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Lipton Matthews

Articles by Lipton Matthews

Colonies Compared: Why British Colonies Were More Economically Successful

March 29, 2021

Last month, British black studies professor Kehinde Andrews argued that the British Empire was “far worse than the Nazis.” It was a controversial comparison to be sure, but it raises the question: Compared to other expansionist regimes, how bad was the British Empire?
A survey of the evidence suggests that the British Empire was relatively less harmful than other imperial efforts, and this is reflected in outcomes—in terms of health and economic growth, among other outcomes—compared among British colonies and other sovereign states in similar times and places.
This should not surprise us, since, as far as empires go, the British one was unusually liberal and open in terms of trade, centralization, and economic regulation.
One can certainly argue that colonial

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The Myths Behind the “Capitalism Is Racist” Claim

January 22, 2021

Though numerous studies prove the contrary, it is still widely assumed that capitalism perpetuates racism. Celebrities and academics incessantly broadcast the message that capitalism engenders racism. For example, recently on Twitter, superstar athlete Andre Iguodala informed his followers that capitalism cannot be divorced from racism: “Capitalism and racism go hand in hand. And you can’t have one without the other.” Equally scathing is the blistering declaration of sociologist Edna Bonacich in an academic review: “Capitalism and racism are closely connected….The huge wealth of America’s white-owned corporations rests on the backs of the hard labor of workers, many of whom are people of color.”
Despite the popularity of anticapitalist rhetoric, it is woefully

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Climate Change Policy Isn’t Worth Its High Cost

December 9, 2020

In most economies, inventories are valued at market prices, while in China they are valued by the authorities and adjusted later. This is just one of many ways China manipulates GDP data.

The year 2020 will be an extremely tough year for the European economy. Added to an unprecedented drop is a strong impact in the fourth quarter due to the new lockdowns. Morgan Stanley estimates that the eurozone’s GDP will fall by 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, a 7 percent drop in the full year 2020. In addition, the investment bank has lowered the outlook for 2021, with a rebound of only 5 percent in the average of the euro area, delaying the recovery of 2019 GDP to 2023.
The “jobless recovery” is even more worrying. The apparently spectacular rebound data for the third

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No, the American Republic Was Not Founded on Slavery

October 31, 2020

The fact that some Americans supported slavery in the eighteenth century is not at all remarkable. Most of the world agreed with them. What is remarkable is that many of them sought to abolish slavery in the new republic.

This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.
Original Article: “No, the American Republic Was Not Founded on Slavery“.

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No, the American Republic Was Not Founded on Slavery

October 30, 2020

Journalistic propaganda is a powerful instrument of indoctrination. Without evidence, foul ideas can easily penetrate mainstream discourse. For instance, recently it has become fashionable to posit that slavery is America’s original sin. To sensible people, this is a risible claim, because there is nothing particularly American about slavery. But revisiting the history of slavery in non-Western societies in Asia and Africa would do little to change the minds of America’s critics. A more appropriate strategy would be to contrast the opinions of the Founding Fathers on slavery with those of leaders in other countries. Only after undertaking this task will we be able to judge America.
In a larger historical context, asserting that some of the American founders owned

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Problems with Theories on the Black-White Wealth Gap

October 9, 2020

The wealth gap between white and black Americans is frequently discussed. Today it’s becoming popular to attribute disparities to black culture. Clearly all cultures are not equal, but can the subculture of some black American communities explain variations within the wealth gap?
For instance, fifty people in an inner-city neighborhood may engage in maladaptive activities; however, their actions are atypical of the broader black community. Discussing this issue is quite complicated since black culture is not monolithic. The culture of upper-class black Americans is different from that of their working-class peers. There are even subtle differences among various people from the working classes. Notwithstanding such nuances, the culture thesis is gaining

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The Failures of Federal Race-Based Paternalism

September 7, 2020

In an address to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1865, Frederick Douglass noted that he had often been asked “What should we do with the Negro?” Douglass remarked:
I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall….And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!
Having been born into slavery, Douglass was a man who understood the failures of government policy quite well. Moreover, the paternalism of the plantation was perhaps something he had no desire to recreate in the halls of government

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