Economic Fallacies

No Bernie, We Should Not be More Like Scandinavia

Senator Bernie Sanders continues to show his fervent desire for a socialist United States. In a recent interview, Sanders touted that the United States should be more like the Scandinavian countries. This, of course, begs the obvious question: should the United States be more like Scandinavia? The US has been a world super power for decades with no thanks to socialism. (more…)

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Why did McDonald’s Increase Their Wages?

When employers doll out wage increases, the announcement is usually met with appreciation and enthusiasm. For McDonald’s, however, their recent wage increases and new benefits were met with criticism and demands for more.

McDonald’s will be raising wages by about $1 for 90,000 employees at 1,500 of their corporate-run restaurants, which is a small number of their locations. Also, many employees will begin to accrue earned vacation time and also be eligible for educational assistance. (more…)

In Defense of Greed

I often see people attribute many of society’s ills as the result of “greed”. They use the word ambiguously as though it is an absolute immorality. However, there is little regard to the thought that greed may not be such an abhorrent desire. It is as though only the wealthy can be greedy and that only their greed is a problem. (more…)

Automation, Outsourcing, and Bad Economic Propaganda

While on the internet one day, I noticed some media outlets have numerous bold headlines about any one pending economic horror. Many of these claims are based on bad economics and poor analysis of statistics. In a sort of economic propaganda, politicians use this as a means to justify power grabs. They’ll want to enact some form of trade barrier or labor regulation, which can sound good on the surface. In reality, offshoring and automation have increased living standards and alleviated poverty not just at home, but around the world.

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Government Spending and Economic Growth

Whenever I debate with people on the role government, I often hear “the government should do X” almost as though the state is an omnipotent solution to everything and can do so at no cost. I hear this mostly from the left. They essentially believe that government spending more efficiently allocates resources than a competitive market. Furthermore, they view government spending as necessarily expansionist and a correctional tool for market failures.

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Student Loans and Rising Tuition

In the past, I have analyzed many problems that have manifested from failed government attempts to engineer social justice. Today, we see that same social justice in the form of “education for all”, student loans, and rising cost of tuition. Double-speak pundits will attribute this increase in tuition to the “rising cost of education”. While this is true on paper, there are complex economic factors at play. The mainstream remedies are nothing but the ills of government masquerading as its own cure.

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Protecting the Environment with Private Property and Freedom

You don’t have to look far to find a political pundit critical of “unregulated capitalism being unsustainable and destructive to the environment”. While this claim appears rational, it presents a straw man argument by assuming unregulated capitalism has existed in the U.S. and that it causes environmental damage. Of course, this is usually followed up by hysterically demanding the government enact strict environmental “protection” laws. The government loves to throw that word “protection” around because it makes the masses feel warm and fuzzy. However, to the skeptic, it sounds like a flimsy excuse to make power grabs. In my opinion, the best way to protect the environment is through strong property rights and economic freedom. I want to clarify that the U.S. has never had free market capitalism, nor are individual property rights respected in the manner they should be.

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Immigration

I could blame the president for our border crisis, but it’s not entirely his fault. I agree that open borders is a much more sensible policy, and that those here “illegally” need to brought out of the shadows. However, I do not agree with the president’s unilateral, executive order to arbitrarily give 5 million people amnesty. There are others, some arguably more productive, who have gone through the legal process who did not receive amnesty. In fact, many Europeans entrepreneurs wish to immigrate here because of the more friendly business environment, but no one granted them amnesty. The president’s executive order is clearly a political game.

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Without government, who will build the roads?

I frequently hear the misguided belief that only government can build roads. In fact, I would say most people generally believe that building roads is a traditional function of government (it’s not). This is often an attempted and misguided criticism of libertarianism. The belief that only government can build roads draws a fallacious conclusion. I do not believe our only means to build roads is through extorting people for money (taxes). Roads are mostly paid for by taxes on gas consumption at the pump, which are currently about 3x more than the corporate profit per gallon. More government spending does not equate to better roads, nor is it a sustainable solution. The same people who complain about our crumbling infrastructure refuse to entertain privatization of major roadways and infrastructure, and their only solution is to spend more tax money. If you ever hear “more government spending” as a solution to anything, chances are the person saying that is either oblivious, a politician, or a paid-for-parrot like Paul Krugman.

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