Do What You Love, or Have it Easy?

The hardest thing to do is what you love. It's a long and difficult process to discover what you love; what truly makes you come alive.  It includes a series of epiphanies about your own errors of judgement and direction.  It demands brutal self-honesty.  It requires tedious and dangerous trial and…


Obey the Law (of Demand)

The fact that walls and violence are needed to slow the flow of immigrants into this country is proof that more immigrants are economically beneficial. If immigrants did not create wealth, they would have little incentive to come here.  In a market of voluntary exchanges, both parties benefit from…


You Can't Have Free Markets without Free People

I've run a trading game at seminars and in classrooms where, by the end, all the students agree that free trade creates wealth and restrictions reduce it.  I give out trinkets, ask students to rank how much they value them, then allow them to trade for a few rounds, each with a larger segment of…


Separation of School and State

While reading Peter Boettke's wonderful new book "Living Economics," I was reminded by Boettke of an interesting disagreement between Scottish Enlightenment figures Adam Smith and David Hume. Both Smith and Hume used economic thinking to understand a puzzling phenomenon of their day: Countries with…


Interview with a Rabble-Rouser: Leon Drolet

Some of the most fascinating people and ideas are in our immediate circle of acquaintances.  I have enjoyed interviewing some of my friends for the blog, and I've learned interesting things by asking questions I don't typically ask of people I already know. Today's interview is with my good friend…


Capitalism is Beautiful

Part eight in a series of eight on the morality of capitalism. Beauty is not often on lists with virtues like peace, honesty and humility. But true beauty is a virtue—it is awe-inspiring, praise-evoking and brings the kind of joy that humans seek for fulfillment. When I think of life's best…


Capitalism or What?

Part seven in a series of eight on the morality of capitalism. When analyzing any social or economic system, the three most important words are: "Compared to what?" Capitalism has its shortcomings. It has shortcomings because life has shortcomings in our own subjective evaluations. That is, we can…


Capitalism is Not...

Part six in a series of eight on the morality of capitalism. Capitalism gets saddled with a lot of baggage that doesn't properly belong to it. Some of this is the result of ignorance of basic economics, some of it a poor reading of history, but most of it is due to a bad definition of capitalism.…


Capitalism is Responsible

Part five in a series of eight on the morality of capitalism. "All things are subject to the law of cause and effect." The opening sentence in Carl Menger's 1871 "Principles of Economics" seems at first glance little more than a truism, but it is an idea so foundational and so often ignored that…


Capitalism is Humble

Part four in a series of eight on the morality of capitalism. In a previous post I talked about the honesty of capitalism; people are not angels. A capitalist economy recognizes this fact, and our greed doesn’t ruin the system. Closely related to the honesty about people's motives is capitalism's…