Americans are Paying for Trump’s Trade War

To the surprise of no one*, three recent studies found that the tariffs lain on goods imported from China are being paid by Americans. The damage to consumers and businesses includes a monthly deadweight loss of $1.4 billion, $12.3 billion extracted from the private sector in the form of tariff revenues, and, in 2018, $68.8 … Continue reading Americans are Paying for Trump’s Trade War


Women’s Soccer is a Financial Loser

On July 29, 2019, U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro released an open letter and fact sheet addressed to "Friends, Colleagues and Supporters of U.S. Soccer." Though he spends much of the letter emphasizing the organization's commitment to "equal pay for equal work," Mr. Cordeiro indicates that the disparity in pay between the U.S. Men's National … Continue reading Women’s Soccer is a Financial Loser

On Transaction Costs

Over at CafeHayek, economist Don Boudreaux made a terrific point regarding transaction costs yesterday morning in the context of ongoing parental-leave policy debates: Our world is full of transaction costs; it’s these that prevent more individualized bargaining over the precise contents of pay packages. But the consequences of transactions costs are no more appropriately regarded … Continue reading On Transaction Costs

Trade is Mutually–not Equally–Beneficial

I occasionally hear--implicitly or otherwise--the complaint that if one party to a transaction benefits more than the other, unfair advantage has been taken of the party who receives a lesser benefit. But why should we expect equivalent benefit on the part of both transactors? Voluntary exchange is predicated on both parties being better off, in … Continue reading Trade is Mutually–not Equally–Beneficial

Fast Food, Women’s Soccer, and Consumer Preferences

The United States women's soccer team (USWNT) has been in the news lately for winning the FIFA Women's World Cup, which they've used as a soapbox to decry their apparent paucity of pay relative to their male counterparts. Sexism, it is said, is rampant in American professional sports. But while blaming institutional sexism is perhaps … Continue reading Fast Food, Women’s Soccer, and Consumer Preferences

Taxes as Evidence of Ownership?

The late UCLA economist and eminent property rights theorist Armen Alchian wrote, A property right is the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used, whether that resource is owned by government or by individuals. Private property rights have two other attributes in addition to determining the use of a resource. One is the exclusive … Continue reading Taxes as Evidence of Ownership?

Thoughts on the Electoral College

First, just some historical, numerical perspective on the Electoral College, since it's lately a controversial issue (again): There have been 58 presidential elections in the history of the United States of America (one every four years since 1788), and records of the popular votes have been kept for all but the first nineOut of the … Continue reading Thoughts on the Electoral College