Monetary Policy

Speaking of Inflation

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Discussions about inflation remind me of a drink I bought in a Shanghai bar in 1948. I kept tossing rubber-banded stacks of paper money, Chinese National Currency (CNC), onto the bar. Finally, the bartender shrugged and said, “That’s enough.” I once told that story to Dr. Norbert Einstein, an economist in Seattle and a distant cousin to Albert. Standing ... [click for more]

A Balanced Budget Is Not Enough

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Conservatives must be easy to please. Case in point: The other day columnist Lawrence Kudlow excitedly let us in on the well-kept secret that the federal budget deficit is getting smaller. “Last week’s Treasury report on U.S. finances for December shows a year-to-date fiscal 2005 deficit already $11 ... [click for more]

The Federal Attack on the Dollar

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In the wake of unrestrained U.S. federal spending, U.S. conservatives are no longer talking so loudly about how they brought down the Soviet Union — by making it spend the nation into national bankruptcy. But the marketplace is speaking as loudly as conservatives once did, as reflected in ... [click for more]

Ireland and Big-Spending Republicans

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Despite some tax cuts, the size of the U.S. government has increased rapidly under President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress. Washington leaders looking to improve the economy could learn a lesson or two from Ireland, which has consistently achieved high rates of growth over the last 15 years by successfully slashing government spending. Under the Republican Congress during Clintons years ... [click for more]

“Bad Money Drives Out Good”

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This is what has been called Gresham’s Law. It was formulated by Sir Thomas Gresham to explain to Queen Elizabeth I what was happening to the English shilling. Her father, Henry VIII, had been adulterating the English shilling, the basic coin of the realm, by replacing 40 percent of the silver in the coin with base metals — a ... [click for more]

What’s So Bad about the Budget Deficit?

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Recently I was discussing taxes with a friend who was praising President Bush for pushing his massive tax cut through Congress. “Sure,” I replied. “But a lot of good it does us when he has simultaneously pushed federal spending through the roof.” I was referring to the projected $540 ... [click for more]

Federal Spending Threatens Our Security

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As is widely known, the federal spigots in foreign affairs, as in domestic affairs, are now wide open: hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent in Iraq, not to mention the billions of dollars in foreign aid that will be sent to dozens of foreign governments, all under the ... [click for more]

Postmodern Government Budgets

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If President Bush’s bureaucracy were as capable as the bureaucracy in George Orwell’s great novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Lawrence Lindsey, the president’s former economic advisor, would have been airbrushed out of every photograph he appeared in while holding that post, and every reference to his estimate of the cost of the ... [click for more]
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