I am looking for a good article that I can use to demonstrate the often harmful effects of intervention and regulation. I'm doing a project and presentation on government intervention/externalities for an econ class but I would like to do it from a critical point of view rather than the cheerleading one others have taken. The best I have come up with so far (that has a reputable article backing it) is the prohibition of online gambling; with horses, lotto's, etc. exempted due to their superior lobbying power and generous campaign contributions. This will work if necessary but any idea's or input would be welcome and appreciated. Cheers.
There's a lot I can think of, but what about the FDA which constantly fails to insure product safety? The 'war on drugs', which is a catastrophe (much the same as the 'war on terror')? Failed state-designed markets (e.g. the USSR)? Anti-trust laws (see Armentano on this in the reading list on praxeology; they entrench, rather than break up, monopolies)? The prohibition of alcohol? All the problems the Fed causes, in spite of its alleged function? The failure of government-instituted price controls? Failure to protect the environment? These are but a few examples.
A good theoretical article on the matter is this. There's also a good book if you can find it in a library called Beyond Politics that assesses and outlines government failures.
Thank you inquisitor. I too could think of many examples but my internet search skills leave a little to be desired and I am having trouble finding reference material for support. I have a feeling my proffessor would not be very receptive to mises.org, or fee.org sourced material. She is a FAR left democrat and not very tolerent of libertarian or austrian viewpoints. I think I just need to put in some more time this weekend and dig up some "mainsteam" articles to support my thesis; I know they are out there as I have read plenty from sources such as the economist, etc. but they elude me now that I need them.
Thanks again for the reply. And, although I can't use it, I did enjoy the article you linked for me. Cheers.
Try Cato or the Independent institute (the latter is not too well-known as a libertarian institution, but it has some excellent materials, many of an Austrian bent.)
I'm not sure why your teacher should have any say over which sources you use, provided you argue the point well. She has no right to impose her biases. Of course, I can see why you're concerned over this, so just try out the Independent institute if you will - Armentano has some articles there, for instance, IIRC.
Does it have to about contemporary America? There are plenty examples from overseas and from the 20th century history that would serve as good examples without touching he pet project. The best way to prove socialism wrong to a bleeding-heart liberal is to point out just how many millions people government intervention has killed in the last century the world over through sheer economic mismanagement.
Zimbabwe is the current economic basket case. You can find a lot of recent articles on how that country's economy is spinning out of control because government interventions, first in endorsing robbery in the name of land redistribution, then print a ton of money causing run-away inflation, then introducing price control (which results in empty shelves), now the government is going after "hoarders" as if that would solve anything. The lates news I think is striking zero's from the paper currency! The country is exerperiencing 20,000% annual inflation.
Extreme examples aren't too good. I'd recommend trying to find something pertaining to a modern Western 'democracy', because this illustrates the universality of government failure better, even in supposedly well-managed Western economies. Using extremes to prove a point is best left as a last resort.
I went with biofuel mandates and corn-ethanol subsidies which are artificially bidding up the prices of some of the most basic foodstuffs of the world's poor. These misguided subsidies, mandates, and tariff protectionism (Brazilian sugar-cane being more efficient for ethanol production), are pricing those on the margins out of the market; those estimated 2.7 billion people that live on less than $2 a day and spend 50-80 percent of their income on sustenance.
It seemed a pretty easy target for an audience that might not otherwise be receptive to anti-interventionist views. I'll find out tomorrow how it is received.