Economics

Economic Stimulus Nonsense

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When times are great — maybe especially when times are great — most people don’t think about economics. At least, if there’s any thinking going on at all, it’s not exactly clear-headed thinking. But when times take a turn for the worse, people forget about making any kind of sense at all. It would be far better if they ... [click for more]

The Unemployment Racket

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Americans have many options when it comes to insurance. They can freely get health insurance, life insurance, cancer insurance, dental insurance, disability insurance, homeowners’ insurance, renters’ insurance, parcel-shipping insurance, et cetera. Although auto insurance is required by state laws, it is still obtained from a private insurance company of one’s choosing. One can even get insurance at the blackjack ... [click for more]

Bipartisan “Stimulus” Hypocrisy

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The cynicism and shallowness of politics were abundantly displayed throughout the debate over the “stimulus” bill. The Obama administration and its allies in Congress see themselves as champions of democracy, yet the process by which the bill was rammed through Congress flouted the democratic spirit. The final bill was nearly ... [click for more]

The Fallacies of Another New Deal, Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Historians want us to believe that Franklin Roosevelt had nothing to do with causing the massive unemployment and World War II that came in the wake of the Great Depression. Instead, they tell us that Roosevelt simply did the best he could with the hand which he was dealt. No doubt, ... [click for more]

The Fallacy of Equal Pay for Equal Work

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We’ve all heard the phrase “equal pay for equal work.” Many of those who habitually repeat this mantra may not realize that it is simply a variation of the discredited labor theory of value (LTV), which is generally associated with Marxian economics. According to the LTV, the value of a product is related to the labor needed ... [click for more]

The Justice of Pay Discrimination

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Recently the upstairs toilet in my house backed up. Unable to budge the clog, my wife called a plumber, who replaced both the seal and some of the inner workings of the toilet. Let’s say, just for the sake of this example, that the plumber charged us $200 for the repair. Now suppose the next day the downstairs toilet had needed ... [click for more]

Selling Short the Short-Seller

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It happens every financial crash. Or in every prolonged bear market. Or almost any time things go bad in the financial markets. An evil person must be found. Oftentimes, the scapegoat is the short-seller. Today the short-seller is like Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. It’s ... [click for more]

A Free Market in Labor

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Labor Economics from a Free Market Perspective: Employing the Unemployable by Walter Block (World Scientific, 2008); 393 pages. The first time I ever heard of Walter Block was in 1980, when a faculty colleague showed me his copy of Block’s book Defending the Undefendable. Knowing of my anarcho-capitalist views, my colleague said ... [click for more]

Hope Is No Substitute for Theory

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Should libertarians hope that Barack Obama succeeds or fails in his presidency? The question comes to mind because conservatives got embroiled in the issue when their leading radio star, Rush Limbaugh, said he hoped Obama would fail. Some commentators thought that was a horrible thing to say. Radio stars need ... [click for more]

The Fallacies of Another New Deal, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 In the latter part of 1920, the economy fell into a deep recession, which lasted well into 1921. As Murray Rothbard points out, it was the last downturn in which the government did not play much of a role. Newly elected President Warren G. Harding openly said that government should ... [click for more]

Spending Our Way to Wealth and Prosperity

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One of the most ludicrous policy prescriptions issued by federal officials is the one that exhorts the citizenry to spend more money to get the nation out of a recession. That’s the key to national economic prosperity, government officials exclaim. “Go to the mall and shop,” they tell people. If people will just spend, spend, and spend some more, ... [click for more]
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