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OpenMarket: Morality of Capitalism

  • Retro Review: Vlad Tarko’s Biography of Elinor Ostrom

    April 23, 2020
    Elinor Ostrom’s pioneering work on “polycentrism,” the existence of multiple sources of government authority or power within a single political system, is especially relevant during the current coronavirus pandemic, in which we wrestle with the respective roles and responsibilities we expect from mayors, governors, federal officials, and international bodies like the World Health Organization.
  • Memo to BlackRock: Drop Activist Agenda, Focus on Recovery

    April 15, 2020
    Should large institutional investors find and support profitable firms or adopt the tactics of left-wing pressure groups to force companies into adopting a political agenda? That’s the issue at the heart of a new open letter to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink that takes the firm’s to task for its announced investment guidelines, which would put goals like climate activism ahead of shareholder returns.
  • Robots Are Here to Make Your Job Safer and Cleaner

    April 10, 2020
    Positive stories about win-win results from the march of automation are everywhere in our economy, but they don’t get told and repeated enough. The workers who are told they should be the most worried about their jobs being stolen by robots are, in fact, the ones who will likely benefit the most from future jobs that will be safer and more pleasant.
  • Retro Review: The Year Civilization Collapsed

    April 6, 2020
    This review of Eric H. Cline’s 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed, was originally published at Inertia Wins. Despite covering events in the ancient past, Cline’s analysis is especially relevant to the present-day coronavirus response and the importance of supply chain diversity.
  • Retro Reviews: An Introduction

    April 6, 2020
    Political news and analysis always suffers from a recency bias—we tend to assume that the latest analysis and reportage is superior to what was posted yesterday, or last year. With that in mind, CEI is launching a new blog series called “Retro Reviews.” We’ll take a look back at the important writing of previous years (and decades) and do our best to extract the wisdom contained therein.
  • Pandemic Economy: Toilet Paper Supplies Stretched, But Strong

    March 26, 2020
    American consumers, worried about the future of the coronavirus pandemic have continued to buy out available stocks of key products. However, temporary shortages are the exception that proves the rule: the American consumer economy is doing an extremely good job under extraordinary stress, and we have a decentralized market economy to thank for that.
  • Sen. Toomey Defends Capitalism

    March 12, 2020
    This week Sen. Pat Toomey gave an excellent and much-needed speech at the Heritage Foundation on capitalism and its right-leaning critics. Toomey made clear that he anti-market measures promoted by self-described nationalists and populists would be a failure if enacted.
  • Big-Mouth CEOs Less of a Threat than Crusading Politicians

    March 4, 2020
    Free-market advocates are understandably skeptical of “stakeholder” capitalism—the idea that corporate managers should focus not just on returns to shareholders, but on pleasing a potentially long list of other groups that claim an interest in the operations (and on the profits) of a company. Any given board and management team can apportion their own resources as they see fit, of course, but we small-government types are wary of theoretically voluntary guidelines for social and environmental awareness being transformed into binding legal requirements down the road.
  • Two Cheers for Nikki Haley's Defense of Capitalism

    February 27, 2020
    Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has written a bold and, for the most part, very good op-ed on the future of capitalism for The Wall Street Journal.
  • Sustainability Disclosures, Meant to Protect, Could Create Additional Risk for Investors

    February 21, 2020
    The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) claims that it focuses on issues that are “financially material” to the companies they are assessing. But materiality is in the eye of the beholder. Critics of the SASB would say that very few, if any, investors actually care about many of the detailed sustainability topics that companies are supposed to provide disclosures on. Instead, many of the topics line up better with the agendas of left-wing advocacy groups who are hostile to market economies in general.

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