Lessons from the Global Laboratory of Economic Experimentation -- Dan Mitchell
LibertyFest Monographs No. 1
Paperback, 84 pages
Published October 2017
Since I’m first and foremost a public finance economist, I’ll share one of my favorite tactics when debating fiscal policy. I’ll oftentimes share a table showing a list of nations that have achieved very good results by restraining the growth of government spending. I’ll show how the burden of government spending declined as a share of economic output and I’ll show how budget deficits also shrank as a share of GDP. I’ll then ask my colleague from the other side to please share a list of nations that got good results by raising taxes. Unsurprisingly, the usual response is either untrue claims or hemming and hawing.
When seeking to educate and convince a non-ideological audience that they should favor economic freedom, I’ve learned that there’s no substitute for this kind of real-world evidence. Most people think of themselves as being practical. My daily columns are designed to reach these people. If I can reach their minds, maybe their hearts will follow. -- From the Introduction