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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 by Linas Garsys

U.S. economy better than ever

2019 was a very good year, despite a dysfunctional Congress. A few weeks ago, a friend said she had noticed that clothing was getting less and less expensive and, in fact, many items seemed to be getting less expensive. Published December 30, 2019

Literate Voter Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Should citizens pass an American history test to vote?

There are few things that will have more impact on economic well-being and liberties than the votes and actions of those who serve in elected office. If collectively the citizens make the wrong decision at the ballot box, it can mean disaster. Published December 9, 2019

Wealth Redistribution Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Declining consumption inequality

Listening to the debates among the Democrats running for president, there is much hand wringing about the alleged increase in income and wealth inequality. But is it true? Published December 2, 2019

Chart to accompany Rahn article of Nov. 5, 2019.

This wonderful era, and its exceptions

If you could choose to live in any year of the last 2,000, which year would you pick? For every person, some years are better than others; but looking across all of humankind, this year has probably been the best. Published November 4, 2019

Joker Mask Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Humor, the most effective weapon in politics

Last week, the Chinese restricted the National Basketball Association (NBA) because a team official praised the Hong Kong fight for liberty, and then they censored an episode of "South Park" because it spoofed the Chinese communist government. Published October 14, 2019

A board above the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the closing number for the Dow Jones industrial average, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. The DJIA sank 800 points after the bond market flashed a warning sign about a possible recession for the first time since 2007. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Can the United States avoid a global recession?

Is the world going into a recession? And if so, can the United States avoid being dragged in? Even though there are many who speak with great certainty as if they did know, the short and correct answer to both questions is no one knows. Published October 7, 2019

People lay flowers as they gather outside the burnt trade union building to commemorate the five-year anniversary of deadly clashes which killed dozens of demonstrators supporting Ukraine's government and pro-Russia protesters, in Odessa, Ukraine, Thursday, May 2, 2019. Five years after 48 people died in clashes in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, including dozens in a burning building, the UN human rights monitoring mission in the country is criticizing authorities for delays in prosecution and investigation of the violence. (AP Photo/Sergei Poliakov)

Hasn't Ukraine suffered enough?

The International Monetary Fund staff just concluded their mission to Ukraine. Upon reading the report, a colleague, who is a very good economist and student of IMF programs, immediately quipped, "Haven't they suffered enough?" -- with the added statement, "The IMF should steer clear." Published September 30, 2019

Illustration on the false prophets of climate change by Linas Garsys/The WAshington Times

The false prophets of climate doom

Every few years, some self-proclaimed prophet comes along with the announcement that the world is going to end on some specific date (usually because of mankind's sins). These religious doomsayer prophets receive less publicity than in times past, only to be replaced by environmental doomsayers. Published September 23, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks to several hundred people while campaigning for president at a town hall meeting at the Carson City Convention Center, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, in Carson City, Nev. He said former Vice President Joe Biden is distorting Sanders' "Medicare for All" health care plan. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

Freedom still works, as opposed to socialism

Socialism has always been a failure, and each year the world receives more information about the failures and brutality of socialism, but a number of people who appear to be intelligent and sane continue to embrace it. Published September 16, 2019

Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden participates in a CNN town hall series on climate change.  (Screengrab via

Untouched by climate change reality

If the government had not spent any tax dollars trying to mitigate climate change during the last 30 years, how much warmer would it have been and how much higher would the sea level be? The correct answer is, no measurable change. Published September 9, 2019

Predicting the Black Swan Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Predicting the next recession

When will the next recession start? No one knows despite the very confident talking heads on TV who speak with great certainty about things they cannot know. Published September 2, 2019

Illustration on the 1619 projects claims by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A reality check of The 1619 Project

The New York Times has created what they refer to as The 1619 Project, whose goal "is to reframe American history, making it explicit how slavery is the foundation on which this country is built. Published August 26, 2019

Donkey Dunce Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Math-challenged politicians

Who among those now running for president would have been capable of creating the founding documents of the United States? Published August 19, 2019