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Commentary

“Underpants Gnomes” Political Economy



A classic (but characteristically crude) episode of South Park teaches us an important lesson about policy-making. The lesson repeats itself throughout a recurring series of teachable moments. Steven Horwitz and I discussed this in a column for the Freeman Online last year. It’s a lesson that is worth repeating, and it’s a lesson that has a lot of applications.

It’s fair bet that a lot of the policy proposals that come into your field of vision are based on a view of the world more appropriate to the Underpants Gnomes from South Park than serious and reasoned discussion.



Art Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California and an Associate Professor of Economics at Samford University’s Brock School of Business.







  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org