Free Market Articles


Beyond Bailout Nation

Republicans need something to say about 2008.
Oct 26, 2015

After the Great Depression, Democrats ran against Herbert Hoover for 30 years—and with great success. Even though Hoover’s policies were anything but market-oriented—he greatly raised spending, taxes, and tariffs in response to the 1929 Wall Street crash—Republicans took the fall for Hooverism. It wasn’t until Ronald Reagan that free markets were fully politically rehabilitated.

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The Most Free-Market Show On Television Returns Tonight

Comedy Central's contrarians are back.
3:28 PM, Sep 16, 2015

Comedy Central is not a network known for its conservatism, but for as long as its been on the air, South Park has always embraced the free market. Fortunately, its new season returns tonight—hopefully the GOP presidential debate is over by the time South Park airs!

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Jobberwocky Lives

You can’t keep regulating the workplace without killing jobs.
Sep 07, 2015

Twenty-one years ago, Fortune boldly declared “The End of the JOB.” Thanks to rapid advances in technology, people had been freed from the tyranny of the nine-to-five workplace. Now they could set their own hours and schedules, do without constant oversight and supervision, and concentrate on a more powerful objective: not just “doing their jobs,” but finding better and more innovative ways of “doing what needs to be done.”

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Growth and Inequality

Sep 07, 2015

The economic recovery is barely worthy of the name, and there is evidence that inequality in America is increasing. Ignoring the first rule of statistics—correlation is not causation—progressives see this as a new reason to expand government. Reduce inequality and the growth rate will increase. 

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Economic Liberty vs. Security

Another time for choosing.
Sep 07, 2015

Whatever the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, the summer of 2015 will be remembered as the summer of Trump and Sanders. The other candidates, especially the Republicans, could learn a lesson from the two renegades, who have figured out how to capitalize on the fact that America is in a funk even as its economy improves.

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The Food Truck Farce

Why does Washington, D.C., subsidize food trucks?
4:11 PM, Feb 04, 2015

About a year ago, the government of Washington, D.C., introduced a lottery system to allocate lunch hour parking spots for the city’s booming food truck industry. The one-year retrospectives have been almost uniformly positive, with the government, the media, and the food truck vendors themselves declaring it a rousing success.

I beg to differ.

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Scott Brown: 'Let America Be America Again'

8:29 AM, Jul 23, 2012

A new ad from Senator Scott Brown, contrasting statements in support of free enterprise by those like John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan with those made by Barack Obama and Brown's Massachusetts Senate opponent, Elizabeth Warren:

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Ryan: 'Republicans Must Return to Free-Market Principles'

5:24 PM, Jul 19, 2012

Paul Ryan, writing in the Financial Times

"The protection of big business remains a common thread in Mr Obama’s policies, which have come at the expense of the consumer, the taxpayer and the entrepreneur. A growing coalition of reformers – rooted in citizen movements across the political spectrum – reject this pernicious crony capitalism. Our solutions promote an opportunity society, one that is rooted in the US commitment to free enterprise.

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Special Editorial: From Bain to Main

1:50 PM, Jan 10, 2012

There’s a lot of silliness on all sides of the Bain Capital debate.

On the one hand, Newt Gingrich’s attacks (and the follow-on assaults by Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry) on Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital have been unfair, over the top, and, for that matter, all over the place. Gingrich, Perry, and Huntsman deserve much of the criticism they’ve received from conservative commentators.

On the other, Mitt Romney’s claim throughout his campaign that his private sector experience almost uniquely qualifies him to be president is also silly. Does he really think that having done well in private equity, venture capital, and business consulting—or even in the private sector more broadly—is a self-evident qualification for public office? One assumes Mitt Romney would agree that Chris Christie is a better chief executive of New Jersey than Jon Corzine, and that Rudy Giuliani was a better mayor of New York than Mike Bloomberg. But Romney’s biography looks a lot more like Bloomberg's or Corzine's (leaving aside Corzine's recent misadventures) than like that of Giuliani (pre-mayoralty) or Christie. Past business success does not guarantee performance in public office. Indeed, Romney sometimes seems to go so far as to suggest that succeeding in the private sector is intrinsically more admirable than, e.g., serving as a teacher or a soldier or even in Congress. This is not a sensible proposition, or a defensible one.

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How Many Cheers for Bain?

10:55 AM, Jan 10, 2012

There’s a line of thinking you often hear from Republican-types about how markets are never wrong. You think a certain CEO’s lavish compensation is ridiculous? Nonsense, those types tell you. You think that a CEO’s VORP—that’s a baseball stat that translates, in this case, to the CEO’s marginal value versus the average replacement CEO—couldn’t possibly be so high? They simply counter that he’s worth the money because there’s someone willing to pay it. The results in a market triumph considerations of value.

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