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Congestion tax in Manhattan: Readers speak!

Last month, I wrote a post that asked whether Manhattan should tax ride-shares, tax all vehicles, do something else, or do nothing at all. And you had some ideas about that. Below, I have tried to combine your answers (I got nearly 30) into a manageable set of categories. Responses were about evenly split among Do Nothing, Impose General Congestion Tax, and Impose Taxes on Ride-Shares. To save space, and avoid repetition, I chose some of the most representative of each group, edited them very lightly, and combined them to make what I print below as an illustration of a general view. That means


The organic industry is a case study in rent-seeking.

Adam Smith, the 18th century economist and philosopher, offered good insights into human nature as well as economics.  “People of the same trade seldom


Free trade lets us turn corn into cars.

People often see international trade and immigration as a way that foreigners take advantage of us, but economists, whether they're liberal or conservative,

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Of Confederate monuments and tinfoil Christmas trees

The current controversy over the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces is producing a great deal of rancor and strife.


What most Americans have never heard about extreme poverty

Why did poverty decrease so much over the past 200 years, and especially over the past 30 years? Let’s look at one key example; then we’ll zoom out to the broader research.

Civil Liberties

Reddit AMA with Professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University

Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and the study of popular political participation.


How the government makes natural disasters so much worse

Many of the most expensive flood and storm disasters in US history have occurred in recent decades. The glib response is to blame the severity of these catastrophes on climate change, but are we looking in the wrong direction?


Will voters punish Republicans for not changing health care?

President Donald Trump claimed Senators who voted against Obamacare’s replacement, the AHCA, had “let down Americans.”


Most benefits of eating local are wildly exaggerated, and this is why

The locavore movement, like many parts of environmentalism, has an unfortunate tendency to dress itself in the clothing of science before lapsing into mysticism.


How this screwy IRS policy kickstarted the American health care crisis

As a believer in small government, I usually favor anything that reduces taxes. But this tax break has wreaked havoc on American health care.


Will capitalism kill its own culture?

To gain a proper appreciation of the free market and its benefits, we need to also become aware of its weaknesses. I have written previously at Learn Liberty about how 20th-century economist Wilhelm Röpke argued that while the free market has the capacity to encourage morality, other institutions—like families and churches — are a more […]


Why some people think Hurricane Harvey is good for the economy (and why they are wrong)

In times of disaster it’s natural to try to find a silver lining — but don’t go looking for it in broken windows. Not only is this line of thinking flawed, but it’s also patronizing to those whose lives have been affected by this tragedy.


Will the Warriors win forever? The NBA's problem with team balance

Over the last several seasons, top-tier players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul appear to be self-selecting themselves onto teams with other top-tier players.


How “price gouging” could help Houston right now

The invisible hand of the market reaches out to help people in a disaster, but anti-gouging laws cut it off at the wrist.


Why a Canadian city tore down the staircase its residents had always wanted to build

Toronto city officials recently threatened a man with fines for building an unlicensed staircase in a local park.


Why the state hurts parents and kids — and how to make it stop

A toddler screaming about time-out prompts a neighbor to summon the authorities, but months of relentless bullying are laughed off by neighbors and ignored by the authorities.


Breaking the wheel of Westeros: why heroes aren't enough

As much as we love Daenerys and Jon, they and their real-world counterparts are unlikely to give us a better wheel on their own.


How taxing the rich paradoxically resulted in more inequality for all

Whenever we have raised taxes on the rich, we have seen horrible offenses against inequality and economic growth.


Millennials are in a love triangle with capitalism and socialism

Millennials may talk the socialist talk, but this look at the evidence shows they also walk a rather capitalist walk.