FEE: The Mystery of the Mundane

            by Dr. PETER BOETTKE The world is full of marvels, from FaceTime to air travel. But the real action is in the mundan—those everyday: things we take for granted. Economics, and the economic way of thinking, are indispensable for learning how to see the mystery of the mundane. And when we do, it’s awe-inspiring. This is one of the crucial insights in Paul Heyne’s The Economic Way of Thinking, which I’ve relied on for more than 25 years now (and of which, along with David Prychitko, I’ve been coauthor for more than a decade). Along with another rule “don’t …

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China: Yes, It’s Capitalism

            by JANE SHAW             Ronald Coase and Ning Wang, How China Became Capitalist. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.             Ronald Coase, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who died on September 2, never retired. He was 97 years old in 2008 when he and Ning Wang, now an assistant professor at Arizona State University, began their book, How China Became Capitalist, published this year.             As David Henderson points out in his Coase biography, Coase never wasted time writing about trivialities; his reputation was made on the basis of two articles written 23 years apart. Like Coase’s other writings, the book is intellectually bold. And the —China—is …

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FEE: Neighborhood Effects or Culture Rot? What did Milton Friedman say on the question of college subsidies?

            by GEORGE LEEF While he did not write extensively about higher education, Milton Friedman wrote enough to help us see where our college system has gone wrong. Today, we can see how his thinking evolved over time. Specifically, Friedman wrestled with the question of subsidies. That is: Does government support for higher education create positive spillover effects on the rest of society? Neighborhood Effects In 1955, Friedman wrote a paper titled “The Role of Government in Education.” In it, he argued that government support for educational though not necessarily government running of educational institutions—could be justified on the …

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Cafe Hayek: Quotation of the Day September 15

            by DON BOUDREAUX …is from pages 168-169 of Gordon Tullock’s 1983 essay “The Machiavellians and the Well-Intentioned,” which is reprinted in The Economics and Politics of Wealth Redistribution (volume 7 of The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock, Charles K. Rowley, ed. [2005]): Most of us like to think of ourselves as helping the poor and doing other good things, and we like also to have our own income and real well-being improved.  The politician who argues that you should do something which will benefit you, not because it will benefit you but because it is abstractly the good and just, gets …

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