Entrepreneurship Programs Can Help Ex-offenders Stay out of Prison

This piece first appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. Struggling to re-enter society with nothing but lost time and the additional burden of a criminal record, ex-offenders have a 76.6% chance of being rearrested within five years. This is dramatic evidence of the failure of the so-called “punishment” or “retributive” approach to criminal justice, which promises…

BetterWorldBooks Promotes Literacy Through Enterprise

etterWordBooks is an example of a growing trend within the US and across the globe to define their businesses in terms of improving the welfare and prospects for marginalized people and communities. Using a sustainable business model where profits also serve their social mission, children, families, and the planet benefit.

3 ways China benefits from the Hong Kong protests

This piece first appeared on The Conversation. The summer of 2019 has seen week after week of protest in Hong Kong. The protests began June 9 when as many as a million people marched against a bill that could allow suspects to be extradited to China. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, who was appointed by Chinese Premier…

Inequality: Capitalism’s Biggest Challenge

This piece first appeared on the Independent Institute blog. One of the most frequent shortcomings of capitalism cited by capitalism’s critics is inequality. People at the top of the economic ladder have so much more than those at the bottom. Inequality is capitalism’s biggest challenge because there is so much popular support for public policies…

Comparative Economic Systems

In the 1990s, teaching Comparative Economic Systems seemed pointless because it was so obvious that central economic planning was not a viable alternative to capitalism. Now, with socialism’s rising popularity among college students and others, it may be time to bring that course back.

Common Sense Economics

This post highlights some of the issues discussed during Policy Pub, an event hosted by the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. Listen to the Pub here. The third edition of Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Prosperity (St. Martin’s Press, 2016) is widely available in print and electronic versions. …

Rethinking Economic Development Policy: The Emergence of Challenges in the Modern Era

What lies ahead for the design of policies intended to promote economic development, particularly among low-income countries? The traditional goal of encouraging the development of appropriate public fundamentals, to include modern infrastructure, enlightened institutions, and human capital formation are as essential as ever. However, they cannot, of themselves, be counted on to gain the needed foreign direct investment in physical capital that is critical for industrialization to take place.

Lessons from the Lab: Police Corruption and Law Enforcement

The results of our study are rather intriguing. First, we saw that the presence of police, even when it is corrupt, was much better than anarchy. Second, corrupt police managed to enforce the law no worse than honest police, although, of course,citizens incurred significant costs due to wide-spread bribery.

Social Science Chart of the Day: Value of U.S. Top Imports from China

Last week, President Trump noted would be willing to tax additional products from China. He decision, it seems, depends in part on what happens at the G20 meeting this weekend. Statista put together a chart listing some of the products that might be on Trump’s target list. 

New Book: Political Capitalism By Dr. Randall Holcombe

Frequent demands that the government should do something (about so many things!) are too often based on wishful thinking—the thought that if government is given the power to act, it will do what the critics want. But giving the government power to do something too often means giving the elite more power to use the system for their benefit. I don’t claim that my book has all the answers; but problems cannot be effectively addressed without understanding their causes. My book explains why cronyism and favoritism toward special interests has become increasingly common.