History of growth in government spending

The trend over the past century has been ever-larger government. Like a snowball rolling downhill, small at first but growing larger and larger. I think some people don’t fully grasp how large government has become. Certainly most people from a century ago would find it difficult to comprehend the size and reach of government today. … Continue reading History of growth in government spending


Conversation with a young socialist

This is a transcript of my conversation with young Sally Socialist. Me: “Thanks for meeting me.” Sally: “No problem.” Me: “Socialism seems to be getting more popular, so I thought it might be interesting to talk with a socialist.” Sally: “I don’t know if I’m really a socialist. I just want everyone to be treated … Continue reading Conversation with a young socialist

Does government safety net subsidize businesses?

An old argument has popped up again, mainly due to publicity from Bernie Sanders. The argument goes like this. Anti-poverty assistance given by government to low-wage employees is actually a subsidy to the employer, not the employee. That’s because government assistance allows businesses to pay lower wages. Is the argument true? Let’s take a look. … Continue reading Does government safety net subsidize businesses?

Another reason why focusing on inequality is flawed

I want to tie together two recent posts on the history of prosperity and economic inequality. The history of prosperity illustrates another reason why a focus on inequality is misguided. Historical norm was poverty For most of human history, almost everyone was poor by today’s standards. The graph below shows the percentage of world population living … Continue reading Another reason why focusing on inequality is flawed

Growing nanny-state food control

Last month, the UK government published the outline of a plan intended to address childhood obesity, as discussed in this CapX article by Christopher Snowdon. A summary of the actual proposal can be found here. Looks like another example of nanny-state government. What’s being proposed? Here is a summary of actual and proposed government actions: Sugar reduction: … Continue reading Growing nanny-state food control