A good idea: City allows people to pay off parking tickets with food donations

I despise parking tickets primarily because they are such a racket. Washington DC, the major city in which I drive regularly collects tens of millions of dollars in parking ticket fines each year. If one visits DC keep an eye out for the folks in the red jackets. They’ll answer your questions and give you directions but they are also patrolling the streets looking to fine drivers.

I’ll grant you that there are legitimate reasons for parking tickets.

Read More

If Sweden and Germany Became US States, They Would be Among the Poorest

Sweden isn’t some sort of Shangri la. It’s cold. It’s dark. It has high rates of depression. Economic freedom levels are low. Taxes are high. And relative to most states in the USA Sweden is poor. Like Arkansas poor.

On the other hand it made Saabs, which I always liked. (Before GM took them over.)

Read More

For the first time in human history, “less than 10 percent of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015.”

This is wonderful news and it is driven by a general tendency to liberalize markets. Resources now flow from one place to the next more easily than they ever have. As such entrepreneurs are more able to create wealth even in some of the most challenged parts of the globe. Freedom works. Liberty works. Economic decentralization works. Where allowed to flourish without undue burden the market makes life generally better. Where the market is largely restricted poverty continues to prevail.

Read More

If Pope Francis Wants to Help the Poor, He Should Embrace Capitalism

As we have said before, many times, we are against crony capitalism and for capitalism not because “we just want to keep what’s ours.” Not because we feel some slavish devotion to an ethos of greed. (As some might call self interest.)  But because the voluntary exchange of goods and services, capitalism, is the economic vehicle which raises more out of poverty and provides the most opportunity for everyday people. Where one can do business without the government or the local lord or mafia boss taking all the profits people can build wealth.

Read More

World’s Poor: “We Want Capitalism”

The way out of poverty is through capitalism, free enterprise, free markets, and free prices. But so many people who I believe honestly want to do good do not understand this. They believe that central planning and aid from “rich countries” will solve the world’s problems even though they have only worsened things in aggregate around the world for decades.

Where poor people can build wealth and enjoy property rights and honest pricing the tendency is toward prosperity.

Read More

Welfare state fails again: More children living in poverty now than during recession

A picture from an Indian reservation in South Dakota. American Indians have gotten the rawest deal in America as a group, and the US government has managed their affairs to a large degree since conquering them. So what does that tell you?

This is what happens when government layers regulations on top of regulations. When it makes it very difficult to start businesses. When it encourages government dependence for electoral reasons. (It does. I hate that it does, but it does.) When government rewards companies which partner with politicians with taxpayer money and favors.This is what happens when the people running the show in Washington abandon the spirit of free enterprise,

Read More

Crony “education”: Camden NJ spends $25,000 per public student/year, (Average in the USA is $10,615) It is still a complete disaster (VIDEO)

Cronyism happens on all scales. Sometimes it’s massive bank bailouts, sometimes it’s the quiet siphoning of state and federal money to connected groups and individuals in a little town.

But it’s the same thing fundamentally, theft.

Read More

About Inequality: Rich Get Poorer Over Time, Not Richer

Sell! Sell!

I did not grow up with money. But I did work in finance for years and I have known a number of people with significant wealth. I also live in an old money town, Charlottesville, Virginia.

There is an adage about significant wealth which I think holds generally true and that is that “old money” is smaller than “new money.”

Often with older money there is some patriarch a few generations ago who made a pile of cash in some endeavor,

Read More

Walter Williams: Free Markets Are Key To Global Prosperity

This op-ed from Walter Williams comes the same week that the World Bank has proclaimed publicly that it “will end extreme poverty by 2030.” If the institution wants to end such human desperation it would be wise to encourage the rule of law and free markets (and free prices).

Read More

This 88-year-old doctor treats the poor out of his Toyota Camry. Mississippi wants to punish him for it.

They arrest people for feeding homeless people in some cities. And God forbid you are a doctor in Mississippi with an excellent reputation who wants to treat people for free. Can’t have that.

Many of Dr. Landrum’s patients can’t afford to drive to a doctor’s office. So he comes and sees them. I thought that was called a “house call.”

Why do the busybodies have to regulate EVERYTHING?

Read More

India and its huge economic potential

India has long been mired in socialism. Bureaucracy ran and continues to run through the country’s massive system of governance. As I understand it, to get anything done in India for many years the paperwork had to be done in triplicate and processed a half dozen times. And then one got a new pile of paperwork.

But times are changing. India has opened up quite a bit over the last 2 decades, and it looks like even more light will be shining into the economy soon.

Read More

The Capitalist Cure for Terrorism

Mohamed Bouazizi, who’s immolation sparked the Arab Spring. He was a small businessman who had just been shut down by bureaucrats.

Hernando de Soto is one of my favorite economists. (Though as with almost anyone I disagree with him on some important points.) A champion of capitalism and everyday people he is my kind of guy.

His argument basically goes like this:

Poor people are shut out of economies. Cronyism and red tape make building businesses almost impossible.

Read More