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  • Author: Stephen J. K. Walters
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The usual suspects in the tragic demise of many of America's core cities are well known. For decades, scholars, politicians, and pundits have condemned the racism that led whites to flee diverse urban populations after World War II, sneered at Americans' vulgar affection for cars and expansive lawns, criticized policies that encouraged us to indulge these tastes, and blamed capitalist greed and unwhole- some technological change for the deindustrialization that has wrecked urban labor markets.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: George C. Leef
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The public policy of the United States is broadly in favor of competition. Our antitrust laws are premised on the idea that in the absence of such legislation private interests would seek to create monopolies, fix prices, restrain trade, and stifle competition. Moreover, the federal government, as well as the states and municipalities, has laws mandating competitive bidding on government contracts to guard the public against "sweetheart deals" that squander tax dollars. Open competition, in fact, is usually the undoing of those conspiracies against the public that Adam Smith saw as so prevalent.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard Vedder
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The most essential ingredient embodied in the liberty championed by the classical liberal writers of the Enlightenment and beyond is individual choice and right of expression—the right of persons to say what they think, decide for themselves what groups that want to join, what religion that want to profess, what person they want to marry, what goods they want to buy or sell, and what persons they want to represent them where necessity requires collective decision making. One important economic dimension of individual liberty is the right to sell one's labor services without attenuation—that is, without limits on the terms of the agreement (e.g., wage rates and hours of work), or who will represent the worker in reaching those terms.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel Griswold
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In the past three decades, labor union leaders have emerged as among the chief critics of trade liberalization, while the economic evidence has grown that labor unions compromise the ability of American companies to compete in global markets.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Lowell E. Gallaway
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In the more than 200 years in which formal organizations of workers (labor unions) have existed in the United States, there have been three distinct eras of policy toward them. Initially, in the late 18th and early 19th century, they were regarded as associations that came under the purview of the English common-law doctrine of conspiracy— that is, their very existence could be considered illegal, regardless of the objectives of the group.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This special issue of the Cato Journal was made possible by a generous grant from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation. The question posed in this issue—Are Unions Good for America?—has both normative and positive aspects. Normatively, if one takes freedom as a fundamental principle, then compulsory unionism cannot be justified in a free society; it violates the rights of both workers and employers. Under current U.S. labor law, workers are often compelled to join unions and employers are compelled to negotiate "in good faith." Public sector unions are even more onerous than private sector unions; they limit consumer choices and impose heavy tax burdens.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: James M. Buchanan
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The market will not work effectively with monetary anarchy. Politicization is not an effective alternative. We must commence meaningful dialogue with acceptance of these elementary verities. Far too much has been said and written in elaboration of the first statement, which too often is taken to be equivalent to the assertion that "capitalism" or "the market" has failed. Admittedly claims for market efficacy without qualifiers can be found. But economists should know that anarchy can only generate disorder rather than its opposite.
  • Topic: Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William Poole
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Officially, the United States has a strong-dollar policy, whatever that is supposed to mean. In practice, what we see is a benign dollar policy, by which I mean that the United States is very unlikely to take any action to attempt to affect the value of the dollar on the foreign exchanges that it would not take for other reasons. My title asks the question "Is a Benign Dollar Policy Wise?" My answer is a resounding "yes."
  • Topic: Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peter J. Wallison
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It is popular around the world to blame the financial crisis on the United States. But before we identify this as the usual anti- Americanism, we should perhaps look more seriously at our country's housing policies. Unfortunately, there is a strong argument that the financial crisis is indeed the fault of the United States—an artifact of the housing policies that this country has followed since the early 1990s. These policies produced an unprecedented number of subprime and other nonprime mortgages (known as Alt-A), and when the housing bubble topped out in late 2006 and early 2007, these loans began to default at unprecedented rates. In my view, the severe losses associated with these defaults caused weakness of Bear Stearns and AIG—resulting in their rescue—the failure of Lehman Brothers, the severe recession we are experiencing in the United States today, and ultimately the financial crisis itself.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mark Calabria
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Charles Rowley and Nathanael Smith have put together a brief, yet extensive, study comparing America's Great Depression and the recent financial crisis. Their focus is on both the economics and the politics behind these events. With both, they demonstrate how each was a failure of government, not of the market. The book concludes with several recommendations for addressing our nation's current economic and fiscal situation. The most original contribution of their work is in bringing a Public Choice framework to evaluating the financial crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States