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Author Archives: mcoats

In 1973, David Friedman published an interesting book, The Machinery of Freedom, largely a compilation of essays concerning how anarcho-capitalism can work.  One of his essays is on how mass transit can be produced privately and that the infrastructure for it is largely in place.  Recently, two companies have started operating worldwide, Uber and Lyft, […]

In previous posts, I have pointed out the consequences of price controls, especially in Venezuela. Venezuela has had food shortages, diaper shortages, medicine shortages,  and all of these shortages occur because the government there has sought to keep prices below equilibrium values.  Food, and medicine are both needed to keep their people from dying and […]

In a previous post, I suggested that what we call sweatshops are factories where workers are not treated well, but that these sweatshops offer workers a better life than they had, otherwise the workers would not agree to work there.  The pay in these factories, while quite low compared to U.S. and advanced economies’ pay […]

This guest post was written by my long-time friend, college classmate, and co-author, Gary Pecquet, an associate professor of economics at Central Michigan University. Today, June 5th is celebrated as Adam Smith’s birthday.  In just nine years Adam Smith’s 300th will be celebrated. Not many thinkers have had the impact on the world as he over […]

About three weeks ago, this story broke about rationing of appointments and treatment in a Phoenix VA hospital facility, rationing which has supposedly led to at least 40 deaths as these vets awaited treatment.  The rationing is due to two factors: 1) global budgeting of the VA hospital system capping total spending and 2) a lack of […]

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 – 1956). I recently received the following comment from one of my better students in my Econ 211 class on my post last month, “Water Shortages.”  He writes about […]

I just took a look at the Drudge Report and saw these three headlines: 92,594,000: Americans not working hits record Women Not in Labor Force Hits Record High… Unemployment plummets to 6.3%… Notice that the unemployment rate has dropped, but the number of Americans not working has reached a record.  The unemployment rate, you should […]

Watch this CNN Money interview with Warren Buffett.  Buffett, correctly, suggests that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which works as a negative income tax, transferring money from richer taxpayers to pooerer taxpayers, particularly those with children, does a better job of helping the poor than does the minimum wage.  The EITC does not raise […]

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