frederic bastiat

I’ve Never Seen an Unbroken Window Create Jobs

Such is, literally, the wisdom of retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who (according to ThinkProgress) said:

I’ve never seen a tax cut put out a fire. I’ve never seen a tax cut build a bridge.

That is the equivalent of saying, “I’ve never seen an unbroken window create jobs, so let’s break this one.”

Frank either never read his Bastiat, or didn’t understand what he read.

Michele Bachmann Asks the Obama Administration for Pork — Literally

Five years ago this week I noted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a tip of the hat to Frederic Bastiat, had literally endorsed a candlemakers’ petition to the federal government to protect them against overseas competition.

I was reminded of that today when I read that Rep. Michele Bachmann literally thanked the federal government for its purchase of pork from Minnesota farmers:

Justice Thomas and That Which Is Not Seen

Featured prominently on the front page of yesterday’s USA Today is Justice Clarence Thomas’s stony visage. The accompanying article by Joan Biskupic purports to be a “look back” at Thomas’s near two decades on the Court. In reality, the article is a thinly veiled hit piece on Thomas’s principled commitment to originalism, his understanding of the proper role of the judiciary, and his belief in the law.

Bastiat on the Japanese Tsunami

Nathan Gardels at the Huffington Post writes (emphasis added):

No one – least of all someone like myself who has experienced the existential terror of California’s regular tremors and knows the big one is coming here next – would minimize the grief, suffering and disruption caused by Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami.

Snooki Tax Creates Jobs!

The IRS says it needs 1,054 more staffers – at a cost of more than $359 million in fiscal 2012 alone – just to watch over the initial implementation of Obamacare.  And this is before the individual mandate kicks in, the non-compliance with which the IRS is also supposed to police (which by itself doesn’t make the non-compliance penalty, let alone the mandate, a tax – for those of you following the constitutional taxing power arguments).

How to Explain Free Trade in Less Than Three Minutes

The professionally ignorant (and I’m thinking here of Lou Dobbs, among others) never “get it” about trade. They think it’s some complex swindle, in which we deny ourselves “jobs,” or that it should be about being “fair” or “balanced.” They don’t see how free trade creates prosperity and peace. I was inspired by the outstanding trade economist Doug Irwin of Dartmouth to explain what goes on when people trade. The challenge was to explain international trade in under 3 minutes.

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