For the first time ever, I was able to include a formal lecture on government regulation of business in my Principles of Economics course. The thrust of my economic analysis of economic policy is comparative. Following Rothbard, I explain how a free society maximizes social preferences by allowing for the most possible mutually beneficial exchanges. I then contrast this with the outcome of various government interventions such as price controls or product standards. The end result of such regulations is generally a reduction in the quantity of people satisfying their most preferred ends because voluntary exchanges are restricted.
Jeff Tucker and Doug French apply this economic principle to the many "Dumb Ways (for an Economy) to Die." Their list includes propping up failing industries, protectionism, saving insolvent banks, regulation of the automobile industry, the minimum wage, economic class warfare, military warfare, property confiscation, socializing health care, demonizing immigrants, and abolishing interest rates via monetary manipulation. All of which is discussed with their typical style and panache.