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OpenMarket: Morality of Capitalism

  • Economic Planning and Dead Mall Legends

    January 31, 2020
    The kind of American chain stores and retail formats that dominated the second half of the 20th century have fallen on hard times in the 21st, and commentary on this dislocating trend has become a cottage industry. Our friends at Learn Liberty recently weighed in on the debate with a video titled “Dead Malls, Explained.”
  • Are the Climate and Capitalism at War?

    January 27, 2020
    Many contemporary environmentalists share two important beliefs: a) that anthropogenic climate change is the biggest threat to the future of humanity and b) that a profit-based economic system is the biggest barrier to addressing that problem. A new short documentary from Reason TV makes the opposite case, arguing that accelerating economic growth and advances in technology are the best strategy for mediating the impact of both the planet’s growing human population and the future dislocations climate change will present us with.
  • Dog Bites Man in Davos

    January 24, 2020
    J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently said that “most state-owned enterprises don’t do a particularly good job.” The head of the world’s largest bank not being a fan of socialist planning would normally be a dog-bites-man story, but Dimon’s interview nevertheless produced headlines around the world. This story highlights how risk-averse today’s generation of business leaders have become when it comes to making a certain “political” comments.
  • Best Books of 2019: Year of Vindication for Mother of George Washington

    December 31, 2019
    August 25 of this past year was the 230th anniversary of the death of Mary Ball Washington, the mother of the first president of the United States. Her life was extraordinary, as she lived into her 80s, seeing her son George lead the Continental Army to victory against Great Britain in the Revolutionary War and then become the nation’s first President in 1789.
  • Best Books of 2019: In Defense of Openness

    December 31, 2019
    Most policy proposals for fighting poverty are zero-sum. The best way to help the poor, the argument goes, is to take from the rich. Van de Vossen and Brennan argue instead for positive-sum policies, which make everyone better off. Why keep the pie the same size, when it could grow instead?
  • Best Books of 2019: Alienated America by Tim Carney

    December 30, 2019
    Tim Carney’s new book on social alienation and U.S. politics, Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse, raises the bar for Trump-era political analysis. Building on recent research on economics and civic life from various sources, Carney presents an incisive analysis of The Donald’s 2016 campaign that redefines who supported the 45th president and why.
  • Best Books of 2019: Big Business by Tyler Cowen

    December 30, 2019
    Cowen argues that most people underestimate the amount of good that big businesses do. They make possible affordable communications, books, culture and art (and the supplies needed to make them), transportation that expands employment options for workers, safe and diverse food supplies, architecture, and more.
  • Best Books of 2019: Humanomics by Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson

    December 27, 2019
    Smith and Wilson combine insights from their experimental economics research with insights about human character from Adam Smith’s "Wealth of Nations" and especially his 1759 book "The Theory of Moral Sentiments."
  • Best Books of 2019: Expert Failure by Roger Koppl

    December 26, 2019
    Koppl uses the role of experts to explain the difference between approaching social problems from the top down versus from the bottom up. Koppl defines an expert as anyone who is paid for their opinion. This is not tied to any credential, degree, affiliation, or any objective measure of knowledge. If someone sees fit to pay you for your opinion on something, you’re an expert on that something.
  • Weighing Bad Capitalism and Good Socialism

    December 24, 2019
    Recently economics professor Walter Block of Loyola University New Orleans wrote a great op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled “Bad Capitalism and Good Socialism.” It helps clarify some confusion about the relative merits of different economic systems and the ostensible aspects of capitalism and socialism that people most often object to.


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