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  • Author: Mark A. Zupan
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Free markets have many virtues. Arguably, the most recognized is the expansion of individual choice—and thus freedom—through mutually beneficial exchange (see Bauer's definition of economic development in Dorn 2002: 356). This proposition is at the heart of the enduring impact of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations ([1776] 1937) which aptly spells out the benefits of the Invisible Hand for citizens and societies.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Matthew Carr
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Over the course of the last 35 years, traditional public school student achievement in the United States has been stagnant, despite myriad reform efforts and a doubling in total expenditures on K–12 education (Ravitch 2000, Hanushek 1986, Greene 2005). The ramifications of this academic achievement plateau on human capital development and thus the country's global economic standing are of paramount importance (Heckman and Masterov 2007). Thus, one of the most important public policy questions that government and society faces is how to improve the academic performance and quality of the nation's public education system.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jerry L. Jordan
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This article addresses some of the recent proposals for the conduct of monetary policies in the post-bubble environment. Advocacy of higher inflation targets is analyzed, and the challenge of maintaining monetary discipline in the face of massive fiscal deficits and mounting government debts is presented. Proposals for reforms of monetary arrangements must be based on consensus regarding the objectives of such reforms. The article concludes with some suggestions for near- and intermediate-term changes to present arrangements, as well as ideas for longer-term reforms.
  • Topic: Government, Reform
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Richard L. Gordon
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Pennington undertakes a needed effort to provide a systematic, analytic critique of recent efforts to discredit what he terms “classical liberal economics.” His is effectively the standard but hard-to-sell proposition that prescient impartial counselors—Plato's philosopher kings—have failed to emerge from the development of modern knowledge. In particular, Pennington makes good use of Hayek's radical contrast between the competitive testing of concepts in a spontaneous market order and the construction of solutions by government monopolies. As Pennington's conclusions nicely summarize, skepticism of limited government is high and fostered by those who are seeking rents from intervention. Thus, ideas that committed libertarians see as obviously absurd need systematic debunking for a broader audience. Pennington, therefore, pretends that he is treating serious arguments and confronts them respectfully.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Armand Thieblot
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Under the Obama administration, the influence and involvement of trade unions in government policy decisions has surged to unprecedented levels. Some of the more egregious examples include the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, which abolishes the secret ballot among workers deciding on union representation and imposes forced interest arbitration of contract disputes; the selective protection of union healthcare benefits from proposed “reform” legislation; the awarding of assets seized from major automotive companies to the United Automobile Workers; and the involvement of union personnel, especially members of the Service Employees International Union, in electioneering efforts and counter-demonstrations on behalf of the Democratic party. That all of this has occurred within less than a year is especially troublesome. What makes it more so is the well-established pattern, on the part of unions, to disregard and disrespect the rule of law.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Richard W. Rahn
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past several decades, I have been a professional economist, government advisor, financial regulator, and have also engaged in international business. After this variety of experience, I am now more than ever convinced that Hayek was absolutely correct in how the government monopoly of the issuance of money leads to a never-ending cycle of economic crises. A decade ago, I was hopeful that the ability of private parties to create their own digital currency might be our salvation, and that led me to write a book, The End of Money and the Struggle for Financial Privacy (Rahn 1999). At the time, Milton Friedman told me that I was much too optimistic about how long it would take. Friedman was right, as usual, and we still seem decades away from this ideal.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Radhames Lizardo, André V. Mollick
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This article examines the effect of government consumption on economic growth in 23 Latin American countries over the years 1974–2003. Employing the Armey Curve, we show that the typical Latin American government is spending beyond the optimal point. Using panel data and a fixed effects (FE) model, we find that increases in government consumption lead to unambiguous decreases in economic growth.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Peter Z. Grossman
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Over the last 35 years, the U.S. government has embarked on several major projects to spur the commercial development of energy technologies intended to substitute for conventional energy resources, especially fossil fuels. Those efforts began with the 1973 energy crisis when President Nixon became the first U.S. leader to announce a plan for energy autarky. Presidents Ford and Carter followed Nixon's “Project Independence” with similar pledges. But beginning with Ford's 1975 energy act, plans for energy independence were tied directly to the development of new, alternative energy technologies. Under President Carter in particular, the federal government embarked on highly publicized, heavily funded efforts at developing new technologies with specific timetables for commercial entry and, in a few cases, a timetable for mass market substitution. Current mandates for ethanol and other biofuels fit this latter objective.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peter Z. Grossman
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Over the last 35 years, the U.S. government has embarked on several major projects to spur the commercial development of energy technologies intended to substitute for conventional energy resources, especially fossil fuels. Those efforts began with the 1973 energy crisis when President Nixon became the first U.S. leader to announce a plan for energy autarky. Presidents Ford and Carter followed Nixon's “Project Independence” with similar pledges. But beginning with Ford's 1975 energy act, plans for energy independence were tied directly to the development of new, alternative energy technologies. Under President Carter in particular, the federal government embarked on highly publicized, heavily funded efforts at developing new technologies with specific timetables for commercial entry and, in a few cases, a timetable for mass market substitution. Current mandates for ethanol and other biofuels fit this latter objective.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jason Kuznicki
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It is daunting to review a book claiming that everything you believe is wrong. Fortunately, William Hudson's The Libertarian Illusion also attacks many things that neither I nor very many other libertarians believe. This gives courage for the rest.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: California