The people's voice of reason

Articles written by daniel sutter

Sorted by date  Results 26 - 37 of 37

Page Up

  • Socialism and the Horrors of Communism

    Daniel Sutter|Apr 1, 2020

    Bernie Sanders’ pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination continues to bring popular attention to socialism. Polls continue to reveal socialism’s considerable appeal to many Americans. Opponents of socialism often offer up the horrors of 20th Century Communism as a rebuttal. Is this history relevant today? Received wisdom holds that young Americans know no history. So here’s the history lesson: communist regimes in the 20th Century produced over 100 million deaths, numerous famines, gula...

  • Death, Taxes and Prosperity

    Daniel Sutter|Mar 1, 2020

    The only two sure things in life, according to the saying, are death and taxes. Should businesses profit when one of their employees dies? They can avoid taxes, and this reduces our prosperity. I first read about “Janitors Insurance” or “Dead Peasants Insurance” in Harvard Professor Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy. Professor Sandel used the case to criticize how this affected businesses’ view of workers: “Creating conditions where workers are worth more dead than alive objectifies the...

  • Could an Asteroid Destroy Our Economy?

    Daniel Sutter|Feb 1, 2020

    An asteroid could wipe out all life on Earth, so yes. But what if we mined and brought an asteroid’s valuable metals to Earth? NASA’s plan to send a probe to an asteroid generated some out-of-this-world economic claims. The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter may be the remnants of a proto-planet that broke up long ago. NASA plans to visit 16 Psyche, a heavy metal asteroid, which astronomers believe is mostly nickel and iron, but may contain precious metals like gold and platinum. The reporte...

  • Will the Best Team Win?

    Daniel Sutter|Jan 1, 2020

    The field is set for the college football playoff. Good sportsmanship often involves wishing, “May the best team win!” But the best team does not always win, which illustrates an important element of economics. Either LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, or Oklahoma will be crowned champion on January 13. I will not prognosticate about the winner. Football fans know that many small things affect a game’s outcome. The football can take funny bounces. Passes can get deflected or dropped. A player can slip....

  • When the Impossible Happens

    Daniel Sutter|Dec 1, 2019

    The Berlin Wall, the most visible manifestation of Communist oppression, came down thirty years ago. This totally unexpected event was a triumph of hope and the human spirit. How can social scientists explain a seemingly impossible event? The Wall isolated West Berlin, part of democratic West Germany, almost 100 miles inside communist East Germany. The Wall and the Iron Curtain appeared to permanently divide Europe. The Wall was built in August 1961 to halt an East German exodus, including 30,00...

  • History Comes to Troy

    Daniel Sutter|Oct 1, 2019

    Troy University will host an exhibition from The Remnant Trust from September through the end of November. The artifacts and books included afford an opportunity for Alabamians to see some history. Founded in 1999, The Remnant Trust is a foundation dedicated to preserving items important to the history of individual freedom and human dignity. Partnered with Texas Tech University since 2014, the Trust has a collection of over 1,400 documents for research and exhibitions like the one coming to Tro...

  • Vaccines, Reason, and Freedom

    Daniel Sutter|May 1, 2019

    The current measles outbreak has brought new criticism of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children over vaccine safety concerns. Measles was declared to be eradicated in the U.S. in 2000, and yet this year 550 cases have occurred through the second week of April. Anti-vaccination attitudes, I think, reflect a decline in trust in government. The research “anti-vaxxers” cite linking vaccines to autism, multiple sclerosis, and other ailments, has been called “junk science.” The Centers...

  • Medicaid for All?

    Daniel Sutter|Apr 1, 2019

    Democrats are calling the newest single-payer healthcare proposals “Medicare for All.” America has three major systems of government healthcare: Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans’ Administration (VA). Is a single-payer system more likely to resemble Medicare or Medicaid? President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society established Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 to cover elderly Americans and the poor and disabled. The programs cover 55 and 66 million Americans respectively. Medicare cost $706 billion...

  • Two Paths Forward for Healthcare

    Daniel Sutter|Mar 1, 2019

    Numerous prominent Democrats now support Medicare for All, the most recent proposal for a single-payer healthcare system. A recent Trump Administration report, Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition, offers a different path forward, detailing the numerous ways government restricts competition and increases costs. Medicare for All suggests that we would be turning away from markets and private insurance to government healthcare. In truth, government rules have d...

  • Is Anything an Accident?

    Daniel Sutter|Feb 1, 2019

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has suggested charging Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) with murder in connection with last November’s Camp Fire. The deadliest wildfire in California history, Camp killed 86 people and destroyed the town of Paradise. A cause has not been officially determined, but evidence suggests that PG&E electric transmission wires may have started the blaze. The case illustrates a conundrum implied by the economics of accidents. I do not wish to accuse PG&E of s...

  • Sustainable Solar Energy

    Daniel Sutter|Nov 1, 2018

    Oregon recently took back $13 million in tax credits awarded to SolarCity based on inflated costs reported on 14 solar projects. This is just the latest in a long series of legal issues for renewable energy companies. Our governments have encouraged solar and wind energy through tax credits, subsidies from tax dollars, and mandates. But perhaps letting markets and entrepreneurs work might be a better way to develop renewable energy to truly benefit America. One billion in tax dollars were spent...

  • Is Facebook Really Like Ma Bell?

    Daniel Sutter|Oct 1, 2018

    Some commentators and politicians have proposed regulating Facebook, Twitter, and Google as public utilities. To make sense of this proposal, let's consider the economic role of public utilities. Today's social media giants might meet the popular definition of monopoly, namely having a very large market share. Economists, however, use a much stricter definition, and public utility regulation applied only to the specific type known as "natural" monopoly. Natural monopoly refers to industries...