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Trump cards, Donald Trump, The Madman Theory, strategy, negotiation, deal, trade, tariffs, trade war

Most Outrageous Negotiation Strategy Yet

The best defense of Donald Trump’s presidency, so far? He is smarter than the rest of us, and knows how to negotiate with bad guys and insider players. We have to discount what he is saying, the theory goes, because he is not telling truths . . . obviously.  He

Washington D.C., metro, repairs, closed, government, waste, efficiency, accountability

No Other Options?

Long I have criticized the Washington, DC, Metro — the transit authority in our nation’s imperial capital — most recently in March. But I am foursquare in support of the government body’s recent hazard warning: “Only take Metro if you have no other option.” Good general principle. But what’s the

Washington Post, economics, economy, control, government, limited

Driven to Sanity

Having the federal government centrally plan the economy is “a huge waste of everyone’s time and resources” states an amazingly common-sensical Washington Post editorial. “In a well-functioning modern economy, businesses are generally free to buy and sell the things they need, absent a compelling public need for government intervention,” the

Trump, worship, trade, trade war, tariff, free trade, trade deficit

The Trump Trade Enigma

President Donald J. Trump, former “reality TV” star, often seems merely to skirt reality. “Our trade deficit ballooned to $817 billion,” President Trump exaggerated to the “men and women of U.S. Steel” last week.  “Think of that. We lost $817 billion a year over the last number of years in

golden crutches, farm subsidies, tariff, trade, free, Trump, EU

Trump’s Biggest Secret?

“This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers,” says Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), “and White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches.” Referring to Donald Trump’s tariff brinksmanship with China, Sasse is decrying Trump’s request to Congress for compensatory farm subsidies. Sasse insists that

poison, inflation, Venezuela, socialism, free markets, capitalism

Poison Is Poisonous

Venezuela’s socialist economy has been collapsing. No big mystery. If, out of hostility to capitalism, a society keeps destroying everything that production, trade, and prosperity depend upon, the economy suffers. The benefits of markets don’t flow no matter what. One assault has taken the form of hyperinflation — runaway printing

marijuana, tax revenue, taxes, spending, war on drugs, opioid epidemic

Kick the Addiction, Save Money

The political case for the War on Drugs has always been intuitive. “Drugs are bad” has trumped practical concerns. But the actual, responsible case for the political crusade has depended upon some concept of “social cost.” Now that marijuana is being legalized state by state, the case against the greater War

lemonade, freedom, regulation, FDA, free market, law, authoritarian, media

Taking a (Lemonade) Stand

When life hands you lemons. . . . Once upon a time, putting up a summertime lemonade stand was the American way for kids to learn about hard work, good will, and entrepreneurship. Almost every kid had one, making some spendable profit selling the nectar.* Some of the youngsters grew

WhatsApp, India, murder, responsibility, cause, effect, law, ban, blame

Blame the App?

Who spreads “fake news”? Gossips, politicians, publicity agents, Twitter eggs, partisan bloggers, lying news journalists? Or . . . the medium of communication they use? Do envelopes, stationery, telephones, email, and messaging apps have moral agency? And who commits the crimes that news (true or false) is used to rationalize?

microstamping, bullet, California, law, guns, gun control

Ought Implies Cantifornia

“Strip away the absurdity,” writes Scott Shackford at Reason, “and it’s essentially a very technical ruling.” Shackford is explaining a bizarre recent judgment of the California Supreme Court. Politicians in Sacramento had, years ago, passed a gun control measure requiring gun manufacturers to “implement microstamping technology that would imprint identifying

occupational licensing, hair braiding, permission, law, crime, employment, unemployment, control, health

Working to Boost Unemployment

Some government officials work overtime to throw people out of work. What I’m referring to differs from losing your job or business because of slack performance or slackening sales. Instead, you lose the right to earn your living a certain way so that the government can benefit competitors at your

Cannabis World Congress, Marijuana, legalization, decriminalization, law, initiative, citizens, democracy

Legalize Cancer Fighting

“Do all former congressmen have to get cancer before we’re gonna get medical marijuana or recreational marijuana?” That’s what Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie asked Billy Tauzin at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition. Tauzin’s a former Representative for Louisiana’s 3rd District. He moved from Congress to lobbying for Big

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