Car Rentals and Cuban Houses

Have you ever washed a rented car? Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers tells us that, “In the history of the world,” no one has. For rental cars and Cuban houses, lack of ownership is the common denominator. When Fidel Castro…

Government Failure or Market Failure?

The illness? High unemployment and sluggish growth. The patient? The U.S. economy. And sometimes, according to Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, a stimulus pill just won’t work. In a WSJ opinion piece, Dr. Becker first explains that government misdiagnosed the illness.…

Time Matters

Faster people tend to live in wealthier nations. According to psychologist Robert Levine, cultures with faster walkers probably have more people, a cooler climate, a “vital economy” and they value individualism. Measuring “tempo” in 31 different countries, in A Geography…

Chinese Basketball and Adam Smith

It is called the “womb to tomb model.” Selected as young children because of their exceptional height, future Chinese basketball players are educated separately. Whereas traditional Chinese schools have few, if any, extracurricular activities, their sports schools focus on athletics.…

Should We Miss Larry Summers?

As you know, Larry Summers, chair of the National Economic Council, former president of Harvard, former Treasury Secretary, former chief economist at the World Bank, and Harvard professor, is leaving the Obama economic team. But what did he bring? You…

Government Rules

What is a “systemically important” financial institution? 2300 pages of financial regulation do not specifically tell us. Instead,regulatory agencies will have to decide. One study indicated that implementing new Dodd-Frank financial legislation will require details for more than 243 new financial…

Grading North Korea

Just like teachers, the writers of the Index of Economic Freedom give grades. Instead of students, though, countries receive their grades after being “tested” on such economic issues as starting a business, tax policy, and private property. The highest grades are…