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Petit Tyrants

Economic Lessons from Scandinavia

In my younger years, I oftentimes would have arguments with statists who wanted me to believe that countries in Northern Europe like Sweden “proved” that generous welfare states were compatible with economic prosperity. That doesn’t happen as often today because the Nordic nations in recent decades have not enjoyed rapid growth. Moreover, some of the […]

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Linear Thinking and the Rahn Curve: Responding to a Critic

There’s an old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. That may be true if you’re in Hollywood and visibility is a key to long-run earnings. But in the world of public policy, you don’t want to be a punching bag. And that describes my role in a book excerpt just published by […]

Continue reading Linear Thinking and the Rahn Curve: Responding to a Critic

Linear Thinking and the Rahn Curve: Responding to a Critic

There’s an old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. That may be true if you’re in Hollywood and visibility is a key to long-run earnings. But in the world of public policy, you don’t want to be a punching bag. And that describes my role in a book excerpt just published by […]

Continue reading Linear Thinking and the Rahn Curve: Responding to a Critic

Four Great Moments in Foreign Government Stupidity…and some Embarrassing Political Correctness in America

While I mostly focus on bad government policy in the United States, I also think we can learn lessons from what’s happening in other nations. In some cases, I share positive stories, such as the success of privatized Social Security in Australia, nationwide school choice in Sweden, and genuine spending cuts in the Baltic nations. […]

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Sweden, Spending Restraint, and the Benefits of Obeying Fiscal Policy’s Golden Rule

When I first started working on fiscal policy in the 1980s, I never thought I would consider Sweden any sort of role model. It was the quintessential cradle-to-grave welfare state, much loved on the left as an example for America to follow. But Sweden suffered a severe economic shock in the early 1990s and policy … … Continue reading

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Another Example of Editorial-Page Fiction at the New York Times

Are there any fact checkers at the New York Times? Since they’ve allowed some glaring mistakes by Paul Krugman (see here and here), I guess the answer is no. But some mistakes are worse than others. Consider a recent column by David Stuckler of Oxford and Sanjay Basu of Stanford. Entitled “How Austerity Kills,” it […]

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