Author: Grant Phillips

Born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, I currently live in the Philadelphia area and work for a high tech contract manufacturer. My favorite school of economics is Chicago. I am huge fan of Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell, so you could call me classically liberal or libertarian. Although economics is my favorite topic, I also enjoy studying race related issues.

The War on Poverty Accomplished Nothing

In his 1964 State of the Union, President Lyndon Johnson declared the “War on Poverty” and launched numerous government initiatives to combat the supposed rampant poverty in the United States. Of course, at the time, poverty rates were well on the decline. As with any government program, however, we must evaluate it based on results rather than intent. (more…)

Firm Exit Now Exceeds Firm Entry. That’s a Problem.

For the first time in US history, the rate of firm exit exceeds the rate of firm entry. The new trend represents a shift in our economic structure towards entrenched industries instead of “creative destruction” – or the process by which more productive firms drive out less productive ones through competition. Our economy becomes less competitive when entrepreneurial growth slows. (more…)

Aussie-Style Gun Control Will Create a US Insurgency

In his recent address to the nation, President Obama called for stricter gun control to combat “domestic terrorism”. Like many liberals, Obama has shown support for Australian-style mandatory gun buy backs. Regardless of whether or not it would survive the political process, I think it’s worth mentioning what exactly they are advocating and how exactly millions of gun owners, including myself, would react. Perhaps a liberal will read this and realize the potential consequences of their conquest. (more…)

What explains the racial unemployment gap?

Since the 1930s, the racial unemployment gap has widened dramatically. Economics and history, rather than verbose rhetoric, explain the influences that caused a sustained gap in the unemployment rates. The attached graph shows that blacks had about the same unemployment rate during the early 1900s; even less than whites at one point. There are many reasons why and each have their own merit. The most important reason, however, is the minimum wage. (more…)

Government does not “Approve” Capitalism

Detractors of capitalism often blame the market for government. I mean, it couldn’t be any more obvious here. The government (FDA) “approved” a product (cigarettes), which is now sold in a highly regulated market. It must be capitalism’s fault. You know, how leftists claim that “deregulation” has been a problem, and then go blame capitalism for regulations.

It really doesn’t make any sense how they’ve reached this conclusion. Somehow, deregulation equals regulation. More FDA should fix that. (more…)

Gun Control Advocates Do Not Understand Gun Violence

Earlier this week, a nine year old Chicago boy was lured into an alleyway and brutally shot to death. Tyshawn Lee was executed because of his father’s gang ties as part of an ongoing bloody turf war. Father Pierre Stokes – a convicted felon on parole – refuses to cooperate with police and claims he has dissolved gang ties; despite a recent arrest over a .45 caliber handgun that had no serial number.

One would think that Tyshawn’s execution would be the catalyst for another nationwide debate about gun laws. After all, bloodthirsty criminals walk the streets and execute children – the very people gun control advocates claim to protect. In this day and age, however, the focus has shifted from reality to narrative. (more…)

Always Think Past Stage One: Everything has Costs!

Today’s lesson in economics: Everything has costs and costs affect prices!

Noble intentions always begin somewhere in the political sphere. At face value, they sound great. Who wouldn’t support feeding the homeless? Every noble endeavor, however, does not come cost-free and we must consider those costs to fully understand the issue. (more…)

Taxes are too Damn High

Neo-liberal rhetoric often laments the financial woes of average Americans. Whether it be savings, retirement, or income, they strongly believe that free market capitalism created various problems and that government largesse can fix it.

I usually view the issue from a strict economics perspective, but then I considered how my own financial situation might relate to other people. After digging up two-year old pay stubs, one thing stuck out: federal taxes. I am by no means a high income earner – especially two years ago. Despite that, however, I was losing thousands of dollars to the federal government. (more…)

Does “Trophy Hunting” Reduce Wildlife Populations?

The hunting death of a lion sparked me to do some research on the economics of trophy hunting. You can still morally oppose trophy hunting (that’s your opinion), but there are objective economics of it. If the ultimate goal of conservation is to increase wildlife populations, then the trends of populations before and after trophy hunting are worth considering. My findings coincide with the economics of any valuable resource: for-profit privatization affects supply via a market price. (more…)

Here’s Why US Manufacturing is NOT Dying

You often hear people talk about how the United States does not produce anything because manufacturing was taken over by China. Although some manufacturing has left the United States, it has been replaced with more specialized manufacturing and new industries. Furthermore, there are foreign companies with manufacturing operations in the United States because of the access to a larger pool of highly qualified employees. (more…)