which was 37%. The actual level fell below 10% for the first time in history: little more than a quarter of the 1990 level. This was a […]

Solar power or batteries? Which will be the breakthrough?

Will electric cars revolutionize the world? We have seen, just last week, news of a battery powered plane. Will this change our transport structures? It is certainly possible, but we probably need better ways of generating electricity if we are to see major environmental benefits from any such change. In large parts of the US, […]

Our posthuman future

“If I had asked people what they wanted,” Henry Ford once observed, “they would have asked for faster horses”.  For the same reason, Steve Jobs never bothered with market research. He didn’t need to know what people wanted. He invented things that they would want if they knew what they could do with them. Sometimes […]

Lucy’s Diamonds: The Ethics of Modern Consumption

My girlfriend cannot look away from jewellery shop windows. Their lustrous displays hold a startlingly magnetic power over her. One particular item proves more intoxicating than any other – the diamond ring. When quizzed on why she found herself so drawn to this particular carbon compound over all others she was lost for words: “I […]

Taxing bads 

You get more of what you subsidise and less of what you tax. This is obvious. Taxes are often used to discourage things – smoking, for example, or gasoline consumption – subsidies are used to encourage them, such as the tax deductions for mortgages, pension plans and health insurance. So, here is the big question. […]

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

Here’s a fascinating chart of the price of eleven food staples from 1890 to 2011: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0873707.html Notice that most prices went up from 1915, two years after the US got a central bank, to 1935, the height of the Great Depression. Also look at prices from 1970, the last full year that the US was on […]

“Europe” doesn’t Work

Tim Congdon is one of the UK’s most distinguished economists, and we are privileged to have him on the UKIP team.  I have written about Tim before. He’s had good things to say on banking regulation, and he’s previously written on how the EU costs Britain 150 billion a year. Now he’s back with a new booklet: […]

Cutting off our nose to spite our face

  A couple of days back I Tweeted against the EU’s proposed Financial Transaction Tax (FTT, or Tobin Tax), and David Cammegh @davidcammegh replied:   “Let them collapse or clear off because then new honest banks might take their place in a competitive market”.  Nice idea, David, but the market doesn’t work like that. There […]