This American retailer has a distinct business model. It aims to sell high volumes of merchandise at low prices. In pursuit of low prices, it bargains hard with its suppliers and grows impressive economies of scale. Its business model draws flocks of customers to its stores. It becomes the largest retailer in the entire world, … Continue reading Creative destruction
US healthcare is generally recognized for its significant innovation and quality medical care. However, it is even more widely recognized for having certain problems. Two main problems are usually cited. Problem #1 is that 10-15% of the population is uninsured at any point in time. Problem #2 is that medical care and health insurance are … Continue reading Origin of healthcare problems
It is an article of faith to some class warriors that the rich do not pay their “fair share” of taxes. Is it true? We can evaluate this claim since there is plenty of publicly available data. The data here comes from a 2016 CBO report. Effective tax rates It is difficult to look at … Continue reading Do the rich pay their fair share?
Congress is talking about tax reform. Hopefully something will get done. The US tax code is overly complicated and discourages growth. This post will lay out some rough goals for tax reform, with a few details on how to achieve the goals. It’s aimed at the US tax code, but some principles apply anywhere. The … Continue reading Tax reform goals
I have mentioned a couple times that economic growth is very important. But it’s easy to hear a message like that and think, “yeah, yeah, growth is important, got it,” without it truly registering. This is a crucial concept for achieving prosperity, so let me try to make it more tangible. Without the solid growth … Continue reading Illustrating the power of growth
OK, stop laughing. I just want to clarify that although I am a know-it-all smarty-pants when I praise free-market capitalism or criticize Big Government, that only applies to overarching principles. I do not claim to know the specific paths that others should follow in their economic lives. I don’t know which jobs and careers people … Continue reading I know nothing
Many people dislike the high prices that typically occur during crises like the recent hurricane in Texas. Some cities and states even make “price gouging” illegal. Unfortunately, discussion of this topic tends to be long on moral indignation and short on economic understanding. Anti-price-gouging laws are generally popular, even with people who normally believe in … Continue reading Why price-gouging is OK
Pope Francis has made several comments that are at least somewhat anti-capitalist. This is not totally surprising, since he hails from one of the most anti-capitalist countries on the planet, Argentina. He is not alone. Others have also questioned whether capitalism is compatible with Christianity. This then becomes a reason to criticize capitalism. Is capitalism … Continue reading Is capitalism compatible with Christianity?
One reason that people support larger government is because they assume government rules and programs will accomplish their stated goals. However, this rosy view is often not supported by reality. Let’s look at an interesting example that was in the news recently. The background A May 19th Wall Street Journal article points out that certain ritzy … Continue reading Crazy example of banks twisting the rules
US unemployment shot up sharply during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Since then, it has dropped back to more normal levels. Is unemployment now low enough? Let’s look at some facts. Multiple unemployment metrics The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of the overall labor force that is jobless. Simple enough, right? Not really. … Continue reading Has unemployment dropped enough since the Great Recession?