2021

America’s Destructive Denialisms

The presidential election wasn’t close. Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes, which translates to a margin of 4.5 percent. His Electoral College victory was larger than either of George W. Bush’s. Yet, Donald Trump still refuses to concede. The soon-to-be-ex-president tried to pressure Republican legislators to overturn the election… Continue reading America’s Destructive Denialisms

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2014

The Fetishism of Economic Growth

Capitalism and Communism shared one important principle in common: an almost religious devotion to economic growth. If a Five Year Plan didn’t produce the expected “great leap forward,” Communist officials fudged the figures. If a capitalist economy dipped into recession, economists tried to put the best face on the resulting “creative destruction,” arguing that it… Continue reading The Fetishism of Economic Growth

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The Populist Reformation

Europe underwent a profound transformation in the 16th century with the Protestant reformation. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and their co-religionists attacked the bureaucracy of the Catholic Church and its corrupt practices. They also advocated a different, more direct relationship between the individual and God. They were aided by the new technology of the printing press,… Continue reading The Populist Reformation

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2013

Slovenia’s Gradualist Transition

When it came to the transition from Communism to capitalism, Poland led the way with its rapid, “shock therapy” approach. This “overnight” strategy was designed to reduce inflation, stabilize the economy, and eliminate opportunities for insiders to make money by taking advantage of large differences between state-subsidized and free-market prices. On the other end of… Continue reading Slovenia’s Gradualist Transition

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State v. Market

The last century has witnessed an enormous tug-of-war between the state and the market. One hundred years ago, coming out of World War I, three successive Republican administrations in the United States embraced the laissez-faire principle of limited government involvement in the market, a view that found considerable resonance among classical liberal economists and politicians… Continue reading State v. Market

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A Tale of Two Reforms

Slovenia and Bulgaria are, respectively, the best-case scenario and the cautionary example of “transition” states. Both have struggled to transform communist-era economic and political structures. Both are now members of the European Union and NATO. But their economic and political realities place them practically on different planets. Slovenia has a per capita GDP of $29,000… Continue reading A Tale of Two Reforms

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