New Jersey Must Be Free!

by Anita April 23, 2014

Many American schoolchildren have been taught that Robert Fulton invented the steamboat in 1807 when he sailed his Clermont up the Hudson River.  Actually, Fulton wasn’t the first man to run a steamboat, and when he did, his boat was named the North River, which was the nickname New Yorkers gave the Hudson River. Schoolchildren, however, [...]

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The Story Behind “Uncle Sam Can’t Count”

by Burt April 15, 2014

Anita and I are in New York City today to promote our new book, Uncle Sam Can’t Count: A History of Failed Government Investments, from Beaver Pelts to Green Energy In many ways, during these last two years we both would have preferred to relax, travel, do some teaching, and send out occasional tweets. Why [...]

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Tax Day Is Coming – Remember, Uncle Sam Can’t Count!

by Anita April 11, 2014

Uncle Sam Can’t Count is the story of failed government subsidies in U.S. history from George Washington to Barack Obama.   No one else has told this story, so we have decided to tell it at last in our newest book! What’s especially remarkable about the stream of government aid—subsidies to the fur trade, steamships, railroads, airplanes, and even [...]

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FDR and the AAA

by Anita April 8, 2014

Franklin Roosevelt ran for president in 1932 actually promising to cut federal spending…. Roosevelt came into power, though, and he changed his mind. Roosevelt began pouring federal funds into the American economy, the equivalent of the modern-day stimulus package. One of them was called the Triple-A, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. The idea here was for [...]

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Where Does Innovation Come From?

by Burt March 26, 2014

From railroads to cars to iPhones, innovation mainly comes from entrepreneurs and private investors eager to back a new idea. Mariana Mazzucato, who has recently written The Entrepreneurial State, challenges this view and argues that the U.S. government, at least since World War II, has been the prime source of innovation–or at least of funding [...]

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Is it Better to Save the World, or One Person in the World?

by Burt March 12, 2014

The answer to that question separates liberals from conservatives. Liberals want to save the world, and perfect it through various government programs. Conservatives believe that no one can save this imperfect world, but that we can, through our efforts, help one person at a time. When millions of conservatives help someone, the entire world is [...]

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How the California Gold Rush Spawned a Government Subsidy

by Burt March 7, 2014

The gold rush–first to Georgia and then to California in the 1840s and 1850s. That was the subject of our last blog, but the connection between the gold rush and limited government may not be clear, so let’s elaborate. We have never in U.S. history had an economic boom–like the California gold rush–without some politician [...]

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“There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills!”

by Burt March 5, 2014

Posted by Anita Folsom Gold in the hills became a reality for a California couple walking their dog recently in the Sierra Madres. The dog unearthed a rusty paint can stuffed with gold coins, and the couple found a total of more than 1400 gold coins that had been buried on their land for decades. [...]

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What’s Right With America?

by Burt February 26, 2014

The loss of freedom in America in the last ten years has disheartened many who value free markets and liberty. Indeed, we need to cut tax rates and restore a freer economy in the U.S. to speed up our recovery and halt the explosion of debt. But having said that, we need to recognize that [...]

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Happy Birthday, President Reagan!

by Burt February 6, 2014

No president of the 20th century had a more positive and enduring influence than Ronald Reagan, who was born on this date in 1911. Other presidents, from Wilson to FDR, exceeded Reagan in their impact, but much of it was negative. Sure, they won wars, but they almost destroyed the American economy as well. Reagan, [...]

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