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Donald J. Boudreaux can be reached via e-mail

Unsustainable platitudes

By Donald J. Boudreaux
Platitudes are a poor basis for policy. The reason is that, no matter how melodious they sound, platitudes are practically meaningless. People who utter platitudes often seem to be saying something meaningful when in fact they’re merely stating the obvious. …

An outdated notion about ‘the rich’

By Donald J. Boudreaux
The human mind is impressive relative to the minds of other earthly creatures. Still, the capacity of our minds is more limited than we often realize. Even Socrates could not question everything. The puny size of our mental capacities relative …

A taxing mistake

By Donald J. Boudreaux
Suppose a charismatic new sports pundit shows up with blockbuster findings about a decades-long pattern of wins and losses of all National Football League teams. This pundit complains that fans ignore the big picture — a picture that, according to …

More Piketty problems

By Donald J. Boudreaux
As suggested in my column “Naive & ignoring basic economics”, Thomas Piketty’s blockbuster economics book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” features little economics. Piketty clearly believes that economic inequalities are rising to unacceptable levels. Also clear is his confidence that …

Naive & ignoring basic economics

By Donald J. Boudreaux
Thomas Piketty’s 2014 volume, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” will likely become the most influential economics book since John Maynard Keynes’ 1936 “General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.” That’s quite an accomplishment for professor Piketty. But also like Keynes, …

Pikettymania

By Donald J. Boudreaux
The American left is in the grips of Pikettymania, a mass exhilaration sparked by the pounding “progressive” beat of a new book by French economist Thomas Piketty. Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” satisfies progressives’ affection for hackneyed oldies — …

Politicians live for today

By Donald J. Boudreaux
Suppose a physician tells you that you likely have only one month to live. He further tells you that the only way to get an extra month or two of life is to consume as much as possible this month. …

Government didn’t build that

By Donald J. Boudreaux
A student recently asked what I thought of President Obama telling rich people “you didn’t build that.” I don’t think much of it. It’s true that Mr. Obama was talking not about private businesses and factories but about the infrastructure, …

The morality of the minimum wage

By Donald J. Boudreaux
Suppose that I invent and use a machine to steal $15,000 every year from each of 500,000 poor Americans, with the $7.5 billion being transferred into my Swiss bank account. After skimming off a few hundred million bucks to cover …

Occupational licensing: Reality differs from rhetoric

By Donald J. Boudreaux
Occupational licensing is the legal prohibition on anyone without a government-issued license practicing a trade. Such regulation is believed to be necessary to prevent consumers from being harmed by shady or incompetent service providers. As with most government actions, the …

Occupational hazard

By Donald J. Boudreaux
Back in the 1980s, a friend who worked at the Federal Trade Commission reported that she spent a full day listening to representatives of interior designers from Texas tell the FTC that no one without a government-issued license should be …

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