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The Chinese Miracle and the Economics of Growth

I’m in Shenyang, China, as part of the faculty for Northeastern University’s International Economics and Management program. My primary role is to talk about the economics of fiscal policy, explaining the impact of both taxes and spending. But regular readers already know my views on those issues, so let’s look instead at the vaunted Chinese […]

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Free Markets and Small Government vs. Redistributionism and State Planning

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly tied to explain why socialism is a terrible system while also explaining that we should be careful not to label people as socialists if it’s more accurate to refer to them as statists, redistributionists, cronyists, or fascists. To help illuminate this issue, here’s a four-quadrant matrix. Free markets are on […]

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More Evidence that Balanced Budget Rules Don’t Work as Well as Spending Caps

If you asked a bunch of Republican politicians for their favorite fiscal policy goals, a balanced budget amendment almost certainly would be high on their list. This is very unfortunate. Not because a balanced budget amendment is bad, per se, but mostly because it is irrelevant. There’s very little evidence that it produces good policy. […]

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The Six Most Important Takeaways from CBO’s New Long-Run Fiscal Forecast

The Congressional Budget Office has just released the 2016 version of its Long-Term Budget Outlook. It’s filled with all sorts of interesting data if you’re a budget wonk (and a bit of sloppy analysis if you’re an economist). If you’re a normal person and don’t want to wade through 118 pages, you’ll be happy to […]

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Sex, Government, and the Laffer Curve

Over the years, I’ve run into oddball stories about what happens when politicians and bureaucrats get involved with matters relating to sex. California bureaucrats are regulating participants in porn films, as humorously described by Mark Steyn. The World Bank is paying poor young women so they don’t take up with sugar daddies. Obamacare is so […]

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The Productive People in France Need a Frexit

The United Kingdom is getting a lot of attention because voters just chose to leave the European Union. I think this was the smart choice. Yes, there will be some short-run economic volatility, but the long-run benefits should make it worthwhile. Sort of like chemotherapy being painful, but still being much better than the alternative […]

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