Archive for category Markets
David Kocieniewski of the New York Times is guilty of some outrageously bad journalism in the form of a groundless ad hominem attack on the reputation of two professors for the sole purpose of reinforcing the prejudices of his misinformed readers.
Kocieniewski’s article is titled “Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward”, and insinuates that academic research produced by University of Houston Professor Craig Pirrong and University of Illinois Professor Scott Irwin was bought and paid for by financial speculators as “one part of Wall Street’s efforts to fend off regulation.”
(h/t Cafe Hayek)
Jordon Cooper links to your typical defence of mercantilism in the business section and concludes with despair:
I read this and I can’t help but think that the United States is going through a massive societal reordering because of horrible economic decisions made because of globalization…
I am not sure if the payroll tax increase is that big of deal but you get the point that stagnate wages are hurting America’s middle class who are leaving behind middle class stores in favour of deals online and in retailers like Wal-Mart which in turn hurts them even more as more and more of their products are made elsewhere. It’s a vicious cycle that could take decades to run its course.
Cooper works to help the poorest of the poor in this city, and he’s a great resource in highlighting the struggles found on the streets.
Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise, however, that he sees these great economic changes as being a problem rather than a net benefit to society, particularly to the poor.
Yes, the traditional business model is changing, and those who are not able to adjust effectively will lose business. But the consumer is the beneficiary, particularly the poor. With the changing business model comes lower costs, better quality, increased choice, more convenience or some combination of these.
There have been some horrible economic decisions made, but globalization isn’t one of them. It is the increased level of trade from around the world which has insulated our economy from being even more disastrously damaged by narrow, myopic government decision-making than we would have endured otherwise.
The alternative to this is economic stagnation. Does he truly believe that change is inevitably for the worse?
The cliche is worn, but Cooper might as well lament the demise of buggy-whip manufacturers.
Matt Ridley learns you a lesson:
First, throughout history, free-market capitalism has been a great driver of economic growth, and as my colleague Ben Friedman has written, economic growth has been a great driver of a more moral society.
Second, “trickle-down” is not a theory but a pejorative used by those on the left to describe a viewpoint they oppose. It is equivalent to those on the right referring to the “soak-the-rich” theories of the left. It is sad to see the pope using a pejorative, rather than encouraging an open-minded discussion of opposing perspectives.
Third, as far as I know, the pope did not address the tax-exempt status of the church. I would be eager to hear his views on that issue. Maybe he thinks the tax benefits the church receives do some good when they trickle down.
I’d like to add, fourth, that the Church did such a great job that it only took seventeen-hundred years before it significantly improved the quality of life of all Europeans, which just happened to coincide with the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism.
UPDATER: Ludwig von Mises:
Of course, as a rule capitalists and entrepreneurs are not saints excelling in the virtue of self-denial. But neither are their critics saintly. And with all the regard due to the sublime self-effacement of saints, we cannot help stating the fact that the world would be in a rather desolate condition if it were peopled exclusively by men not interested in the pursuit of material well-being.
(h/t Cafe Hayek)