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 […]

Is Trump rejecting climate denial?

It has become depressingly ordinary for Republican politicians to enter a denial phase in any discussion of climate change. This both undermines any attempt to deal with this issue, but also to discuss it. People who pretend the climate isn’t changing will refuse to discuss how best to address the issue and it allows liberals […]

USA & France: both wrong on tax

Forgive me for returning to a favourite hobby-horse, but it’s hugely frustrating — and sad — that two of the world’s great economies, the USA and France, don’t seem to understand the most basic issues on taxation. In Washington we’ve been treated to the fiscal cliff-hanger — resolved for the moment, until they get down to the details.  Obama has […]

Reimagining the economy

The word ‘capitalist’ has two utterly different meanings. In company with Ron Paul (a physician and politician) and Milton Friedman (an academic and writer) your columnist (likewise) believes that capitalism is the most efficient and fairest was to organise an economy. We are philosophical capitalists. Warren Buffet is a professional capitalist. He earns his money […]

The Tobacco-Stained Torch of Liberty: Libertarians and the Smoking Ban

During debates on the smoking ban, freedom is often evoked by both sides. On the one hand, your smoker or smoking-supporter argues that surely they should have the freedom to smoke wherever they like. On the other, supporters of the ban counter that it is unfair to subject non-smokers to tobacco smoke, and all its inherent risks, against […]

The Blunt Instrument of Caution

Let us imagine that this columnist has invented a remarkable device: a speed limiter for cars which deducts 10 mph from the speed at which you wish to drive. Obviously, it is no use if it merely deducts speed from your aim, or you would aim for 40 mph with the intention of achieving 30mph. […]

Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized

To toke or not to toke? That has been the question springing up like whack-a-mole all over the country. The effort to legalize marijuana has won small battles, but despite record-setting support for legalization – 46 percent by the latest Gallup poll in Oct. 2010 – marijuana remains illegal in most of the country, including […]

The Dick Durbin Bank Fees

– Bank branches close while banking becomes more expensive and less consumer-friendly. This Saturday, government price controls on debit card interchange fees (which card issuers charge to merchants) go into effect. The controls are the result of the Durbin amendment to last year’s Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. They were enacted at the behest of big-box retailers […]

De-criminalisation of prostitution is the right policy

Fresh ESRC Research shows the 2009 UK government policy plans on prostitution were ill-conceived and based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the activity. What follows is an edited version of the Summary which demonstrates that de-criminalisation is the right policy option for the women themselves and for society at large. Prohibitionist restrictions will be counter-productive and […]