Happy Free-Market Thanksgiving

International Liberty

The biggest Thanksgiving tradition in America is a turkey dinner.

Some people also have a secondary tradition of watching football. But libertarians can be a bit quirky, so my secondary tradition has been to periodically share (in 2010, in 2013, and in 2016) a video from Reason about how property rights saved the Pilgrims.

But I don’t like being overly repetitive, so I’m thankful that Reason has a new Thanksgiving video. Narrated by John Stossel, it tells the story of the first Thanksgiving, augmented by a modern example of why communal property creates bad incentives.

And here’s another video with a Thanksgiving theme.

It’s from Prager University and it uses the colonial experience to teach about the failures of mercantilism and collectivism.

It’s no exaggeration to say that capitalism was a life-saver for the Pilgrims.

And it’s a money-saver for us in the modern era, as…

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“The Food Pyramid? It’s just wrong.”

Eathropology

“A diet based on food that turns to sugar once it’s in your body was never going to end well.” The last 35 years of dietary advice summed up in one tweet-worthy sentence, and the whole embarrassing public health nutrition fiasco explained in less than 3 minutes.

Hooboy, do I have a treat for you.

Despite the recent nobody-is-listening-so-we’d-better-yell-louder American Heart Association report that encourages everyone to chug soybean oil like it’s cheap beer, butter is baaaaack–and starring in its own video.

My friend, Jenni Calihan at EatTheButter is the mastermind behind this, but I’ll humbly take credit for some “editorial input” here.

Watch first, then we’ll talk:

First of all:  I’m still snickering over the “not based on rigorous science” frame:

Next:  Maybe you’re a newbie to the world of non-mainstream, it’s-actually-okay-to-eat-animal-fat nutrition, or maybe you are just nutrition-skeptic curious, or maybe you’ve been around all of the various…

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Skyrocketing health care costs: Thanks President Nixon!

The Critical Aye

Is the health insurance business a racket? Yes, literally. And this is why the shameless pandering to robber baron corporations posing as “health providers” is such an egregious … and obvious … tactic to do nothing more than plump up insurance company profits.

And do you know who’s to blame?   Believe it or not, the downfall of the American health insurance system falls squarely on the shoulders of former President Richard M. Nixon.

In 1973, Nixon did a personal favor for his friend and campaign financier, Edgar Kaiser, then president and chairman of Kaiser-Permanente.  Nixon signed into law, the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, in which medical insurance agencies, hospitals, clinics and even doctors, could begin functioning as for-profit business entities instead of the service organizations they were intended to be.  And which insurance company got the first taste of federal subsidies to implement HMOA73 … *gasp* … why…

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Tax Competition: So Powerful that even Politicians in Left-Wing States Feel Compelled to Cut Taxes for Rich People

“Death taxes are not only a punitive tax on capital, but they also discourage investors, entrepreneurs, and other high-income people from earning income once they have accumulated a certain level of savings.”

International Liberty

Whenever I debate my left-wing friends on tax policy, they routinely assert that taxes don’t matter.

It’s unclear, though, whether they really believe their own rhetoric.

After all, if taxes don’t affect economic behavior, then why are folks on the left so terrified of tax havens? Why are they so opposed to tax competition?

And why are they so anxious to defend loopholes such as the deduction for state and local…

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HOW I MANAGE MY SLAVES

BITTER REALITIES

An Economic Classic

“If you wish to keep slaves, you must have all kinds of guards. The cheapest way to have guards is to have the slaves pay taxes to finance their own guards. To fool the slaves, you tell them that they are not slaves and that they have Freedom. You tell them they need Law and Order to protect them against bad slaves. Then you tell them to elect a Government. Give them Freedom to vote and they will vote for their own guards and pay their salary. They will then believe they are Free persons. Then give them money to earn, count and spend and they will be too busy to notice the slavery they are in.”

How I Manage My Slaves; Slaves need electricity so that they can stay up later to work and study to be able to pay their electric bills and pay for…

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Minimum Wage Laws, Jobs, and the Sobering Impact of Decentralization

“If you admire hypocrisy, here’s a headline to celebrate Equal Pay Day”

International Liberty

The real world is like a cold shower for our friends on the left. Everywhere they look, there is evidence that jurisdictions with free markets and small government outperform places with big welfare states and lots of intervention.

That’s true when comparing nations. And it’s also true when comparing states. That must be a source of endless frustration an disappointment for statists.

Speaking of disappointed statists, the real world has led to more bad news. The left-wing Mayor of Baltimore campaigned in favor of a $15 minimum wage, but then decided to veto legislation to impose that mandate. The Wall Street Journalopines on this development.

Mayor Catherine Pugh, a Democrat, has rejected a bill that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. She did so even though she had campaigned in favor of raising the minimum wage, which shows that economic reality…

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Examining the ‘Gender Wage Gap’ Among Similar Men and Women.

“Based on over 500,000 salaries shared by US employees, a 2016 study by Glassdoor.com found that, once controlling for other factors like education and occupation, women earned approximately 95 cents for every dollar a man earned.

PayScale.com conducted their own study. They found the unadjusted “wage gap” to be 76% for 2016 (meaning the median woman earned 76 cents for every dollar the median man earned.)

However, once they accounted for job type, education, and other variables, the authors concluded that women made approximately 98 cents for every dollar a man earned.”

Today is Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day dedicated to raising awareness of the “gender pay gap.”

On this day, the statistic that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns is repeated all over the media and throughout government. It is often taken at face value that this statistical disparity alone is entirely the result of discrimination against women.

“Why is it that I make much less than a man for the same amount of work?,” many women have openly inquired on social media and elsewhere.

But the famous 77 cents statistic only looks at the median wage for women relative to the median wage for men. It ignores many other variables, such as occupation, education, experience, etc. It therefor does not tell us anything about whether comparable men and women are being compensated equally. 

Going for a more “apples to apples” comparison, a number of studies have examined…

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