Tag Archives: Economic Intelligence

What are the best arguments against film subsidies?

The Academy Awards are nearly upon us, and that means long-winded acceptance speeches from actors and directors, filled with thanks for all the people who have helped them along the way. Listen closely to those speeches. Because they should really be thanking you.

That’s because each of the nine films up for Best Picture this year received some sort of government-granted privilege at your expense. “Captain Phillips,” for example, got a $300,000 grant from Virginia taxpayers, while the “Wolf of Wall Street” got to skip out on some $30 million in New York taxes.

And so, in the spirit of the Oscars, I now present my own awards for the best arguments against these privileges.

That’s me, writing at US News’s Economic Intelligence blog. Click here to read on.

Can Democrats and Republicans Agree on Anything? Yes! (At least in principle)

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could look back one year from now and say that 2014 was the year in which Democrats and Republicans discovered substantial areas of ideological common ground? We’d laud them for putting aside their partisan prejudices, for simultaneously advancing economic freedom and social justice and for turning their collective backs on special interests in order to serve the common good.

With the parties so far apart on so many issues, you might think that no such common ground exists. But it does. It lies in the sugar beet fields of Florida and in the dairy farms of Wisconsin. This untrod common ground is U.S. farm policy and it is overripe for reform.

Valley Farm, West WrattingThat is me, writing at the US News Economic Intelligence blog.

I have a short new piece on farm policy called Ending Farm Subsidies: Unplowed Common Ground.

Translating the President and the Republican Response

Economic jargon can be difficult to parse. Political speech—often by design—can be just as impenetrable. So, it stands to reason that when politicians are talking economics, it’s easy to get lost. As a guide to this year’s State of the Union and the Republican response, below are some translations of statements each might make.

That’s me, writing over at US News’s Economic Intelligence blog. The whole thing is here.

When Government Intervention Helps (Some)

In reality, government intervention in the market often helps some private businesses (such as the big insurance companies), but these gains come at the expense of other less well connected businesses. When governments grant privileges to particular firms, they tend to undermine competition, raise prices, lower quality, and hobble innovation.

That is from my latest post at the Economic Intelligence blog over at US News.

Freedom is Key

Compared with much of the world, U.S. citizens have historically enjoyed a large measure of economic freedom. That may explain why the median U.S. household earns more than 93 percent of the entire planet. Unfortunately, over the last decade—as government spending has piled up and as the government has undertaken unprecedented interventions in the private economy, U.S. economic freedom has been in precipitous decline. Reversing that trend would do a great deal to restore the fundamental conditions that are conducive to prosperity.

That is me, writing at the Economic Intelligence blog over at US News and World Report. I plan to contribute there on a semi-regular basis.