Andrew B. Wilson

Andrew B. Wilson, a longtime contributor to The American Spectator, is resident fellow and senior writer at the Show-Me Institute, a free-market think tank headquartered in St. Louis.

2018: Scary End to a Mostly Great Year for the U.S. Economy


St. Louis, Missouri Are you a government-failure denier — someone who believes that the government that governs best is one that overflows with good intentions, regardless of the cost or outcome? Are you someone who thinks a lot about “market failures” and never stops to think about government failures? Well, my friend, if you are, […]

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Minimum Wage

Horse Sense (and Nonsense) About the Minimum Wage


Let’s say employers must pay a substantially higher wage for all unskilled labor. Would this requirement lift many people out of poverty? Still more, would it lead to greater general prosperity? Everything does come up roses — if you ignore costs and think only about the benefits. By the same faulty reasoning, however, you could take […]

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Sawing Off the Bottom Rung of the Job Ladder


St. Louis Let us consider one of the basic building blocks of economics: the law of unintended consequences. All too often, human actions — especially government actions — backfire and harm the very people they are supposed to benefit. Price controls are one example. Following a hurricane, people may see sudden increases in the price […]

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A Blanket of Silence


“All I know,” the British socialist Beatrice Webb confided in her diary in 1932 as she and her husband Sidney were writing a laudatory two-volume history of the Soviet Union, “is that I wish Russian communism to succeed.” The playwright George Bernard Shaw — a close friend of the Webbs, a fellow socialist, and a […]

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Right to Work

Right to Work in Peril in the Show-Me State


The most closely watched contest in the Aug. 7 elections in Missouri will not be any of the political races; it will be the resolution of an important policy question. In the referendum known as Proposition A, voters will have the final word on whether Missouri does, or does not, become the nation’s 28th state to […]

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Should We Banish Sunlight to Protect Domestic Jobs?


As president of the most powerful country in the world — and a man with the utmost confidence in his own judgment — would Donald Trump dare to tell the Sun, that fiery ball at the center of our solar system, “You’re fired!” It seems so, if we take him at his recently tweeted word […]

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Arise and Shine, Missouri Lawmakers


What’s wrong with you, Missouri lawmakers? Why so weak and feckless? This is your conscience calling. I speak to all of you who call yourselves conservatives — the champions of limited government and economic freedom. Another year has come and gone and what do you have to show for it? “Too damned little,” I say, […]

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Pearl Harbor: The Shocking Loss That Led to a Great Victory


Franklin D. Roosevelt called it “a date which will live in infamy.” Today, more than three quarters of a century later, there is another reason for remembering Pearl Harbor: It evoked a response that kept much of the civilized world from falling into a new dark age of totalitarian tyranny. On the bright, clear morning […]

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Private Property and Economic Freedom Saved the Pilgrims


Americans readily accept two opposing ideas about the first Thanksgiving — one bright and highly idealized, the other gray and somber, but closer to the truth. Jean Leon Gerome Ferris captured the first idea in a painting completed in 1915, some three centuries after the actual event. In his First Thanksgiving 1621, we see prosperous, […]

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