FEE: The Root of Evil

            by SARAH SKWIRE “The Pardoner’s Tale” from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is a grisly little moral tale, perfect for Halloween, that we are told is intended to illustrate the grim truth of the maxim, “Radix malorum est cupiditas” or “The love of money is the root of evil.”  It is referenced quite often as evidence of the way literature feels about money. But stories are not mathematical equations, and the things they say they will accomplish are not always the things they really want to accomplish. This is particularly true of Chaucer’s set of tales’ told by remarkably unreliable storytellers, …

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Cafe Hayek: The Science of the Minimum-Wage Debate

            by DON BOUDREAUX Among the topics discussed in my Econ 103 (Principles of Microeconomics) class this past Tuesday night was minimum-wage legislation.  The minimum wage is, every semester, my chief real-world example of a legislated price floor – a government policy that I discuss immediately after I cover legislated price ceilings such as rent control and the 1970s caps on energy prices. As always, I informed my students that, compared to twenty or thirty years ago, a smaller portion of economists today agree that minimum-wage legislation harms low-skilled workers. After class a handful of students walked with me …

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FEE: Master Jugglers and Social Engineers

            by PETER BOETTKE “Economics,” Henry Hazlitt wrote in Economics in One Lesson, “is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man. This is no accident. The inherent difficulties of the subject would be great enough in any case, but they are multiplied a thousandfold by a factor that is insignificant in, say, physics, mathematics, or medicine” the special pleading of selfish interests. Hazlitt, who in essence was simply updating Férric Bastiatés “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen,” defines the bad economist as one who looks only at the immediate consequences of a policy, whereas …

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            by DON BOUDREAUX A Cafe patron who prefers to remain anonymous sent to me a copy of this short letter to Pres. Obama from several members (from both political parties) of Congress.  The Cafe patron asks my thoughts. The letter seems fine to me.  I could pick a nit or two, but I’m in overwhelming agreement with it.  Market-driven foreign investment in America is indeed a good thing — because any market-driven investment is a good thing.  The nationalities of the investors don’t matter at all.  And the more the merrier. I don’t know if the letter has any hidden purpose, …

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