Archive for January, 2011

The Roots of Unrest in the Arab World

Friday, January 28th, 2011 by posted in Economics, Politics.

Unrest is spreading throughout the Arab world after last week’s overthrow of the Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali regime in Tunisia. Demonstrations have erupted in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Yemen. Many news reports are identifying high unemployment and endemic poverty as

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Inequality of Wealth and Incomes

Thursday, January 27th, 2011 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Politics.
Household

Inequality of Wealth and Incomes The market economy, capitalism, is based on private ownership of the material means of production and private entrepreneurship. The consumers, by their buying or abstention from buying, ultimately determine what should be produced and in

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How the Rich Get Rich

Thursday, January 27th, 2011 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Politics.

The latest issue (Jan. 22) of The Economist carries a special report on the wealthy and the state of inequality around the world. As is almost always the case with the British magazine’s special reports, “The Few” is well worth reading. Here are some

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The Great Recession and The Failure of Keynes

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Politics.
George_Keynes_CRCT

First of all, I want to thank the Institute of Liberal Studies for inviting me here today to talk to you about issues and challenges related to the financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the Great Recession of 2008-2009. This is

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The Right to Self-Defense

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 by posted in Civil Liberties, Law, Politics.

The story of government over the last century is largely the story of how it has abused its monopoly over legal coercion and extended it to regulate areas of our lives outside its legitimate purview. Much of this incursion has

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Depression Before the Great Depression

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, History, Politics.
Martin_Van_Buren

Before the Great Depression of the 1930’s and 1940’s, there were a number of depressions and recessions in this country, two of the most notable being the Panic of 1819 and the depression of 1837. In every instance prior to

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Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure

Monday, January 24th, 2011 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, History.
expand-newdeal02

We live in a world of euphemism. Undertakers have become “morticians,” press agents are now “public relations counsellors” and janitors have all been transformed into “superintendents.” In every walk of life, plain facts have been wrapped in cloudy camouflage. No

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Harper’s Five Disappointing Years

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 by posted in Economics, Politics.

Today is the fifth anniversary of Stephen Harper’s electoral victory that ended 13 years of Liberal party rule. It’s worth recalling that this is a man who, before coming to power,  once described Canada as a, “Northern European welfare state

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What the BoC has done to the Canadian dollar

Friday, January 21st, 2011 by posted in Economics, Politics.

Reading the Austrian literature, one often comes across the claim that the US dollar has lost 95% of its value since the Fed’s inception in 1913. A Canadian reading that might well ask how much our dollar has been cheapened

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Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth – Chapter 4

Thursday, January 20th, 2011 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, History, Socialism.
russian workers

4. Responsibility and Initiative in Communal Concerns The problem of responsibility and initiative in socialist enterprises is closely connected with that of economic calculation. It is now universally agreed that the exclusion of free initiative and individual responsibility, on which

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From the Great Depression to the Great Recession

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 by posted in Economics, Education, Politics.

That is the title of the upcoming seminar being hosted by the Institute of Liberal Studies.  If you are in the Toronto area this Friday, you are more than welcome to attend. Running from 10 am to 330 pm, the

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Canadian Broadcasting in Dire Straits

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 by posted in Civil Liberties, Economics, Law.
No Dire Straits Sign

You may or you may not agree with the recent Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) “ban” on “Money for Nothing,” a Dire Straits hit from 1985, but we can probably all agree that this event has sparked an intense debate

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The Failure of the Fed

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 by posted in Economics, Politics.

Coming across this paper by George Selgin, William D. Lastrapes, and Lawrence H. White, one can’t help wondering how the Bank of Canada (B0C) would fare under similar scrutiny. One suspects the BoC’s record, both in terms of keeping inflation

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Study Economics, History, and Libertarian Theory

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 by posted in Education.

So 2011 is well under way, and January is in full force. Snow storms, frigid temperatures, and endless rainfall will plague Canadians for at least the next couple of months. But while you’re hiding from the elements near the warm

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The Use of Knowledge in Society

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 by posted in Economics, Education, History, Philosophy.
brain-map

What is the problem we wish to solve when we try to construct a rational economic order? On certain familiar assumptions the answer is simple enough. If we possess all the relevant information, if we can start out from a

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A Zero Inflation Target for the BoC?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 by posted in Economics.

The Bank of Canada (BoC) is scheduled to release its latest statement on interest rates today. It’s widely expected that the Mark Carney led central bank will keep its benchmark overnight lending rate at 1%. That would be a poor decision. As

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Desperately Resorting to Credit Rationing

Monday, January 17th, 2011 by posted in Economics.

Clearly, the federal government does not want the Bank of Canada (BoC) to raise interest rates. Yet it also realizes that Mark Carney, the governor of the BoC, is correct in worrying about the growing debt that’s been taken on

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The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Present Crisis

Monday, January 17th, 2011 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, History, Socialism.
MarxPress2

The news media are in the process of creating a great new historical myth. This is the myth that our present financial crisis is the result of economic freedom and laissez-faire capitalism. The attempt to place the blame on laissez

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Wikipedia’s Market of Ideas

Saturday, January 15th, 2011 by posted in Economics, Education, Philosophy.

Ten years ago today, one of the greatest information resources on the Internet — perhaps the greatest – was born. Without commissioning a single expert, the English version of Wikipedia has grown to encompass 3.5 million articles. That number goes up to

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The Indefatigable and Inspiring Sandra Finley

Friday, January 14th, 2011 by posted in Civil Liberties, Education, History, Lifestyle, Philosophy, Politics.

One of my personal heroes (of the living Canadian variety), the indefatigable and inspiring Sandra Finley is the latest victim of the state’s insatiable appetite for all manner personal information its subjects may wish to keep private. In a 40-page

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