Donald Boudreaux

Donald J. Boudreaux is professor of economics at George Mason University and holds the Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the university’s Mercatus Center, where he is a senior fellow with the F.A Hayek Program.

An Open Letter to Kevin Kearns

 

21 November 2017 Mr. Kevin Kearns U.S. Business & Industry Council Mr. Kearns: Your recently updated essay, “Trump Must Confront Massive Institutional Free-Trade Bias in Order to Balance Trade, Create Jobs” (Huffington Post, Nov. 12) is a very poor performance. First, you repeat several myths as if they are established truths. It is not true, […]

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Baffling Hostility to Free Trade

 

21 November 2017 Mr. Harrison Cline Mr. Cline: Thanks for your e-mail. You support Pres. Trump’s protectionist policies because of your “lifelong allegiance to free markets and limited Government.” Your confidence in free markets leads you to conclude that the U.S. government “should protect us from the interventionist policies of [other] governments … which give them unfair […]

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Irma Watch: How Likely Are Prohibitions on ‘Price Gouging’ to Help the Poor?

 

On this EconLog post by David Henderson, commenter David Cantor wrote: “There is a further consequence to these very high prices. Matching supply and demand through high prices also means that scarce resources are preferentially allocated to the well-off. I find this morally repulsive.” Mr. Cantor’s concern is understandable. And his comment prompted me to […]

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Science: A Short Story

 

Several years ago Uncle Sam declared Jones, a man in his mid-40s, to be uniquely entitled to retire immediately at double his real annual income of $100,000 for life. Jones took Uncle Sam up on this offer. Each and every year until Jones enters oblivion Uncle Sam now transfers to him $200,000. Jones is made […]

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Foreign Subsidies Do Not Justify Protectionist Policies

 

Here’s a letter to a relatively new Cafe Hayek patron: Mr. Javier Durand Mr. Durand: You ask why I oppose “trade protection for US firms who compete with subsidized foreign firms.” Good question.  Here’s a three-part answer. First, subsidized foreign firms that sell outputs in the U.S. make Americans richer, not poorer. Such subsidies amount […]

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If You Have No Good Intellectual Arguments, Accuse Your Opponents of Being Shills

 

The stupidest, lamest, and couldn’t-be-more-mistaken charge often leveled at those who find great merits in free markets (such as me and my colleagues at GMU Economics and the Mercatus Center, and my dear friends at institutions such as the Cato Institute and the Hoover Institution) is that we’re “bought off by” or are “paid shills […]

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Water Is Not a Public Good

 

Last night in my seminar on Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations my students and I covered Smith’s chapters on public goods. During the course of the discussion one of my superb students, Chris Kuiper, mentioned in passing that Paul Krugman, in a recent New York Times column, mistakenly described safe drinking water as a public good. Here’s that column. Mr. […]

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Gains: Or What’s in a Book Title?

 

Saturday’s mail brought a copy of Peter Lindert’s and Jeffrey Williamson’s new book, Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality since 1700. I’ve not yet read as much as the first page, but I’m already eager to read the whole book. But … but … I here register a cavil. The main title irritates me. If […]

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Rerun: A 2011 Open Letter to Donald Trump

 

Here’s an open letter that I wrote (and posted here at Cafe Hayek) to Donald Trump in February 2011. The questions I ask in this letter remain relevant and as yet unanswered: Open Letter to Donald Trump 11 February 2011 Mr. Donald TrumpNew York, NY Dear Mr. Trump: Congratulations on your successful talk at the […]

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Young Lauren Chilton Visits Cuba

 

Economist Steve Pejovich’s granddaughter Lauren Chilton — a second-year economics major at the University of Texas — recently visited Cuba with her parents. Here’s a letter that Ms. Chilton wrote to her family members about the experience. I share her letter here, in full, with permission. (I put in bold my favorite paragraph.) Family, My […]

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