Economics

Rube Goldberg Economics

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“Since ‘economic growth’ is today’s great problem, and our present Administration is promising to ‘stimulate’ it — to achieve general prosperity by ever wider government controls, while spending an unproduced wealth ...” Any contemporary libertarian or Austrian-school economist could have written those words. The quotation, however, is from Ayn Rand’s opening paragraph to the essay “Let Us Alone,” published in ... [click for more]

Stimulus II Won’t Work, Either

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President Obama won’t use the “stimulus” label to describe his nearly half-trillion-dollar jobs bill, but that refusal can’t hide the fact that he has no idea how economies recover from recessions. “Stimulus” is a tainted label because his $800 billion bill in 2009 was a failure. His economic team promised that passing that bill would keep unemployment from exceeding ... [click for more]

Obama’s War on Prosperity and Freedom

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On September 7, 2011, James Bovard gave the following speech at The Future of Freedom Foundations Economic Liberty Lecture Series. The speech can viewed below in its entirety. James Bovard is the author of nine books, including Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), The Bush Betrayal (2004), and Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994). He has written for ... [click for more]

Give Thanks to Price Gougers

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Some things never cease to amaze me, for example, the willingness of state officials to vilify and prosecute those who dare to raise prices during an emergency. As far as superficial demagoguery and economic illiteracy go, those initiatives are right up there. Thirty-one states have some form of anti-price-gouging law, and a recent statement from North ... [click for more]

Is There a Right to Earn a Living?

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The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law by Timothy Sandefur (Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 2010) Is there a right to earn a living? Most Americans would answer, “Of course there is, but ...” Following that “but” you would get a long list of exceptions and qualifications that whittle away at the right, such as “but ... [click for more]

Debt and Financial Repression

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Despite all the Sturm und Drang surrounding this summer’s debate concerning the debt limit, there was never any doubt that Congress would vote to increase it. It was all political theater because there was never the political will on Capitol Hill to impose the kind of spending cuts that would have been necessary had it not been raised. So the ... [click for more]

Paul Krugman and Military Keynesianism

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The Princeton economist Paul Krugman recently appeared on CNN’s GPS hosted by Fareed Zakaria and offered up this pearl of economic wisdom: It’s very hard to get inflation in a depressed economy. But if you had a program of government spending plus an expansionary policy by the Fed, you could get that. So, if you think about using all of ... [click for more]

The Continuing Economic Depression, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 Contrary to popular belief, economic downturns in a free-market economy do not linger or continue for many years. The Great Depression was “great” because government policies made sure that the calamity became ingrained in American life for a decade. One can only hope that the present economic difficulties in the United States will not ... [click for more]

Immigration Statism vs. Economic Liberty

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The Supreme Court has upheld an Arizona law that imposes harsh penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. The penalty of violating the law entails the suspension of a firm’s business license. The law requires state companies to verify that employees are legal by using a federal database. Oh, for the days of substantive due process! That was the ... [click for more]

Debt-Ceiling Fraud

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The federal government has now reached its $14.3 trillion debt limit, even though Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is buying the government a couple of more weeks through some clever financial finagling. That means that the federal government cannot legally add any more debt to that $14.3 trillion. That’s the maximum. That’s what they said would be the maximum the ... [click for more]

The Continuing Economic Depression, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 More than three years ago, it became clear that the housing bubble was about to burst, and that the U.S. economy would be in for a very rough patch. In the three years since the collapse of the financial entities behind the mortgage boom, we have seen the U.S. government spend trillions of dollars ... [click for more]

Not Even the Sky Is the Limit

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The scheduled launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour last month was supposed to be notable, not just because it was to be the last launch of this particular shuttle, but because of two special guests who traveled to the Space Center to witness the now-delayed launch. President Obama traveled to Florida for the launch, as did Gabrielle Giffords, the member ... [click for more]
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