July 26, 2019
Economic growth slowed in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. It remained above 2% thanks to a combination of personal consumption and federal and state government spending. Business investment, however, contracted. This suggests that tariffs are beginning to harm the economy, exactly as free market economics suggested they would.
June 20, 2019
Angela Nagle, an economic nationalist and author of “Kill All Normies,” recently argued on a podcast that, “Conservatives are starting to have these interesting debates internally about the fact that capitalism is not being their friend and helping their cultural project. […] The priorities of economic libertarianism no longer make sense."
May 22, 2019
Large U.S. companies slowed their investment in the first quarter of 2019, largely because of ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China. This is exactly what free-trade economics suggested would happen. When costs increase because of tariffs and uncertainty shadows the direction of trade policy, companies delay investment.
May 16, 2019
My colleague Wayne Crews has already slammed the White House for a first step towards government regulation of online speech in its “tech bias” complaints portal. It is interesting that the administration has followed the model of the problematic Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in simply collecting complaints as proof of problems with the industry concerned.
May 9, 2019
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, former publisher of The New Republic, argues in a long essay for The New York Times that the company should be broken up and regulated, and indeed that this would be the “American” thing to do.
April 4, 2019
In a bleak take on the sharing economy, Atlantic writer Alexis C. Madrigal says it has created a “servant economy,” where sharing economy platforms provide “low-paying work that deliver on-demand servant services to rich people.” He likens this to the domestic service prevalent before the Second World War. This take gets things almost completely backwards.
April 2, 2019
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s motto used to be “Move fast and break things.” Now that his company is under increased political scrutiny—and facing calls for breakup from both right and left—he has changed his tune to “move slowly and establish rules.”
March 26, 2019
This week The Economist endorsed European “tech doctrine”—a combination of antitrust, tax, privacy, and regulatory policies that is rapidly being imposed on a mostly American tech sector seemingly powerless to resist it. The magazine said, “If the doctrine works, it could benefit millions of users, boost the economy, and constrain tech giants that have gathered immense power without a commensurate sense of responsibility.” That’s a big “if.” American regulators should avoid this doctrine like the plague.
March 21, 2019
There is plenty of blame to go around for Britain’s current Brexit chaos. In a recent post, I pointed to how the Prime Minister’s handling of the withdrawal negotiations was simply incompetent, but at least some of the blame should now be handed over to the House of Commons, which has failed to produce a majority for any course of action.
March 1, 2019
One of the frequent objections posted by those who are concerned about free trade is that it leads to job losses. This is true. However, saying that free trade causes job losses does not tell us very much. In this post I will try to put trade job losses in context, and then examine what is probably the more important policy question—what to do for those who lose their jobs to trade?