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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

Slavery Care Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The return of slavery

There are some plagues that mankind seems to be incapable of fully destroying. One of these plagues is slavery, which has existed since man moved from being a hunter-gatherer to agriculture. Slavery is the condition where an individual is deprived of much of the product he or she produces and often all or much of their property. The ancient Greeks held slaves. The Romans held slaves. The Chinese held slaves. The Ottoman Turks held slaves. Serfdom, a less restricted form of slavery, existed in Europe from the fall of Rome until it was finally abolished in Russia in 1861. The harsher forms of slavery existed in Europe and most of the rest of the world until the 19th century — when it was peacefully abolished in many countries, such as England, or through violent clashes, such as the U.S. Civil War. Published April 22, 2019

Illustration on the history of the Federal Reserve by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

'Forever Fed,' but why?

Everyone has heard of the Federal Reserve Bank or "The Fed" and that it has something to do with the value of our money — and so it must be very important. But few even claim to really understand what the Fed does and how it does it. Published April 15, 2019

Forecast Protection Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

What is not known about the economy

How much will the stock market rise this year? As an economist, I frequently get variations of that question. If I am honest and say "I have no idea," the questioner most often walks away with a disappointed look. If I say something like "10.4 percent," the questioner will often be satisfied, even though I have given a random number with no basis in fact. Published April 8, 2019

East European Flower Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

From a whimper to success

Three decades ago, the socialist/communist economies of Eastern Europe died, not with a bang as many had feared, but with a whimper. It was obvious that the economies of those countries were falling further and further behind their Western Europe counterparts -- and that, coupled with the loss of liberty under the heavy thumb of the Soviet Union, was causing increased anger on the part of much of the population. Published April 1, 2019

John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)

What happened

Do you find it odd that almost up to the point that the Mueller report was released, John Brennan, former head of the CIA, said there would be other indictments? Published March 28, 2019

Illustration on the Federal governments outsized role by Alexandwer Hunter/The Washington Times

The real problem of this federal republic

It appears that a number of the new presidential candidates are not aware of the fact that the United States of America is a constitutional federal republic, and not a parliamentary democracy. Recent calls by some to abolish the Electoral College and drop the voting age to 16 are a sign that they lack an understanding of American history. Published March 25, 2019

Illustration on the need for renewed economic stimulation by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Reviving growth

Will the economy grow in the next two years? President Trump had a plan to grow the economy when he took office — cut tax rates and get rid of many counterproductive regulations. It worked. The economy grew at a 3 percent rate last year, and employment grew to the point where there were more jobs available than workers to fill them. Published March 18, 2019

Illustration on metastasizing tax law by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Killing the rule of law

Laws need to be few enough in number and readily understood by those they apply to in order to have an effective rule of law. The rule of law is necessary both for civil society and economic prosperity, but, unfortunately, it is being destroyed by governments that engage in endless efforts to increasingly micromanage the citizens. Published March 11, 2019

In this Oct. 28, 2013, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller is seated before President Barack Obama and FBI Director James Comey arrive at an installation ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Connecting the dots of corruption

You may have noticed that there have been a number of people in the top ranks of the FBI and Justice Department — like Robert Mueller, James Comey and Andrew McCabe — who have had powerful jobs regardless of whether the administration is Democratic (Clinton/Obama) or Republican (Bushes). They are put there, in part, to protect the financial interests of the Washington establishment. The U.S. government dispenses tens of billions of dollars to foreign governments and entities each year, and Washington interests receive billions from foreign countries. Published March 4, 2019

Rebuilding the Currency Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Starting over in Venezuela

The economy of Venezuela has collapsed as a result of gross socialist mismanagement. The currency is essentially worthless. To start over, the next government of Venezuela must re-establish the rule of law, protect private property rights and create a new currency. Published February 25, 2019

Chart to accompany Rahn article of Feb 19, 2019.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Last week, there was the pitiful scene of Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York begging President Trump to restore a tax provision which unfairly benefitted New Yorkers. It seems that many high-income New Yorkers have been moving their tax homes to Florida, undermining the New York tax base. Published February 18, 2019

Debt Crisis Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Government debt, a real crisis

"Mankind is doomed!" Headline writers have been writing that headline since the invention of printing — and someday it will come about. For about four decades, that headline has most often been applied to the threat of global warming. Every couple of years, some notable comes out with a pronouncement that the governments of the world only have 5 or 10 years to make fundamental changes or we are all toast. The deadlines come and go, without action, and most people carry on with life as they always have. Published February 11, 2019

Trader Tommy Kalikas works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Stocks are opening broadly lower on Wall Street as traders worry about the impact on U.S. companies of a slowdown in China's economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Destroying success with socialism

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness ." Charles Dickens wrote those words referring to the era of the French Revolution a little over two centuries ago, but they could equally apply to today. Published February 4, 2019

Illustration on the lack of a budgetr limit for Robert Mueller's investigation by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Bullies, brawlers and budgets

How many agents should a law enforcement organization send to arrest a highly visible, older, non-violent man, who is not a flight risk, for allegedly lying to Congress — particularly, when the individual has appeared numerous times on national TV saying he expects to be arrested and was obviously making no attempt to avoid law enforcement officials? Published January 28, 2019

The 1765 Stamp Act Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Correcting the mistake of 1765

The current troubles in the U.K. can be traced back to a fateful decision of King George III and the British Parliament in 1765 with the imposition of the Stamp Act on the American colonies. The Stamp Act placed a direct tax on printed materials, including legal documents, magazines, playing cards, newspapers and many other types of paper. Published January 21, 2019

-FILE- In this Monday Aug. 27, 2018, image, the United Nations flag flutters in the wind next to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands. Judges at the United Nations' highest court are listening to arguments in a case focused on whether Britain illegally maintains sovereignty over the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, including Diego Garcia, where the United States has a major military base. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)

The return of the tax bullies

Bully: "A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker." Published January 7, 2019

Christopher Columbus. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Genocide, slavery and immigration

My New Year's wish for the coming year is for more of my fellow Americans and others to learn some basic history and try to get a grip on reality. Someone who writes for The New York Times under the name of Michelle Alexander wrote a column published last week, "Who Deserves Citizenship?" Published December 31, 2018

Illustration on foolish Fed policy by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A fool's errand

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell just announced another quarter-point interest rate hike. The markets immediately responded by dropping several hundred points. Published December 24, 2018

The Tax of Uncertainty Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The uncertainty tax

President Trump's tariff turmoil, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's bungled Brexit negotiations, French President Emmanuel Macron's tax fiasco, etc. are all causing a slowdown in productive global investment and economic growth. The recent decline in the stock markets can be largely attributed to policy uncertainty. Mr. Trump is not to blame for the European mess, but his erratic trade actions and other unpredictable comments have contributed to the drop. He was on solid ground when he took much of the credit for the stock market rise, but now he needs to take some of the blame for the fall. Published December 17, 2018