Economics

Game Theory and the Dark Side of Envy

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Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory by Robert Leonard, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (2010); 390 pages. Economist Oskar Morgenstern is best known as the co-developer, with mathematician John von Neumann, of game theory. Game theory emerged out of curiosities about logic and strategies of games such as chess, where each player must take into consideration the ... [click for more]

Ignorance Is Statist Bliss

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. I was with some friends (in the Delaware Libertarian Party) who were running an Operation Politically Homeless table during Newark Community Day in Delaware recently. An OPH consists of having people take The World’s Smallest Political Quiz, then plotting their position on the Nolan Chart. It’s been years since I manned ... [click for more]

Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme

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It is good to see that the Republican presidential candidates are battling it out over the nature of the Social Security system. It is something that few politicians have been willing to talk about, lest they antagonize the largest class of voters in the country — senior citizens. At the Republican candidate debate at the Reagan Library in ... [click for more]

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]

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]
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