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Topic: Richard W. Rahn

Rahn: Escaping from New York

When it comes to taxes and government services, people’s feet tell more than their mouths.

Rahn: Government debt is the true crisis

Greece provides us with a good example of what happens when government spending grows faster than income, and debt reaches an unsustainable level.

Rahn: Mueller’s excessive, theatrical and costly raid

Civil libertarians and others were correctly outraged about the heavy-handed tactics.

Rahn: Correcting the mistake of 1765

The current troubles in the U.K. can be traced back to a fateful decision of King George III and the British Parliament in 1765 with the imposition of the Stamp Act on the American colonies. The Stamp Act placed a direct tax on printed materials, including legal documents, magazines, playing cards, newspapers and many other types of paper.

Rahn: When socialism is romanticized

Restrictions on who was allowed to vote, based on property ownership or literacy, were over time viewed as unfair and eventually abolished, leading to the current crop of elected officials – no more needs to be said.

Rahn: The return of the tax bullies

Over time, tax abuse by governments is corrected either by violent revolts (e.g. the American Revolution) or by passive resistance (tax avoidance or evasion).

Rahn: Genocide, slavery and immigration

The open borders movement is not just a child of the American left but also has many adherents among libertarians.

Rahn: The uncertainty tax

Business students are taught, when making an investment decision, that what is important is the expected after-tax rate of return after adjusting for risk and uncertainty.

Rahn: Bureaucracy run rampant

The British noticed that being part of the EU was making them relatively poorer with a great loss in national and individual freedom – so they revolted by voting to leave.

Rahn: The battle against death and taxes

Average life expectancy is a good proxy for how effective a healthcare system is.

Rahn: The democracy myth

Many Swiss are sufficiently alarmed about the loss of their sovereignty that they recently voted on a referendum that would have required Swiss law to take precedence over international law and treaties.

Rahn: Measuring public officials’ performance

The question is, why do so few of them actually undertake the obvious reforms necessary? Even if some leaders care little about their own citizens, one would expect their own egos to drive them to make major constructive changes.

Rahn: The limits of our economic knowledge

Rather than a small yearly amount of inflation – given the change in what people now buy in goods and services and the benefits that they obtain, it can be argued we have actually had a massive amount of deflation – meaning a much larger increase in living standards than has been reported.

Rahn: Tech offers hope for Central America

Richard W. Rahn As I write this, there is a caravan of several thousand people coming north, primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, with...

Rahn: Who makes and enforces the rules?

A major reason for the Brexit vote in the U.K. was that after a thousand years of being in charge of their own destiny, Englishmen were finding, among other things, the shape and size of the cucumbers they were being allowed to sell was being dictated by unelected EU bureaucrats in Brussels.

Rahn: Bad news sells, but optimism wins

There is a rational explanation as to why the owners of major media often act in ways seemingly contradictory to their public advocacy.

Rahn: The rush to cryptocurrencies

Many governments, such as Chinese, Russian, Swiss and others, as well as millions of private individuals and companies want to free themselves from the U.S. financial yoke. Hence, the search for a functional cryptocurrency.

Rahn: A tale of two pairs of states

People voting with their feet is the strongest indication of whether they approve or disapprove of the policies of any state or country.

Rahn: When bureaucratic bullies are in charge

The problem is many of the EU countries have excessively high and prosperity-destroying tax-systems, and hate the competition from countries that provide high levels of government service with far lower tax rates and more efficient systems.

Rahn: Prosperity and the rule of law

I would bet, unless China institutes a true rule of law, that economic growth will slow and eventually cease – without the country ever becoming rich on a per capita income basis.

Rahn: Eat endangered species

Under the current system, a landowner finding an endangered species on his or her property has a strong incentive to kill it before the government becomes aware that it is on the landowner’s property, which they then might lock up.

Rahn: The ‘new normal’ that wasn’t

The “new normal” is 2 percent economic growth, as we were endlessly told by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporters in 2016.

Rahn: Why some problems seem never to be solved

Public choice economists recognize that most people have some concern for others, but their main motive – whether they are voters, politicians, lobbyists or bureaucrats – is self-interest.

Rahn: Whose law do you follow?

Increasing numbers of people find themselves in legal never-never land, where they cannot follow the law of their home country without violating the law of another country for which they can be prosecuted.

Rahn: The unthinking and the unobservant

Can you think of one socialist experiment that worked in the last several hundred years?

Rahn: Taking aim at the real polluters

Two of the world’s biggest polluters are China and Russia. You would think that U.S. environmental groups would be major critics of these countries; yet, the reality is some take money from entities controlled by these governments and disseminate their propaganda.

Rahn: Watergate redux

The current election scandal is motivated by many of the same impulses that drove the Watergate lawbreakers.

Rahn: A skilled hand with the US-Swiss mix

The Swiss have developed a very effective constitutional mechanism to restrain the ever-growing pressures (that all countries face) to increase the size of government that others should adopt.

Rahn: Toward a better cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, can serve as a unit of account and a medium of exchange, but not as a store of value – as long as there is nothing more than an algorithm to anchor them.

Rahn: Allocating global capital

Ironically, international institutions which have been established to promote more productive investment in poorer nations are having in many cases the opposite effect.

Rahn: Abolishing campaign contribution limits

Any determined person can legally get around the campaign finance restrictions with the aid of a smart lawyer.

Rahn: Protecting capital gains from inflation

A capital gains tax, in effect, raises the risk and price of the investment, resulting in lower investment and slower growth and job creation.

Rahn: Almost everything is better than you think

In 1914, just over a century ago, the average worker had to work about three hours to buy a bushel of wheat. Today it takes five minutes for the average American worker to buy that same bushel of wheat.

Rahn: Who is corrupt?

H.L. Mencken wrote, “every election is sort of an advance auction on stolen goods.”

Rahn: More meanness from government

Given how few people are actually convicted of money-laundering, the overwhelming evidence is that 99 percent of the people being forced to submit to these costly and time-consuming proposed regulations will not be guilty of money-laundering, terrorism or whatever, and thus should not be harassed by government.

Rahn: With his tariff proposals, Trump misses the trade basics

Why does Virginia import oranges from Florida rather than grow its own? Why does the U.S. import almost all of its coffee and cocoa beans from countries in tropical climates rather than grow its own? Why does the U.S. import most of its primary aluminum rather than produce its own?

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