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Trump: Greatest imaginary jobs president God ever created

One of the most frustrating things about Obama during his eight years in office was how he manipulated economic numbers to make it look like his policies were working. From unemployment to jobs created, Obama turned the manipulation of data…

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A New Year’s Message for Interventionists: Workers Do Best in Unregulated Labor Markets

It’s time to channel the wisdom of Frederic Bastiat. There are many well-meaning people who understandably want to help workers by protecting them from bad outcomes such as pay reductions, layoffs and discrimination. My normal response is to remind them that the best thing for workers is a vibrant and growing economy. That’s the kind […]

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Creative Destruction, Job Losses, Technological Change, and Human Progress

There’s a meme on Facebook and Twitter that asks people to “confess your unpopular opinions.” I suppose I could play that game by saying that I’d rather eat fast food than patronize most fancy restaurants (especially if I have to pay the bill!). And I’ve unintentionally played that game already by admitting that politicians aren’t […]

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Weaponized government, DAP edition

It’s more than a little disheartening to find out that the US Army Corps of Engineers is getting politicized. This statement is proof that that’s what’s happening. The opening paragraph reads “Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed the review that it […]

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Rep. Newberger vs. Sierra Club

There wasn’t much doubt about whether Rep. Jim Newberger represents his district prior to this election. That’s a big reason why he’ll easily win re-election this Nov. 8. Still, Rep. Newberger’s op-ed on Gov. Dayton’s shutting of the Sherco power plants shows how hard he’ll fight for his district. The most alarming part of Rep. […]

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Another Lesson from Bastiat: So-Called Employment Protection Legislation Is Bad News for Workers

Frederic Bastiat, the great French economist (yes, such creatures used to exist) from the 1800s, famously observed that a good economist always considers both the “seen” and “unseen” consequences of any action. A sloppy economist looks at the recipients of government programs and declares that the economy will be stimulated by this additional money that […]

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Academic Research Shows Minorities Get Hurt When Government Tries to Help

I thought it was a remarkable development last year when a columnist from the New York Times reported that supposedly pro-feminist policies actually backfire against women. Maybe this would help readers recognize that there are adverse unintended consequences of government intervention. Bastiat would be very happy! Now we have a new example from the academic […]

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The Immorality of Guaranteeing Minimum Standards of Living

I’ve had times over the years when I thought Erick Erickson was the greatest thing since canned beer, and I’ve had times when I swore he burned down the brewery. Life is like that, we don’t always agree, and we got where we are by different routes. But the other day he wrote about the […]

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The Productive People in France Need a Frexit

The United Kingdom is getting a lot of attention because voters just chose to leave the European Union. I think this was the smart choice. Yes, there will be some short-run economic volatility, but the long-run benefits should make it worthwhile. Sort of like chemotherapy being painful, but still being much better than the alternative […]

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The Recipe for Job Creation: Less “Help” from Washington

The American economy is in the doldrums. And has been for most this century thanks to bad policy under both Obama and Bush. So what’s needed to boost growth and create jobs? A new video from Learn Liberty, narrated by Professor Don Boudreaux (who also was the narrator for Learn Liberty’s superb video on free […]

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A Grim Final Year for Obamanomics

What’s the most important economic statistic to gauge a society’s prosperity? I often use per-capita economic output when comparing nations. But for ordinary people, what probably matters most is household income. And if you look at the median household income numbers for the United States, Obamanomics is a failure. According to the Census Bureau’s latest […]

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Obama’s Miserable Economic Legacy

Let’s take a look at President Obama’s economic legacy. The Washington Examiner opines on President Obama’s remarkable claim that he saved the world economy. President Obama…wants to be remembered for…[being]…the savior of the American and global economies. “There are things I’m proud of,” he said, citing Obamacare, then added, “Saving the world economy from a […]

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Wisconsin’s improving economy

To hear the DFL tell it, you’d think that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is high and that economic growth is virtually nonexistent. That’s just additional proof that the DFL isn’t hinged to the truth. This article demolishes the DFL’s arguments. In the second paragraph in Collin Roth’s article, Roth states “The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development […]

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Critical Charts about the Future of the American Economy and the 2016 Election?

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute has an intriguing idea. Instead of a regular debate, he would like presidential candidates to respond to a handful of charts from the recent Economic Report of the President that supposedly highlight very important issues. We’d quickly find out — I hope — who has real deep knowledge […]

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Obama, Redistribution, and Jobs: Always Wrong, Never in Doubt

Let’s dig into the issue of whether the United States should become more like France. In a 2014 study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Stanford University’s Robert Hall wrote about America’s sub-par economic performance. His opening line was basically a preemptive refutation of Obama’s claim – made during the State-of-the-Union Address – that […]

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Obama’s Legacy? Dismal and Declining Labor Force Participation

I normally enjoy working for the Cato Institute since it’s a principled and effective organization. But every so often, my job requires an unpleasant task, and watching the State-of-the-Union Address as part of Cato’s live-tweeting program counts as one my least enjoyable experiences since joining the team. But let’s make lemonade out of lemons by […]

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More Flawed Partisan Analysis from Paul Krugman

When I get my daily email from the editorial page of the New York Times, I scroll through to see whether there’s anything on economic issues I should read. As a general rule, I skip over Paul Krugman’s writings because he’s both predictable and partisan. But every so often, his column will grab my attention, […]

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Minimum Wage Mandates Help Workers…into the Unemployment Line

As you can see from this interview, I get rather frustrated by the minimum wage debate. I’m baffled that some people don’t realize that jobs won’t be created unless it’s profitable to create them. You would think the negative effects of a higher minimum wage in Seattle would be all the evidence that’s needed, but […]

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Evil, Knee-Jerk, Wingnut Libertarians and Conservatives Are Wrong to Say Obamacare Is a Total Job Killer

Time for a mea culpa. In the past, I’ve criticized Obamacare for a variety of reasons. I’ve argued that it’s a fiscal boondoggle. I’ve pointed out that it’s grossly inconsistent with the Constitution. I’ve complained that it’s undermined the rule of law. And it undermined growth by increasing marginal tax rates. Moreover, I’ve explained how […]

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The Kansas Tax Cuts Are Working, and that’s Why Statists Are Worried

I was in Montreal last week for a conference on tax competition, where I participated in a debate about whether the corporate income tax should be abolished with my crazy left-wing friend Richard Murphy. But I don’t want to write about that debate, both because I was asked to take a position I don’t really […]

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