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Economist, columnist
Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts (born 3 April 1939) is an American economist, journalist, blogger and former civil servant. He is best known as a journalist specializing in economic affairs from an anti-establishment, liberal conservative perspective. He was the United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Reagan in 1981.


3 Apr 1939, in Atlanta, Georgia


Hoover Institution, Senior Research Fellow
Independent Institute, Research Fellow


Is Free Trade Obsolete? Part 1, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Apr 2004
Critiques a Paul Craig Roberts and Charles Schumer article arguing against free trade due to a "new economic era", introducing first the law of comparative advantage
[Some] people ... say we should fear that Asian workers ... will take an increasing share of ... high-tech knowledge jobs ... Among the people making this prediction are economist Paul Craig Roberts, who is generally a free-market advocate, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer ... Roberts and Schumer see a different kind of threat in this "new economic era" ... What makes the economic era new, they say, is the wiping out of a critical premise of free-trade doctrine: the immobility of capital and labor ... According to ... Roberts, the indispensable condition for the operation of the law of comparative advantage no longer applies.
Is Free Trade Obsolete? Part 2, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, May 2004
After providing a numerical example of the law of comparative advantage, defends it from the argument (made by Roberts and Schumer) that movable factors of production make the law no longer applicable
According to economist Paul Craig Roberts, an early proponent of supply-side economics and a treasury official during the Reagan years, Ricardo's law depends on the inability of capital and labor to move across national boundaries ... As George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen writes,
Basically Roberts is peddling snake oil. His argument boils down to old-style protectionism, dressed up in new rhetorical garb, not new substance.
Cowen’s charge is substantiated by the fact that Roberts's argument would lead him to accept situations extremely similar to those he condemns.
Private Property and the Rule of Law: Paul Craig Roberts III and The Spirit Of Friedrich Hayek [PDF], by Michael D. White, 1992
Commentary introducing the 1992 Frank M. Engle Lecture, "'Takings,' the economy, and legal and property rights", delivered by Paul Craig Roberts at The American College, Bryn Mawr, PA, on 11 May 1992
Dr. Roberts speaks from this tradition. He does not see economics purely as mathematical and statistical number-crunching. He sees it philosophically in the best sense of that word: as a form of human activity, acted out in realms of human creation, within a modern complex of cultural, legal, political, and social structures. And he places the human actors at the center of his discussions about economic security, defending their inviolable right to private property and their opportunity to attain economic security against what many view as an increasingly arbitrary and intrusive legal and regulatory system.
We Need Real Free Trade Now, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Feb 2004
Responds to an article by Paul Craig Roberts and Sen. Charles Schumer arguing that free trade is no longer tenable due to outsourcing of jobs to Asian countries made possible by the "easy mobility of software and data"
Economist Paul Craig Roberts and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York co-wrote an article recently arguing that the venerable economic theory that justified free trade in the past no longer applies. Conditions have changed, they argue ... They offer the example of an American company "outsourcing" jobs to $20,000-a-year computer programmers in Asia and costing $150,000-a-year American programmers their jobs. Before such "factor mobility," Roberts and Schumer say, every country could specialize in the work it was best at, and the laws of economics assured that everyone benefited.


Americans Have Lost Their Country, 1 Mar 2007
Discusses (and lists) the neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration and the rationale for their actions furthering wars in the Middle East
The Bush-Cheney regime is America's first neoconservative regime. In a few short years, the regime has destroyed the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers, the Geneva Conventions, and the remains of America's moral reputation along with the infrastructures of two Muslim countries and countless thousands of Islamic civilians ... When the American people caught on that the "war on terror" was a cloak for wars of aggression, they put Democrats in control of Congress ... the Democrats have proven to be impotent ... We are witnessing the triumph of a dozen evil men over American democracy and a free press.
Ban People – They Kill, 17 Apr 2007
Discusses potential gun bans after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and laments the change in attitudes regarding guns, knives, movie violence and teacher and parental authority from when Roberts was a child
The tragic murders of Virginia Tech students, apparently by an insane person, will prompt new attempts to ban private ownership of guns. Once guns are banned, crime will explode. Households and vulnerable members of society will lose the ability to defend, which will invite more intrusions and attacks. ... I remember when a misbehaving kid picked up by the police was turned over to his parents. Today, the kids are taken to jail. Humans are fallible and will fail in their responsibilities to others and do bad things. However, today they fail more often than in the past. The cause is not guns.
Bush Is About To Attack Iran, 27 Jan 2007
Expresses dismay at the American lack of awareness of the Bush administration's intent of starting a war with Iran on the pretext that Iran, rather than al-Qaeda, is responsible for the Iraqi insurgency
The American public and the US Congress are getting their backs up about the Bush Regime's determination to escalate the war in Iraq. A massive protest demonstration is occurring in Washington DC today, and Congress is expressing its disagreement with Bush’s decision to intensify the war in Iraq. ... General Ivashof and everyone in the Middle East and at the Davos globalization conference in Europe understands the Bush Regime's agenda. Why cannot Americans understand? Why hasn't Congress told Bush and Cheney that they will both be instantly impeached if they initiate a wider war?
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Iran, Middle East
A Collapsing Presidency, 20 Mar 2006
Discusses the state of the George W. Bush administration, believing they are all neocons, who don't believe in debate, diplomacy or the U.S. Constitution
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that President Bush's support among the American people has fallen to 33%. Even more devastatingly, the survey finds that people's most frequently used one-word description of President Bush is "incompetent." ... Neocons are Jacobins. They are a foreign import and do not share our American values. Neocons are a grave danger to the United States and to the world. Neocons have led America into two gratuitous on-going wars that cannot be won, and they are determined to lead us into more wars. It is our duty to defend our country and to oppose these evil people.
The Confession Backfired, 17 Mar 2007
Discusses world reaction to the "ridiculous" confession of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, admitting responsibility for "31 planned and actual attacks", and posits that the U.S. government has virtually nothing on the hundreds of detainees in Gitmo and elsewhere
The first confession released by the Bush regime's Military Tribunals – that of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – has discredited the entire process. Writing in Jurist, Northwestern University law professor Anthony D'Amato likens Mohammed's confession to those that emerged in Stalin's show trials of Bolshevik leaders in the 1930s. ... If Bush can't have Mohammed murdered, the US government will have to shut Mohammed away where he cannot talk and tell his tale. The US government will have to replicate Orwell's memory hole by destroying Mohammed's mind with mind-altering drugs and abuse.
The Disrespect for Truth has Brought a New Dark Age, 29 Dec 2006
Compares past and present attitudes toward the truth and the impact of propaganda and other government actions on those attitudes, holding that "In America, truth has become partisan"
In her historical mystery, The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey (a pen name of Elizabeth MacKintosh) has Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, while confined to his hospital bed, solve the 15th century murder of the two York princes in the Tower of London. ... The challenges that America faces are not terrorism and oil supply. The challenges that we face are the police state that Bush has created and the disrespect for truth that is endemic in government, the universities, and the media. The US has entered a dark age of dogmas and unaccountable power.
Evidence of a Stolen Election, 19 Jan 2006
Discusses Mark Crispin Miller's Fooled Again (2005) and the evidence about electronic voting machines supposedly used to "steal" the 2004 presidential election
As coincidence would have it, Mark Crispin Miller's new book, Fooled Again (Basic Books), documenting the Republican theft of the 2004 presidential election, arrived in the same mail delivery with the January 12 edition of the Defuniak Springs Herald, the locally owned weekly newspaper in a Florida panhandle county seat ... If electronic voting machines programmed by private Republican firms remain in our future, dissent will become pointless unless it boils over into revolution. Power-mad Republicans need to consider the result when democracy loses its legitimacy and only the rich have anything to lose.
Gore Is Right, 18 Jan 2006
Ponders the lack of coverage of news coverage given to Al Gore's speech at Constitution Hall in which he challenged the Bush administration's lack of respect for the Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers
Former vice president Al Gore gave what I believe to be the most important political speech in my lifetime ... For the New York Times, it was a nonevent that a former vice president and presidential candidate, denied the presidency by one vote of the Supreme Court, challenged the Bush administration for its illegalities, rending of the Constitution and disrespect for the separation of powers ... Gore challenged the American people to step up to the task of defending the Constitution, a task abandoned by the media, the law schools, and the Democratic and Republican parties. If we fail, darkness will close around us.
How Much More Harm Can Bush Do?, 7 Mar 2006
Discusses the casualties resulting from the 2003 Iraq invasion, the changed world opinion of the United States and the lobbies that benefit from the continuation of hostilities
U.S. casualties (dead and wounded) have now reached 27,000 in a war that was supposed to be a 'cakewalk,' over in a few weeks. If what four-star Gen. Wesley Clark, former supreme commander of NATO, told Amy Goodman in a March 2 interview is correct, U.S. casualties are yet in their early days. ... How did the 'war on terror' become a war on the Iraqi people? ... Americans still regard themselves as the salt of the earth. But the rest of the world no longer sees Americans that way. When citizens of other countries turn their eyes toward America, they see evil.
I Resign From the Mont Pelerin Society, 21 Aug 2008
Explains Roberts' rationale for resigning from the Mont Pelerin Society, prompted in particular by events in South Ossetia
I have come to the conclusion that the Mont Pelerin Society is no longer an effective force for freedom, becoming instead another tool in behalf of US hegemony, ringing Russia with US military bases and puppet governments in the name of "supporting democracy." As far as I am aware, the MPS has not addressed the Bush administration's assault on US civil liberties ... I do not want to be associated with an organization that is a front for American hegemony and wars based on propaganda, lies, and deceit. If Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek were still alive, I am certain they would join me in resignation.
Related Topics: Georgia, Mont Pelerin Society, War
It Came From Washington: A Criminally Insane Government, 1 Jul 2012
Examines U.S. government adversarial actions towards Russia and China through NATO, in the Middle East and in the Pacific
When President Reagan nominated me as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, he told me that we had to restore the US economy, to rescue it from stagflation, in order to bring the full weight of a powerful economy to bear on the Soviet leadership in order to convince them to negotiate the end of the cold war. ... The criminally insane government in Washington, regardless whether Democrat or Republican, regardless of the outcome of the next election, is the greatest threat to life on earth that has ever existed. Moreover, the only financing the Washington criminals have is the printing press.
Kerry Complicit in Bush's Crimes, 19 Sep 2007
Comments on the lack of concern for constitutional rights under George W. Bush, as evidenced by the tasering of a student simply for asking questions about vote fraud during the 2004 presidential election, as well as the infamous "no-fly list"
Naïve Americans who think they live in a free society should watch the videos filmed by students at a John Kerry speech Sept. 17, Constitution Day, at the University of Florida in Gainesville. At the conclusion of Kerry’s speech, Andrew Meyer, a 21-year-old journalism student, was selected by Sen. Kerry to ask a question. ... The Bush Republicans and their Democratic toadies have, in the name of 'security,' made all of us powerless. While Sen. John Kerry and his Democratic colleagues stand silently, the Bush administration has stolen our country from us and turned us into subjects.
Lest We Forget, 25 Feb 2006
Recounts Khrushchev's denouncing of Stalin 50 years earlier, and warns Americans that they do not need to give up civil liberties, constitutional safeguards or international conventions in order to defend themselves against terrorism
Fifty years ago today, Nikita Khrushchev gave his Secret Speech to the Closed Session of the Twentieth Party Congress in which he denounced Joseph Stalin. At that time, Khrushchev, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, held the most powerful political office in the world. ... It is a great lie that America needs to give up its civil liberties, the separation of powers, the Geneva Conventions, and humane treatment of prisoners in order to defend itself against terrorism. If these are the Bush regime's terms for protection, Americans need quickly to find another government.
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Communism
The Power of Propaganda, 27 Dec 2006
Discusses the history of Chile from 1970 to 1990, covering Salvador Allende's election and the military coup d'état that resulted in the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, comparing the latter's actions to George W. Bush "war on terror"
Gen. Augusto Pinochet served as president of Chile during a troubled period of that country's history. His fate was to become the world's most demonized person in the last quarter of the 20th century, and his death on December 10, 2006, was met with a new outpouring of denunciation by the international left. ... It remains to be seen if the legacy of freedom that Pinochet gave to Chile will survive or whether it will succumb to the power of propaganda, just as America's freedom is succumbing to neoconservative propaganda about the need for a police state to protect Americans from terrorism.
Related Topics: Chile, Terrorism
What's Become of Americans?, 22 Mar 2006
Ponders the lack of reaction by Americans to events related to the Iraq War and the Bush administration, such as the missing WMDs, Abu Ghraib, mass surveillance, "free speech" zones, the death toll and the Haditha massacre
Imagine knocking on America's door and being told, 'Americans don't live here any longer. They have gone away.' But isn't that what we are hearing, that Americans have gone away? Alan Shore told us so on ABC's Boston Legal on March 14: 'When the weapons of mass destruction thing turned out not to be true, I expected the American people to rise up. They didn't. ...' ... The neocons have yet to tell us the real reason for their assault on Iraq, which has ... demoralized U.S. Marines to the point that they commit atrocities on women and children. Would real Americans accept these blows for the sake of an undeclared agenda?
Will the Democrats Become Part of the Problem?, 10 Nov 2006
Discusses the outcome of the 2006 U.S. mid-term elections and offers recommendations primarily for congressional Democrats
It only took six years for Americans to comprehend George Bush and the Republican Party and to realize that the Republicans were not leading America in any promising directions. Exit polls and interviews with voters across the country ... show that the November 2006 election was a vote against both Bush and the war in Iraq. ... Can Democrats restore American liberties and leadership, or will a lust for power corrupt them, too, and cause Democrats to retain the police state powers Bush has created? If the Bush regime's police state legislation is still law in 2008, the Democrats will have failed.


Paul Craig Roberts Interview, by Paul Craig Roberts, Scott Horton, The Scott Horton Show, 9 Jul 2005
"Scott and Paul Craig Roberts discuss the London bombings, the media, the terror war, the Iraq war and the neo-Jacobins."

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Paul Craig Roberts" as of 25 Jun 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.