Economics

The Dow Jones Is Lying

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is at a record high, and the unemployment rate has ticked down to 7.7 percent, but this is no time to celebrate. The economy is still in the doldrums. A little perspective: The news media trumpet changes in the Dow as though it tells us almost all we need to know about the economic ... [click for more]

TGIF: Entrepreneurship and Social Cooperation

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We may laud the market order as an indispensable arena for large-scale social cooperation, but let’s not forget that people cannot cooperate with one another if they don’t know that the potential for mutually beneficial exchanges exists. In the real world ignorance is pervasive, and we mustn’t fall prey to the mainstream economists’ unreal assumption that full knowledge about means, ends, ... [click for more]

Cutting Government Would Boost Economy

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Budget sequestration is as modest a step toward cutting Leviathan as one can imagine. Further progress will be difficult as long as people believe that slashing the size of government conflicts with reviving the economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In his recent debate on Charlie Rose, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul ... [click for more]

The Minimum Wage Harms the Most Vulnerable

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Crocodile tears are flowing again for low-income people. In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. A debate is shaping up between those who support the proposal and those who favor keeping the wage where it is today. But there are good grounds — for the sake ... [click for more]

TGIF: What Support for the Minimum Wage Reveals

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Economic law is not suppressed by legislated law. — Armen Alchian Few people really understand what the great economist Armen Alchian, who died the other day at age 98, put so plainly. Considering that in the recent past over a quarter of polled economists said they saw no harm in raising the minimum wage, ... [click for more]

TGIF: Mind Your Metaphors

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Metaphor consists in giving a thing a name that belongs to something else. — Aristotle, Poetics Language is metaphorical through and through. — Thomas Szasz, Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences In a lecture delivered at the London School of Economics in March 1933, F.A. Hayek, a 33-year-old economist recently appointed to the faculty, lamented that the “oldest and most general ... [click for more]

The Calling: The Everyday Marvels of the Market

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Those of us who live in largely market-based economies can too easily take for granted what we might call the everyday marvels of the market. We find ourselves with things that would have amazed and mystified people just a couple of generations ago. If we think of the marvels the market delivers, we normally think of technology, but fancy ... [click for more]

TGIF: Does the Market Exhibit Cooperation?

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The American Heritage Dictionary defines the verb cooperate as “To work or act together toward a common end or purpose” and “To form an association for common, usually economic, benefit.” Note that these definitions seem to require awareness about some joint effort to achieve a common objective. This would seem to leave little room for the social cooperation that libertarians ... [click for more]

TGIF: Economy or Catallaxy?

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That the champions of the free market have always understood it, first and foremost, as the most basic form of social cooperation is evidenced by a dissatisfaction with the term economy itself. In volume 2 of Law, Legislation, and Liberty, F.A. Hayek claimed that we cannot properly comprehend the market order unless we free ourselves of the misleading ... [click for more]
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