Entries by Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

The Positive Nature of Risk: Removing or Shifting Risk by Government Fiat Is Not a Panacea by CHRISTOPHER MAYER

There would be no risk if the future were known and all of one’s plans played out exactly as expected. Because of pervasive uncertainty, a variety of risks permeates all human endeavors. It is a common human desire to want to feel secure, to want to avoid as much risk as possible and live a […]

His Aim Is True, Sometimes by SARAH SKWIRE

William Shakespeare. Merchant of Venice. Circa 1598. Everyone knows about Shylock. Even those who have only a passing familiarity with Shakespeare know about the vicious money-lender in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. He lends Antonio (the merchant of the title) 3,000 ducats to give to his friend Bassanio, and if Antonio fails to repay the loan in time, he […]

Higher Ed: Bubble, Toil and Trouble by SANDY IKEDA

Interest rates have been in the news again so for this week’s column I thought I’d do a little back-of-the-envelope economic analysis. What Does this Sound Like to You? The government artificially lowers interest rates for borrowers who want to invest in a particular sector of the economy. Other things equal, that will increase the […]

The Individualist – Part 2: An Interview with Anne Wortham

The first part of our interview with Anne Wortham made waves. In this second part, we go deeper into her experiences in higher education. Wortham is an associate professor of sociology at Illinois State University. She wrote her first piece for The Freeman in 1966. The Freeman: In higher education, you are something of a pariah. Would you care to talk about […]

Climate Consensus: Do Little for Now by DANIEL SUTTER

The 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that continued emission of greenhouse gasses (GHG) will raise the earth’s temperature by 1.8°C (3.2°F) and sea level by one foot by 2100. Projected climate changes, if they come to pass, will have a number of effects on society, though not all of […]

Chasing Dystopian Rainbows by STEWART DOMPE, ADAM C. SMITH

It seems scientism passes for science these days. There are rarely any happy prophets. To get headlines you have to claim the world is ending. Add generous helpings of doom and gloom—and a pinch of apocalypse—and you’ll widen your audience. The most recent batch of dire predictions for humanity’s future takes the same dramatic approach. […]

Frank Woolworth and the Minimum Wage by DANIEL J. SMITH, ZAC THOMPSON

Woolworth’s five-and-dime stores pioneered a discount retailing model that was a godsend to consumers and employees across the country. Minimum-wage laws, however, would have kept their founder, Frank Woolworth, from even getting close enough to the retail business to have his moment of entrepreneurial insight. Woolworth was born in 1852 in upstate New York to […]

Magic Words and False Gods Communicating Beyond Society, Market, and Hypostatization by GIAN PIERO DE BELLIS

Any productive action requires clear thinking on the part of the acting person. This is particularly true of communication. In The Ultimate Foundations of Economic Science (1962), Ludwig von Mises remarked that the “worst enemy of clear thinking is the propensity to hypostatize, i.e. to ascribe substance or real existence to mental constructs or concepts.” In other […]

Talking About Ideas with Friends: Lessons from Graham Greene by JAMES M. HOHMAN

A Spanish priest and a Marxist mayor walk into a bar . . . and teach you a lesson in civil discourse. Graham Greene’s novel Monsignor Quixote is filled with lessons about how to share your worldview with people who have a different outlook. The main characters treat their opposing views as a model for addressing difficult […]

Hating Politics, Loving Government by SANDY IKEDA

Politics is inseparable from government. Indeed, it is government. Iconoclast filmmaker and political activist Oliver Stone spoke at the international conference of Students for Liberty last February in Washington, D.C. The common ground between Stone and most libertarians is his outspoken criticism of American militarism abroad, not just by conservative Republicans but also by left-wing Democrats such as President Obama. But […]

Selling Envy: How governments promote the worst in us to redistribute wealth by TERREE P. SUMMER

The current fuss over inequality has a classic feel to it. For one thing, it’s one of the oldest plays in the Progressive playbook. But it’s a well-established maneuver for governments everywhere. The idea is to appeal to the age-old feelings of envy and guilt that arise in virtually every person: Why should some have […]