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Out of the Slough of happiness
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Newspaper Article

Out of the Slough of happiness

BY Richard W. Rahn

Slough (meaning muddy field), England, is not a lovely place. It is east of London, a bit beyond Heathrow Airport -- a glum commuter town. The BBC, in a made-for-television social experiment, "Making Slough Happy," is trying to make Slough a happier place by giving the town group therapy, bizarre as that may seem.

12/04/2005
Burdens of regulatory fat
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Newspaper Article

Burdens of regulatory fat

BY Matt Kibbe

After Hurricane Katrina, very few members of Congress have stepped forward with a meaningful plan for paying what's already an astronomical tab, other than driving America deeper into the red. While the hurricane relief debt steadily climbs, only a few members have dared suggest this spending be offset by reducing ever so slightly some of the taxpayer billions spent on pork-barrel special interest programs.

11/14/2005
Bad advisers
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Newspaper Article

Bad advisers

BY Richard W. Rahn

Do you think your tax money should be given to international bureaucrats who give destructive advice to American policymakers? Well, that is what is happening -- and worse yet, some unthinking souls in the news media and Congress have treated some of these detrimental recommendations with undeserved deference.

11/13/2005
How to outdo Greenspan
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Newspaper Article

How to outdo Greenspan

BY Richard W. Rahn

Do you know why the retiring Federal Reserve chairman is praised so highly? He made fewer mistakes "pricing" the U.S. dollar than some of his recent predecessors. The "price" referred to is the short-term interest rate -- the rate the Fed charges banks that borrow from the Fed.

11/04/2005
Europe vs. Europe
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Newspaper Article

Europe vs. Europe

BY Richard W. Rahn

STRASBOURG, France.- Is it a sensible idea to move the site of government every three weeks? This is precisely what the European Union does every month, since much of its government moves back and forth -- with great wagon trains of trucks carrying government papers (and the luggage of the European parliamentarians) -- between this picturesque city in the Rhine Valley and Brussels, Belgium.

10/31/2005
Rewards of economic freedom
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Newspaper Article

Rewards of economic freedom

BY Richard W. Rahn

If you had to list 10 freedoms that are important to you from your most to your least important, how would you rank them? You might ask your family and friends the same question, and I expect you will find the lists and priorities quite different.

10/17/2005
Price-gouging?
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Newspaper Article

Price-gouging?

BY Richard W. Rahn

If you bought a home 10 years ago for $100,000 and just sold it for $300,000, have you engaged in price gouging? Most people would say "no," provided there were willing buyers and sellers of both sides of the transaction merely responding to the market at the time. As a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, some politicians have demanded prosecution of "price gougers." In many states, like Florida, "price gouging" is illegal. The Florida statutes say, "It is illegal to charge unconscionable prices for goods or services following a declared state of emergency."

09/29/2005
Feeding the kitty for Katrina
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Newspaper Article

Feeding the kitty for Katrina

BY Richard W. Rahn

Assume you were a regular blood donor but had an accident in which you lost a considerable amount of blood. Do you think you should increase or decrease the size and frequency of your blood donations until you recover?

09/21/2005
Britain slowly sinking
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Newspaper Article

Britain slowly sinking

BY Richard W. Rahn

LONDON, England. From the time of the Thatcher reforms in the early 1980s, Britain has been the star economic performer among the major European nations. The British went from having the lowest per capita income of the European big four (Germany, France, Italy and Britain) to having the highest one, but now there are signs the economic sickness in "old Europe" is beginning to infect the British.

09/16/2005
Spooked by the obvious
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Newspaper Article

Spooked by the obvious

BY Richard W. Rahn

If you suddenly learned the government had reduced taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains, would you save and invest more or less? Most people would say more, because saving and investing would be more profitable with lower tax rates. As obvious as this seems, much of the Washington establishment is shocked the deficit is falling rapidly due to surging tax revenues, despite the "massive" Bush tax cuts.

08/28/2005

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