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Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

Articles by Richard W. Rahn

Illustration on voter regret by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

When voters have regret

Four years from now, will you regret having voted for the person you chose this year for president? In decision theory, there is a concept called "regret," which is the emotion experienced when realizing that an alternative course of action would have likely resulted in a more favorable outcome. Published October 24, 2016

Illustration on the influence of Vladimir Putin on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The Russian enigma and the U.S. election

Does Vladimir Putin want Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to win the presidency? Those supporting Hillary claim that Mr. Putin wants Mr. Trump to win, and they claim that is why WikiLeaks is putting out the Hillary emails and speeches. Published October 17, 2016

Illustration on the candidates' past words and deeds at odd with their public faces by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The heavy price of hypocrisy

Were you shocked when you heard Donald Trump's lewd comments? Were you shocked when Hillary Clinton, the leader of "destroy-the-women-victims-of-Bill-Clinton's bimbo eruptions" and a notorious potty mouth herself, said Mr. Trump was unqualified to be president? Published October 10, 2016

Crush of Politics on Government Agencies Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Obama loyalists reckless and lawless

During the past two weeks, officials in the Obama "Justice" Department almost caused a new global financial crisis, because they put political considerations above the national welfare. Government is supposed to protect person and property, not put the citizens at greater risk. Published October 3, 2016

Economic Education Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Separating economic sense and nonsense

Why is it that many politicians and journalists can quickly grasp the idea that if the tax on cigarettes or soft drinks with sugar is increased, the demand for them will decline, but seem unable to understand that increasing a tax on labor, like a mandated increase in the minimum wage, will cause a decline in the demand for labor, leading to higher unemployment? Published September 26, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Germain Arena, Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Ft. Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

A reality check of the election

Government spending and borrowing are once again growing as a percentage of GDP. The federal debt held by the public was 35 percent in 2007. It is 74 percent today, and is projected to be 140 percent in 2046 — provided nothing goes wrong. Published September 19, 2016

Illustration on the prospect of tyranny in America by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Why equal justice matters

More than two years ago, several independent researchers, investigative journalists and columnists (including yours truly) began providing evidence and reporting on apparent funds from Russian government-controlled entities funneling into U.S. environmental groups. Published September 12, 2016

Tax Burden Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Tax malpractice in the EU

Why would the Irish government argue against receiving $14.5 billion (yes that is a billion with a B) in income taxes that the European Union says Apple owes it? The amount is greater than the entire Irish budget, yet they are saying, "No thank you." Both the EU and the Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, have engaged in tax malpractice. Published September 5, 2016

Illustration on wasteful taxation by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

A real loser of a tax

Would you be in favor of a tax that loses money for the government, and penalizes entrepreneurship, job creation and economic growth? Only muddy-brained or mean-spirited people would favor such a tax — yet many such people are found in the Internal Revenue Service and Congress. The tax that I am referring to is the capital gains tax, and even more specifically, the capital gains tax as it is applied to the sale of commodities. Published August 29, 2016

Yin and Yang Sun Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Causing less harm by doing nothing

It has not only been a waste of money, it has done real harm. Some trillions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars have been spent to combat global warming over the last three decades. Has the expenditure of all of this money reduced global temperatures from where they would have otherwise been? No, at least not to a measurable degree. Published August 22, 2016

Benefits of Free Trade Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The case for free trade

Do you support free trade? Many business people, politicians and workers say they are in favor of free trade, "but with conditions" -- because they can see and feel the job losses but not the job and income gains. Published August 15, 2016

Income Growth Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Growth lessons

Which presidential candidate's policies are likely to cause higher growth? Published August 8, 2016

Russians Hack Hillary Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Wild charges over hacking of the DNC

Did the Russians hack the emails of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton? The answer is almost certainly "yes," but that does not mean that the DNC and other emails were released on behalf of the Kremlin to help Donald Trump. The basis for my skepticism of the charge that the email dumps were ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin is as follows. Published August 1, 2016

Illustration on the bus tax by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A regulatory plague from Austin

All plagues, whether they are biological or destructive policy ideas, begin at some specific place and time. The city of Austin, Texas, is now the place of origin of what could be a very costly experiment. Published July 25, 2016

Burning Book Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Book burners and gun banners

Environmental zealots and the politically correct have become modern-day book burners in their attempts to criminalize and repress the speech of those who disagree with them. The Nazis and other dictatorial regimes used the old practice of book burnings and gun seizures as a way of maintaining control and intimidation. Published July 18, 2016

Illustration on the relative state of the world by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

It's better than you think

It is the worst of times -- well no, not really. This past week we had shootings of police and shootings by police. The world economy and political situation is a mess. It is a time of crisis -- without an apparent Churchill, Thatcher or Reagan. Yet, in many ways, things have never been better. Published July 11, 2016

Too big to succeed

Have you ever wondered why it is that even the most successful companies invariably stall out in terms of growth and profits? The reason is that any organization, whether it is a business, a nonprofit, or a government, reaches a point where it can no longer be managed in an effective and efficient manner as it was when it was smaller. Published July 4, 2016

Purging the Unaccountable Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Revolt against the unaccountable

The Brexit vote is just the beginning of the revolt against unaccountable institutions and persons. The global political-economic class reacted with horror when a majority of British citizens said "enough is enough," by voting to leave the EU. Published June 27, 2016

A Change of Mind Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Words, not weapons

Most people who have reached a certain age have changed their minds about something or someone that they firmly believed in the past. Many of the real conflicts in society, including hate-driven mass shootings, result from people who fail to acknowledge, even to themselves, that they could be wrong. Published June 20, 2016

Huge Government Expense Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Bursting the false narrative

At the end of this past week, The Washington Post ran a long story on the Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CFP), an organization that I have long supported. It appeared that the original goal was to do a hit piece on CFP because it had been a leader in the fight for global tax competition and smaller government. Published June 13, 2016