Here’s the video that opened this past Wednesday’s annual Mercatus Center dinner. (Jeff Holmes, the mastermind behind this video, is a genius, especially considering the limited talent that’s in front of the camera.)
Richard Rahn is right about tax cuts. A slice:
The problem is not a lack of tax revenue, but over-centralization, duplication and mismanagement of the revenue the government already collects. Both the House and Senate tax bills are incomplete steps in the right direction and should yield substantially higher growth. Other countries have shown that it is possible to have a prosperous economy, a high degree of liberty, and the people well protected with much lower levels of taxation and government expenditure.
However – and here is a little challenge – the distinction between “natural” and “artificial” conditions is not as neat as one might think. Some geographical conditions can be changed by human entrepreneurship or government intervention. If hothouses have been built with a government subsidy and their cost is sunk, don’t they now represent a comparative advantage? Ski resorts can be built and artificial snow made, possibly with government subsidies. Ignorant people can be instructed, even in government schools. Moreover, some phenomena straddle the distinction between the natural and the artificial, that is, phenomena like language, culture, and morals (see chapter 1 of Friedrich Hayek‘s vol. 1 of Law, Legislation and Liberty).
To be sure, the American left overplayed its hand by insisting on a forced program of diversity on college campuses and elsewhere. But the right’s program of forced homogeneity based on a tendentious reading of social science will be far worse.