Poet Charles Bukowski reads a humorous poem, "Law," on the dangerous nature of democracy.
What is the difference between "to choose" and "to decide?" Does the difference have implications on the nature of freedom? For this and more, read this neat analysis on the fundamental component of liberty: Choice.
Johan Norberg, the host of our "Economic Freedom in Action: Changing Lives," speaks to the sincere improvements around the world due to increased economic liberties. Changing Lives is airing now, go here for National Review's review of the documentary broadcast.
You report that "Climate change will pose sharp risks to the world's food supply in coming decades" ("Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies," Nov. 2) - with the premise that this impending calamity requires aggressive government curtailment or modification of industrial capitalist activities.The greatest risk to the world's food supply is not the industrial capitalist activities that environmentalists are keen to curtail. Rather, the greatest risk is the trust that many currently well-fed westerners blithely put in government to rein in the only force in human history that has proven successful at eliminating starvation: market-driven capitalism.
Color me skeptical. Wherever industrial capitalism has flourished over the past three centuries it has eliminated for the first time in human history the millennia-long curse of recurrent famines. Today, food is in short supply only in societies without market institutions and cut off from global trade. (The people suffering the greatest risk now of fatal shortages of food are true locavores, such as the North Koreans and the Somalis.) Relatedly, some of the worst famines in modern times "most notably, in Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's China" have been caused by the hubris of government officials curtailing market forces with command-and-control regulations.
America has a proud history of promoting trade and investment policies that encourage the top companies in the world to invest billions of dollars in our economy. The investments these global companies make here in the U.S. help create hundreds of highly skilled American jobs.What the letter writers say about the consequences of foreign investment in America is true (assuming that that investment is driven by market, and not political, forces). But a gloss should be added to the first sentence of the above quotation — namely: Such investments increase America's trade deficit (or, more accurately, America's current-account deficit). Given the incessant moaning, groaning, and sometimes shrieking that comes from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue about America's trade deficit, it's not quite accurate to describe America's history of dealing with such investments as a "proud" one. We can be proud that America has largely been, certainly compared to many other countries, actually open to foreign investment here — but the complaints about the trade deficit reveal that many people likely do not understand the simple fact that more foreign investment in America means, ceteris paribus, a higher American trade deficit.
This commitment [to invest in America] by some of the world's leading car makers has resulted in the creation of over 76,000 U.S. jobs.Without vouching for this specific number, the economics here is certainly correct. Foreign investment in America typically creates jobs in America — yet it also, again, invariably increases America's trade deficit. I hope that someone sends this letter to Prof. Peter Morici — and highlights this line — the next time Morici asserts, as he frequently does, that America's trade deficit necessarily is a drag on job-creation in America. (Actually, even Mr. Krugman sometimes commits the same error that Prof. Morici often commits.)