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In the 50-Year War on Poverty, Bureaucrats Have Won while Both Taxpayers and Poor People Have Lost

We know the welfare state is good news for people inside government. Lots of bureaucrats are required, after all, to oversee a plethora of redistribution programs. Walter Williams refers to these paper pushers as poverty pimps, and there’s even a ranking showing which states have the greatest number of these folks who profit by creating […]

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Subsidies and Third-Party Payer = Inefficiency and Higher Prices

People sometimes think I’m strange for being so focused on the economic harm that results from third-party payer. But bear with me and we’ll see why it’s a very important issue. If you’re not already familiar with the term, third-party payer exists when someone other than the consumer is paying for something. And it’s a […]

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Embarrassment Alert: America’s Tax System Ranks Below Italy, Greece, and Mexico

I’ve complained over and over again that America’s tax code is a nightmare that undermines competitiveness and retards growth. Our aggregate fiscal burden may not be as high as it is for many of our foreign competitors, but high tax rates and poor design mean the system is very punitive on a per-dollar-raised basis. For […]

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Birth Control, Third-Party Payer, and the Politicization of Health Care

America’s health care system is a mess, and we can assign almost all the blame on government. Simply stated, we don’t have functioning and efficient markets because Medicaid, Medicare, tax-code distortions, and other forms of regulation and intervention have created a system that is crippled by a third-party payer crisis. There’s no logical reason to […]

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Whether Looking at Policy or Politics, Growth Trumps Fairness

Why is President Obama so fixated on a class-warfare agenda of higher taxes on the rich and government dependency for the poor? Is it because a tax-the-rich agenda is good politics, as determined by clever pollsters who have tapped into the collective mind of American voters (and as demonstrated by this cartoon)? Or is the […]

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The Dependency Ratio and South Africa’s Grim Economic Future

When asked about the most worrisome statistic for a nation, I don’t say it’s the top marginal tax rate, even though I think class-warfare taxation is very poisonous for long-run economic performance. Nor do I say it’s the burden of government spending relative to private economic output, even though the size of the public sector […]

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