A limited constitutional government calls for a rules-based, freemarket monetary system, not the topsy-turvy fiat dollar that now exists under central banking. This issue of the Cato Journal examines the case for alternatives to central banking and the reforms needed to move toward free-market money.
Americans are finally enjoying an improving economy after years of recession and slow growth. The unemployment rate is dropping, the economy is expanding, and public confidence is rising. Surely our economic crisis is behind us. Or is it? In Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis, Cato scholar Michael D. Tanner examines the growing national debt and its dire implications for our future and explains why a looming financial meltdown may be far worse than anyone expects.
The Cato Institute has released its 2014 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. “Libertarianism is the philosophy of freedom,” Cato’s David Boaz writes in his book, The Libertarian Mind. “It is the indispensable framework for the future.” And as the new report demonstrates, the Cato Institute, thanks largely to the generosity of our Sponsors, is leading the charge to apply this framework across the policy spectrum.
Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression
More than 80 years after its passage, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 still resonates in today’s debate over trade policy. Advocates of trade blame the law for deepening the Great Depression and warn of the economic damage from a reversion to protectionism. Skeptics of trade say its impact has been exaggerated. Economist and historian Douglas Irwin tells the messy and, at times, amusing story of how Congress dramatically raised tariffs in 1930 just as the world was plunging into depression, and analyzes the economic consequences of the most infamous trade bill ever enacted by Congress. Irwin then draws important lessons that can help today’s trade policymakers avoid the costly mistakes of the past.