Halloween is the perfect holiday for children to discover the humanity of trade. Trick-or-treating may be the main attraction, but the spontaneous candy swap negotiations that occur afterwards are often just as enjoyable and help children learn important economic principles.
In June, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order providing for sanctions against persons who “have directly engaged in any effort by the [International Criminal Court] to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any United States personnel without the consent of the United States.”
Healthcare would be cheaper, better, and more accessible if government got its nose out of the matter entirely — but failing that, three of these four orders make good sense. They’re also a great litmus test. They tell us who really supports freer markets in healthcare and who just pays lip service to the notion while advocating crony capitalism in service to Big Pharma.
How many people want to immigrate to the U.S.? In my past work, I’ve appealed to both surveys and black market prices to ballpark the answer. Another approach, however, is to take a look at the U.S. Diversity lottery.
Thanks again to Gene Epstein and Reason for sponsoring last week’s immigration debate between myself and Mark Krikorian. Thanks to Mark, too, for debating before an unsympathetic audience. The resolution, you may recall, was: The current pandemic makes it all the more necessary for the federal government to tighten restrictions on immigration. Here are my extra thoughts on the exchange.
Coronavirus originated in China, migration brought it here, and suddenly life is terrible. Dogmatic libertarians can keep droning on about “liberty,” but everyone else now plainly sees that strict immigration controls could have stopped this plague – and only strict immigration controls can stop the plagues of the future. This argument sounds so right. What could possibly be wrong with it?
In the last few years, social scientists have started heavily appealing to “state capacity” to explain the wealth of nations. Why do some countries prosper? Because they have great state capacity. Why do others flounder? Because they have crummy state capacity. What do floundering countries need to do in order to prosper? Build state capacity, naturally.
If people were free to take a job anywhere on Earth, humanity would have more agriculture, more manufacturing, more services. We would have more restaurants, more homes, more elder care. We would have more doctors and more janitors, more meal delivery and more cars to deliver the meals. If coronavirus can eliminate 90% of the restaurant business, open borders can add 90% to the restaurant business. You’ve seen the former with your own eyes, so you should have no trouble seeing the latter with the eye of the mind.
How much protection have 98% closed borders given us against the pandemic? The answer: Virtually none.
By invoking the Defense Production Act, which “authorizes the President to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders and to allocate materials, services, and facilities to promote the national defense or to maximize domestic energy supplies,” US president Donald Trump has declared himself America’s economic dictator.