Benjamin Powell, Ph.D. - Texas Tech University - The Independent Institute - Lubbock, Texas ( TX )
     
 
Books
Authored Books
 
  Wretched Refuse?
The Political Economyof Immigration and Institutions
     
    Economic arguments favoring increased immigration restrictions suggest that immigrants undermine the culture, institutions, and productivity of destination countries. But is this actually true? Nowrasteh and Powell systematically analyze cross-country evidence of potential negative effects caused by immigration relating to economic freedom, corruption, culture, and terrorism. They analyze case studies of mass immigration to the United States, Israel, and Jordan. Their evidence does not support the idea that immigration destroys the institutions responsible for prosperity in the modern world. This nonideological volume makes a qualified case for free immigration and the accompanying prosperity.
 
Wretched Refuse?
 
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  Socialism Sucks
Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World
     
    Do We Have to Say It Again? Socialism Sucks!
     
    Apparently we do. Because today millions of Americans—young and old—are flocking to the socialist banner and chanting, “What do we want? Socialism—the economic system that has impoverished people everywhere and resulted in the deaths of tens of millions! And when do we want it? Now!”
     
    Really?
     
    Most people seem somehow to have missed Economics 101 and don't understand that socialism isn't nice, cuddly government that takes care of everything for you so that you can remain an adolescent forever. No, we've seen it tried over and over again with catastrophic consequences.
     
    Luckily, two semi-sober economists have toured the socialist world so you don't have to. And they've come back with this stunning report: Socialism Sucks!
     
    Along the way, you'll learn:
   
  • Why the so-called Swedish model might be attractive, but sure isn't socialism (Sweden is capitalism with a big welfare state)
  • How socialist Venezuela went from being the toast of liberals everywhere—Viva Venezuela!—to being just toast
  • Why you never see new cars in Cuba
  • Why no one forgets to turn out the lights in North Korea (hint: there aren't any)
  • Why American socialists have no idea what socialism really is
  • How hard it is to find good beer—or sometimes any beer at all—in socialist countries
     
    Irreverent but honest economists Robert Lawson and Benjamin Powell have all the data—and even more important, the firsthand global experience—to affirm that socialism fails to deliver on any of the utopian promises it makes and instead is very bad for your economic (and other) health. This is a book that every American who values freedom and sound economics (and good beer) needs to read.
 
 
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  Out of Poverty
Sweatshops in the Global Economy
  Cambridge Studies In Economics, Cognition And Society
     
    This book provides a comprehensive defense of third-world sweatshops. It explains how these sweatshops provide the best available opportunity to workers and how they play an important role in the process of development that eventually leads to better wages and working conditions. Using economic theory, the author argues that much of what the anti-sweatshop movement has agitated for would actually harm the very workers they intend to help by creating less desirable alternatives and undermining the process of development. Nowhere does this book put “profits” or “economic efficiency” above people. Improving the welfare of poorer citizens of third world countries is the goal, and the book explores which methods best achieve that goal. Sweatshops will help readers understand how activists and policy makers can help third world workers.
 
Out of Poverty
 
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Edited Books
 
  The Economics of Immigration
Market-Based Approaches, Social Science and Public Policy
  The Economics of Immigration summarizes the best social science studying the actual impact of immigration, which is found to be at odds with popular fears. Greater flows of immigration have the potential to substantially increase world income and reduce extreme poverty. Existing evidence indicates that immigration slightly enhances the wealth of natives born in destination countries while doing little to harm the job prospects or reduce the wages of most of the native-born population. Similarly, although a matter of debate, most credible scholarly estimates of the net fiscal impact of current migration find only small positive or negative impacts. Importantly, current generations of immigrants do not appear to be assimilating more slowly than prior waves.
     
    Although the range of debate on the consequences of immigration is much narrower in scholarly circles than in the general public, that does not mean that all social scientists agree on what a desirable immigration policy embodies. The second half of this book contains three chapters, each by a social scientist who is knowledgeable of the scholarship summarized in the first half of the book, which argue for very different policy immigration policies. One proposes to significantly cut current levels of immigration. Another suggests an auction market for immigration permits. The third proposes open borders. The final chapter surveys the policy opinions of other immigration experts and explores the factors that lead reasonable social scientists to disagree on matters of immigration policy.
 
The Economics of Immigration
 
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  Economic and Political Change after Crisis
Prospects for government, liberty and the rule of law
  The U.S. Government's accumulated national debt and unfunded liabilities in social security and Medicare could be pushing the country towards a fiscal crisis. How could such a crisis be avoided? If a crisis does strike, how might it be dealt with? What might be the long term ramifications of experiencing a crisis? The contributors to Economic and Political Change After Crisis explore all of these questions and more.
     
  The book begins by exploring how past crises have permanently increased the size and scope of government and how well the rule of law has been maintained during these crises. Chapters explore how these relationships might change in a future crisis and examine how the structure of the U.S. government contributes to a tendency towards fiscal imbalance. In a provocative contribution, the authors predict a U.S. government default on its debt. The book concludes by considering how a fiscal crisis might precipitate or interact with other forms of crises.
     
  Social scientists from a variety of disciplines, public policy makers, and concerned members of the general public would all benefit from the contributions contained in this book. If the U.S. is going to avoid a future crisis, or do as well as possible if a crisis occurs, the arguments in these chapters should be given serious consideration.
 
Economic and Political Change after Crisis
 
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  Making Poor Nations Rich
  Why do some nations become rich while others remain poor? Traditional mainstream economic growth theory has done little to answer this question—during most of the twentieth century the theory focused on models that assumed growth was a simple function of labor, capital, and technology. Through a collection of case studies from Asia and Africa to Latin America and Europe, Making Poor Nations Rich argues for examining the critical role entrepreneurs and the institutional environment of private property rights and economic freedom play in economic development.
     
  Making Poor Nations Rich begins by explaining how entrepreneurs create economic growth and why some institutional environments encourage more productive entrepreneurship than others. The volume then addresses countries and regions that have failed to develop because of barriers to entrepreneurship. Finally, the authors turn to countries that have developed by reforming their institutional environment to protect private property rights and grant greater levels of economic freedom.
     
  The overall lesson from this volume is clear: pro-market reforms are essential to promoting the productive entrepreneurship that leads to economic growth. In countries where this institutional environment is lacking, sustained economic development will remain illusive.
 
Making Poor Nations Rich - Benjamin Powell, Ph.D. - Texas Tech University - The Independent Institute - Lubbock, Texas ( TX )
 
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  Housing America
Building Out of a Crisis
  Housing policy not only affects all Americans quality of life, but has a direct impact on their financial well being. About 70 percent of American households own their own homes, and for most, their homes represent the majority of their net worth. Renters are affected by housing policy. Even the small minority of Americans who are homeless are affected by housing policies specifically targeted to low-income individuals. The governments increasing involvement in housing markets, fed by popular demand that government "do something" to address real problems of mortgage defaults and loans, provides good reason to take a new look at the public sector in housing markets. Crises in prime mortgage lending may lower the cost of housing, but the poor and homeless cannot benefit because of increases in unemployment. Even the private market is heavily regulated. Government policies dictate whether people can build new housing on their land, what type of housing they can build, the terms allowed in rental contracts, and much more. This volume considers the effects of government housing policies and what can be done to make them work better. It shows that many problems are the result of government rules and regulations. Even in a time of foreclosures, the market can still do a crucial a job of allocating resources, just as it does in other markets. Consequently, the appropriate policy response may well be to significantly reduce, not increase, government presence in housing markets.
 
Housing America Building Out of a Crisis - Benjamin Powell, Ph.D. - Suffolk University - The Beacon Hill Institute - The Independent Institute - Boston, Massachusetts ( MA )
 
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  Economic Freedom and Prosperity
The Origins and Maintenance of Liberalization
(Routledge Foundations of the Market Economy)
  Economic theory and a growing body of empirical research support the idea that economic freedom is an important ingredient to long-run economic prosperity. However, the determinants of economic freedom are much less understood than the benefits that freedom provides. Economic Freedom and Prosperity addresses this major gap in our knowledge. If private property and economic freedom are essential for achieving and maintaining a high standard of living, it is crucial to understand how improvements in these areas have been achieved and whether there are lessons that can be replicated in less free areas of the world today.
     
    In this edited collection, contributors investigate this research question through multiple methodologies. Beginning with three chapters that theoretically explore ways in which economic freedom might be better achieved, it then moves on to a series of empirical chapters that examine questions including the speed and permanence of reform, the deep long-run determinants of economic freedom, the relationship between voice and exit in impacting freedom, the role of crises in generating change, and immigration. Finally, the book considers the evolution of freedom in China, development economics, and international trade, and it concludes with a consideration of what is necessary to promote a humane liberalism consistent with economic freedom.
     
    Economic Freedom and Prosperity will be of great interest to all social scientists concerned with issues of institutional change. It will particularly appeal to those concerned with economic development and the determinants of an environment of economic freedom.
 
Economic Freedom and Prosperity
 
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Copyright © 2021
Benjamin Powell, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University, Executive Director, The Free Market Institute
The Indpendent Institute, Senior Fellow
Lubbock, Texas
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