James Pethokoukis

AEIRyan Bourne on Joseph Schumpeter, the tech giants, and the case against monopoly fatalism: A long-read Q&A Are large tech firms like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook unassailable monopolies? Is there anything new about the way these companies try and maintain their market dominance? And have antitrust activists ever successfully predicted which big businesses will be forever companies? On this episode, Cato's Ryan Bourne discusses his recent paper, “Is This Time Different? Schumpeter, the Tech Giants, and Monopoly Fatalism.” Ryan Bourne occupies the R. Evan Scharf Chair for the Public Understanding of Economics at the Cato Institute. Before joining Cato, Ryan was [...]
Tue, Aug 20, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIConfusing Trump trade policy keeps confusing Is the Trump administration trying to good cop/bad cop Beijing? Just when you think it's a done deal that Commerce Department partially delays its Huawei ban, President Trump says he does “not want to do business at all” with the Chinese telecom company. And then … the reprieve comes anyway. Huawei received a 90-day extension that allows it to do some business with US customers. Clearly, Washington's negotiating strategy couldn't be that transparent with such a made-for-TV quality, but it just might be. At the heart of the issue, of course, is whether Trump sees Huawei [...]
Mon, Aug 19, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIWhen the last Soviet leader learned a lesson in economics One of my summer reads is “Gorbachev: His Life and Times” by William Taubman. It's garnered heaps of praise, and though I have not yet completed the lengthy tome, so far, so great. One of the big themes is an exploration of how the Soviet system ever produced someone like Gorbachev, much less let him rise to national leadership. One of Gorbachev's close aides called him “a genetic error in the system.” As such, I am constantly on the lookout for events and experiences that may have helped open Gorbachev's mind [...]
Wed, Aug 14, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIAn economic lesson worth remembering: Communism was pretty terrible Much of my writing is about the transformative power of innovative, market capitalism. But maybe it would be worthwhile to expend a few more words on the alternative. What about the terrible history of centrally planned economies? Apparently the great lessons from those experiences must be relearned. I mean, clearly the message isn't getting through when some folks — as I've seen on Twitter — can look at a chart showing the steep decline in global poverty and view it as an endorsement of the Chinese communist party rather than market reforms [...]
Mon, Aug 12, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEILet's not censor and ruin the internet over dodgy bias issues I hope this is #FakeNews, but I fear it isn't. CNN reports that the Trump White House has drafted an executive order that “could put the Federal Communications Commission in charge of shaping how Facebook, Twitter, and other large tech companies curate what appears on their websites,” according to sources. Specifically, the draft order attempts to limit Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, that gives internet companies broad immunity from lawsuits over third-party content. Then-Republican Senate Candidate Josh Hawley appears on [...]
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters about border security in the Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, US REUTERS/Carlos Barria
AEIWorried about China? There's an alternative to Trump's tariffs. It's tempting to write off Republican acquiescence to President Trump's protectionism as pure political calculation. The cynic's take: All those Milton Friedman-spouting GOP free traders have become “fair traders” just because tariffs are popular among Trump's white working-class fans. And why buck a president with a 72% net approval rating among Republicans over all? US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters about border security in the Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, US. REUTERS/Carlos Barria But it's more than just a Trump thing. And the president isn't the first GOP businessman to [...]
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEISearching for infinite economic growth It's tempting to think some favored policy tweak will produce massively positive economic effects. But that usually isn't the case. Even big policy changes often produce somewhat muted economic responses. When Congress passed big tax cuts back in 2017, President Trump said he saw “no reason” why economic growth couldn't accelerate to as high as 6%. Yet growth in the ten quarters since the tax cut has averaged 2.6%, not much better than the 2.3% growth experienced over the previous ten quarters or the 2.5% averaged since 1990. And that's OK, writes scientist and policy analyst Vaclav [...]
Thu, Aug 08, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIThe Wall Street Journal has unfortunately amplified the myth that social media is censoring conservatives There's a lot wrong with radio talker Dennis Prager's new op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, “Don't Let Google Get Away With Censorship.” Let's start with the flimsy nature of the headline claim. Prager's entire censorship case is that YouTube has placed 56 of 320 short videos produced by PragerU in “restricted mode” so that they're hidden to users — typically libraries, schools, and public institutions — who have chosen the setting. As YouTube explains, “Videos containing potentially adult content will not be shown to viewers [...]
Wed, Aug 07, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS