Zero-Sum Everything

A core premise of capitalism and free markets is that people voluntarily enter into exchanges and interactions with each other. Each does so because he believes there’s a benefit to be gained from that exchange or interaction. Thus, the benefit is mutual. It is...

Scarcity Pricing and Price Gouging

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and ahead of the likely devastation of Hurricane Irma, social media is awash in expressions of outrage over what is commonly labeled as “price gouging.” For the few unaware of the term, price gouging is a (derogatory) term...

Markets, Regulation, and Opportunity Cost

A friend in one of my political groups shared a quote culled from a Wall Street Journal comments-section discussion: Government regulation also creates markets in the first place. Markets aren’t naturally occurring phenomena. The quote, meant to rebut the...

Cops and Donuts

A Lesson in Economic Liberty Sometimes, it is the cliche that perpetuates the tale. A story in yesterday’s New York Post would be much less of one had it been about, say, doctors or firefighters and donuts, but when it’s cops and donuts, the incident...

Underestimating Human Ingenuity

There is a very common human failure, one born out of hubris, self-centeredness, and a touch of solipsism. It can be expressed as “if I, personally, can’t envision how something would work, then it won’t.” Phrased thus, it sounds silly, but...