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The Blessing of Falling Prices

The DVD player crashed last night. The disc wouldn’t load. Clearly, the player had gone the way of all flesh. With great reluctance, it was off to Wal-Mart to replace this appliance for the first time in perhaps 10 years. While I was there, I figured I would get a case for my iPhone. Much …

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The Equality Obsession

The word “equality” is being rammed down our throats every day, with special focus on the so-called “income gap.” The presumption is that we should all denounce the gap, work to eliminate it and embrace perfect equality as an ideal. It’s true that inequality is growing, but the focus on that alone is sheer folly. …

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Spooner the Entrepreneur

Do you know the amazing story of Lysander Spooner? He lived from 1808 to 1887. His first great battle was taking on the post office monopoly. In the 1840s, he was like most people at the time: fed up with the high prices and bad service. But as an intellectual and entrepreneur, he decided to do something about it. He started the American Letter Mail Company, and his letter business gave the government some serious competition.

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What is America Anyway?

There are occasions in American life – and they come too often these days – when you want to scream: “what the heck has happened to this country?!” Everyone encounters events that strike a particular nerve, some egregious violations of the norms for a free country that cut very deeply and personally. We wonder: do …

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Unemployment Solutions: Both Weird and Scary

There was a brief moment of joy at the news that retailers hired 206,000 new people in November. But only one day later, the other shoe dropped: Jobless claims are, again, past the 400,000 mark — meaning that the unemployment problem is, overall, getting worse, not better. The broadest measure of unemployment exceeds 17%. It …

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Spooner the Prophet

How much more ridiculous can the US Postal Service get? This you will not believe. It has embarked on a public relations campaign to get people to stop sending so much email and start licking more stamps. This is how it is dealing with its $10 billion loss last year. Meanwhile, rather than offering better …

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Deleverage the World

Capitalism is supposed to be a system of profit and loss, but in recent years, central bankers and central planners seem to have forgotten the part about losses. The push and pull every lever on the control board to try to make losses for the big players go away, which can be a bit like …

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What the Heck Happened to America?

There are occasions in American life – and they come too often these days – when you want to scream: “what the heck has happened to this country?!” Everyone encounters events that strike a particular nerve, some egregious violations of the norms for a free country that cut very deeply and personally. We wonder: do …

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How We Adore Taco Bell

We’ve all visited Taco Bell a thousand times – 2 billion of us at least once every year – but now I’ve taken the time to examine why it is we love this place so much. Let’s just start with the obvious thing: the food. It is, of course, wonderful and full of varied textures: …