John Hancock and Cigarette Smuggling

While it’s politically popular to impose confiscatory taxes on America’s 40 million tobacco smokers, there are a number of consequences one might consider, but let’s start out with a quiz. If a carton of cigarettes sells for $160 in New York City,...

Obama: An Old Newness

Many years ago, a great hitter named Paul Waner was nearing the end of his long career. He entered a ballgame with 2,999 hits — one hit away from the landmark total of 3,000, which so many hitters want to reach, but which relatively few actually do reach. Waner...

Politics and Black Americans

Dr. Thomas Sowell’s recent column, “Republicans and Blacks,” (April 10, 2008) pointed out the foolhardiness of Republican strategy to secure more black votes. He pointed out that it is a losing strategy to reach blacks through the civil rights...

The Economics of College, Part III

Why does college cost so much? There are two basic reasons. The first is that people will pay what the colleges charge. The second is that there is little incentive for colleges to reduce the tuition they charge. Those who want the government to provide subsidies to...

The Economics of College, Part II

Those who argue that the taxpayers should be forced to subsidize people who go to colleges and universities seldom bother to think beyond the notion that education is a Good Thing. Some education is not only a good thing but a great thing. But, like most good things,...

The Economics of College, Part I

A front-page headline in the New York Times captures much of the economic confusion of our time: “Fewer Options Open to Pay for Costs of College.” The whole article is about the increased costs of college, the difficulties parents have in paying those...