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Lipton Matthews

Lipton Matthews

Lipton Matthews is a researcher, business analyst, and contributor to Merion West, The Federalist, American Thinker, Intellectual Takeout, mises.org, and Imaginative Conservative. Visit his YouTube channel, with numerous interviews with a variety of scholars, here. He may be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter (@matthewslipton).

Articles by Lipton Matthews

Finklestein’s Folly: How Not to Discredit One’s Opponents

April 10, 2024

The ongoing Israeli-Palestine conflict continues to captivate podcasters and listeners. So, Lex Friedman tapped into this interest by assembling a panel of experts to debate the issue. However, his decision to invite online personality Destiny as a commentator to defend Israel elicited criticisms, as Destiny is a college dropout who was parachuted to fame as a videogame streamer before becoming a political commentator.Since then, he has established a reputation for debating members of the populist right. Destiny applied his talents to build a lucrative brand as a political commentator and this is commendable. Although Destiny is not in the league of people like Thomas Sowell and Ilan Pappe, he is a successful political entrepreneur whose prosperity depends on

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Understanding the History of African Slavery: The Europeans Were not the Only Slave Traders

April 6, 2024

In the vast pantheon of history, black people have been both victims and oppressors. Yet history has been so politicized that we hear endlessly about the former and almost never about the latter. Rhetoric has eclipsed facts. It is a fact, for example, that Africans participated in the transatlantic slave trade. History is now frequently used as a cudgel to hammer white people into submission.Instead of recognizing nuance and complexity, many who should know better have embraced the simplistic narrative of activists. Mainstream publications like the Atlantic and the New York Times desperately want it to be true that blacks have only ever been victims of whites. Yet editorial sentimentalism cannot change the facts. A proper reading of history shatters the feel-good

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Protectionism Doesn’t Decrease “Food Insecurity”; It Increases It

March 15, 2024

Achieving food security is a priority of political parties regardless of ideology. Therefore, countries work assiduously to ensure that this project is accomplished. The proactive approach to tackling the issue is admirable, but in their pursuit of food security, some countries adopt counterproductive policies. The assumption that protectionism alleviates the risks of food security is still embraced by many policymakers when there is no correlation.Such muddled thinking stems from a misunderstanding of what food security entails. If the goal of food security is to satisfy the nutritional requirements of the population, then the source of food is immaterial. Realistically, small countries constrained by geographical limitations achieve food security by importing.

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Understanding the Trump Phenomenon: It’s Not What the Elites Think

February 18, 2024

Political and economic elites predicted a doomsday scenario when Trump was elected in 2016, but the reality of his presidency didn’t come close to matching the apocalyptic rhetoric that accompanied it.
Original Article: Understanding the Trump Phenomenon: It’s Not What the Elites Think

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The “New” South Africa Is Now a Newly-Failed State: Don’t Look for Things to Improve

February 13, 2024

Recently, South Africa evoked opposition in some quarters by bringing a case against Israel to the International Court of Justice on the account that the latter is perpetuating genocide against Palestinians. Israel’s response to the terror of Hamas has been widely denounced by the mainstream press, but irrespective of the legitimacy of South Africa’s claims, this matter has brought South Africa to the forefront of public discourse, and as such, an examination of the country is necessary.
South Africa is a country mired in social and economic turmoil. After the collapse of the apartheid regime in 1994, many thought that the nation would embark on an era of sustained prosperity, but this ambition failed to materialize. Instead, the African National Congress became

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Jamaica Still Struggles Economically, But There Is Hope for the Future

January 12, 2024

Jamaica is a small island in the British West Indies, but despite its stature, this tiny nation has elicited the attention of global elites. In politics, Jamaica’s voting behavior at the United Nations is closely monitored by her neighbors in the Caribbean and the global community because she commands influence. Due to historical and cultural complexities, Jamaica is a magnet for academic research, and writing about the country has manifested into a cottage industry. Consistent with her fame, those who study Jamaica tend to be heavyweights in academia. Luminaries from Jeffrey Williamson to Josh Lerner pen intellectual missiles on Jamaica’s economy.
Always in the den of controversy, Jamaica’s recent economic performance has motivated a lively debate between

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Authorities in Jamaica Endorse Cancel Culture

January 9, 2024

Jamaicans are willing to accept authoritarian behavior from the state in the name of rejecting colonialism.
Original Article: Authorities in Jamaica Endorse Cancel Culture

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Africa Doesn’t Need More Government Aid; It Needs Free Markets

December 13, 2023

With a large regional market and youthful population, Africa should be on the cusp of greatness. Yet instead, it remains the poorest continent on earth. Analysts are conceding that Africa’s outlook is gloomy because the region is on track to miss poverty reduction goals. Successive African administrations have consulted multiple strategies to tackle the scourge of poverty with varying degrees of success; however, the plague of poverty has been persistent.
Combatting poverty in Africa is indeed a daunting task since some countries have yet to overcome geographical and environmental limitations. For example, the ravaging effects of the tsetse fly on the food market amount to an annual loss of $5 billion. Achieving developmental targets becomes even more elusive when

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Israel: A Rich Nation Receiving the Bulk of US Foreign Aid

December 6, 2023

Why is Israel a primary benefactor of United States foreign aid? Is Israel a proxy for US imperialism in the Middle East? Does American aid to Israel benefit constituencies other than the defense industry? The ongoing feud between Israel and Palestine has raised these questions to the forefront of public debate. Israel is the leading recipient of American foreign aid, despite its wealth. In 2022, The Economist ranked Israel as the fourth most successful economy in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
A prosperous country such as Israel should hardly be a contender for America’s benevolence; hence, America’s commitment to sponsoring Israel strikes people as odd. However, some observe that Israel plays a critical role in bolstering American

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Haiti May Have Won Independence, But It Is Not Independent of Chaos and Poverty

October 10, 2023

Haiti famously won its independence from France during a slave revolt, but being independent has not brought political stability or prosperity. Instead, Haitians struggle to get by in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.

Original Article: Haiti May Have Won Independence, But It Is Not Independent of Chaos and Poverty

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American Prosperity Is Greater than Most of Us Realize

September 8, 2023

Traveling was once a luxury for the rich, but today even working-class people enjoy vacations. In America, people have gotten so wealthy that planning summer vacations is a priority for many families. Living standards have improved so tremendously that elite amenities are now commonplace. Nearly 90 percent of American homes rely on air-conditioning, and 92 percent of households have access to at least one vehicle.
Relative to the globe, most Americans are high-income people. People who are considered poor in America would be rich in developing countries. Compared to other rich countries in Europe, America is also doing remarkably well. A 2019 study published by the think tank Just Facts shows that after accounting for all income, philanthropy, and noncash welfare

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Voting with Their Feet: The Lure of Migration

September 2, 2023

People migrate for many reasons, including moving to a better economy and escaping political persecution. But one thing is certain: people are going to vote with their feet.

Original Article: "Voting with Their Feet: The Lure of Migration"

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Real Progress versus the Progressives

August 3, 2023

Depending on one’s perspective, technology can be viewed as either an opportunity or a threat. Some people celebrate technical advances while others show disdain. Entrepreneurs are frequently eager to capitalize on the potential advantages of new technologies, but where entrepreneurs see room for dynamism, naysayers see doom. In this story, entrepreneurs are akin to wizards who use the magic of technology to improve the world, and naysayers are prophets of pessimism.
In his insightful book The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World, Charles Mann illustrates the conflicts between wizards and prophets, who both advocate different approaches to solving problems. Wizards trust in the liberating power of

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Belgian Colonialism of the Congo: Facts and Fiction

July 15, 2023

Stories cannot substitute for historical facts even when people want these stories to be true. With the influence of Black Lives Matter, resurrecting the atrocities of Western colonialism has become fashionable. The death of George Floyd revived a torrent of anticolonialism sentiment in Western societies fueled by resounding demands for governments to atone for the sins of colonialism. Although the colonial legacy of Western powers is tainted by dastardly acts, exaggerations of violence must be condemned. Using history as a political tool only pollutes public discourse in the long run.
Listening to activists is quite different from reading an academic study. Mainstream outlets will inform readers that Europeans committed atrocities in Africa and the West Indies,

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Technology Is Meaningless without Entrepreneurship

June 20, 2023

While many believe that technology is key to a growing economy, technology is useless without entrepreneurship, which develops uses for technology.

Original Article: "Technology Is Meaningless without Entrepreneurship"

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Why Barbados Advanced Economically While Jamaica’s Growth Lagged

June 14, 2023

Onlookers often cannot fathom why Barbados and Jamaica have delivered such divergent outcomes despite their similar history as former colonies of England. Both countries achieved independence in the 1960s and inherited British law and institutions. Yet Barbados eclipsed her peers to become the pride of the developing world, whereas Jamaica recorded years of anemic growth and institutional degradation. However, digging deeper into history reveals that Barbados pursued different political economy paths from Jamaica.
Unlike Jamaica, Barbados was a settlers’ colony where planters were devoted to institution building rather than living off profits in England. Bajan planters thought that they represented the best of the West Indies. As gentlemen planters, elites aspired

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Taxation as a Weapon against Prosperity

June 13, 2023

The current regime wants to use taxation not simply as a means to collect revenue for the government, but as a weapon against economic prosperity itself.

Original Article: "Taxation as a Weapon against Prosperity"

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Individualism in the US Has Helped Make It an Economic Success

June 11, 2023

Individualism, while condemned in some cultures, has helped make this country economically successful. Will the influx of immigrants from cultures that devalue individualism reverse that success?

Original Article: "Individualism in the US Has Helped Make It an Economic Success"

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Technology Is Meaningless without Entrepreneurship

June 7, 2023

Technocrats frequently pressure the US government to increase R and D as a strategy to upstage China. The assumption is that public R and D will lead to innovation and economic growth because research generates the science that spurs innovation. Yet the formula is mistaken, for history has shown that science often lags technology. Innovations prior to the advent of modern science in Europe occurred without crucial advancements in scientific knowledge.
But this does not discount the relevance of science since, according to economic historian Joel Mokyr, the industrial revolution in Europe did not phase out like earlier episodes of industrial progress because Europe had developed an epistemic base to fuel scientific and technical advancements. Technology can be

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Individualism in the US Has Helped Make It an Economic Success

May 31, 2023

Immigration has raised concerns in some about America’s demographic future. Some propose that an influx of migrants with foreign worldviews will fracture American society. This argument is based on the finding that the diversity generated by immigration deters social trust.
Trust is a crucial ingredient for societies to thrive by establishing collaborative institutions. Trusting societies are more cooperative and innovative because when people trust each other, they are more likely to share information. Trust also makes it easier to do business by lowering transaction costs.
People will expedite the business process when they have confidence in the integrity of their partners. Because trust is a stimulant for social progress, concerns that immigration will corrode

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Taxation as a Weapon against Prosperity

May 25, 2023

The Economist magazine in a recent editorial painted a rather positive image of the American economy. After encountering setbacks, the American economy often registers a buoyant recovery. Despite competition from rivals, America has retained her position as the world’s top economy. Some are bewildered by America’s enduring prosperity, but is it reasonable to expect less from a country designed to do business?
The American Constitution is a fierce protector of property rights and economic freedom. Respect for property rights is so ingrained in the American legal system that for legal purposes corporations are considered as people. Because of this special status, American corporations are poised to defend themselves from government encroachment. A consequence of

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Historical Effects of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

May 16, 2023

While the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade have been well documented, people other than slave traders and slaveholders benefitted from it, with some surprising results.

Original Article: "Historical Effects of the Transatlantic Slave Trade"

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Progressives Want to Eliminate Wealthy Entrepreneurs but Need the Wealth They Create

May 11, 2023

Being perceived as anti–working class is a cardinal sin in American politics. Working-class people are seen as the unappreciated engine of American growth. Hillary Clinton discovered this lesson when she was criticized for calling Donald Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables.” But interestingly, expressing contempt for the upper class is quite tolerable.
Rich people are frequently ridiculed by comedians and depicted as snobs in popular culture. Shows like SpongeBob SquarePants and The Simpsons present affluent characters in an unflattering light. Such characters are seldom portrayed as virtuous entrepreneurs who are rewarded for delivering value. Usually, viewers are led to think that the rich are the source of all social ills.
Typically, negative depictions

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