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The Tyranny of Choice

Friday, June 13th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
shelves

My colleague Logan Albright loves attacking the notion that obesity is some kind of national epidemic in America. Starvation was a defining feature of mankind for centuries. It was an insurmountable obstacle that wasn’t overcome until the advent of labor

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How Inflation Picks Your Pocket

Friday, June 13th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.
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Reprinted from Mises.org In the denouement of the film There Will Be Blood, the antihero Daniel Plainview dramatically reveals to his nemesis that he has secretly siphoned away all of the latter’s underground oil. “Drainage!” he bellows, as only Daniel Day-Lewis can,

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Europe Protests Progress

Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

Striking taxi drivers snarled traffic in several European cities yesterday in a show of solidarity against a common threat. Unlike other protests of the past few years which have largely been against austerity measures, this time workers from London, Paris,

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The Levellers and Early Libertarian Thought

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, History, Politics.
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Reprinted from Mises.org The first-ever libertarians were the Levellers, an English political movement active in the seventeenth century. The Levellers contributed to the elaboration of the methodological and political paradigm of individualism, and they are at the origin of the

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Solve Public Teachers’ Strikes Once and For All

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Education.

The British Columbia’s teachers union just voted 86% in favour of an all out strike. If a settlement is not reached with the provincial government before the end of this week, nearly 40,000 teachers could be walking the picket line

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The Impossibility of Negative Interest Rates

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.
ecb

Central bankers must be getting desperate. After the futile effort to boost the global economy via synchronized money printing en masse, they are doubling down on the same failed policy. Now it’s no longer enough to produce endless supplies of

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Measuring Unemployment

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.
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Unlike other factors of production, it’s difficult to define when and how many workers are unemployed. A weight of steel or a kilowatt hour of electricity is either employed or not. A human, on the other hand, can be classified

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Why is There So Much Confusion in Macroeconomics?

Monday, June 9th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Philosophy, Regulation.
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Should we print, not print? Stimulate, not stimulate? Is austerity the right or wrong policy? Is government spending or printing effective? If we ask two economists these questions, we will likely get three opinions for each question. Economists seem confused,

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End Central Banking, End “Unearned” Wealth Inequality

Friday, June 6th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.

With all the brouhaha going around regarding income and wealth inequality, the question that is rarely asked is why inequality is something to abhor. As I wrote last November, whether inequality is a bad thing is not the right question

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Down with Legal Tender

Friday, June 6th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.
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[This article is excerpted from chapters 4, 5, and 6 of Denationalisation of Money: the Argument Refined.] Reprinted from Mises.org When one studies the history of money, one cannot help wondering why people should have put up for so long with

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Crony Capitalism has Government Approval

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Regulation.
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Reprinted from Canadian Electronics Magazine When Judge Richard Posner, the prolific conservative intellectual, released his book “A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ‘08 and the Descent Into Depression” last year, you might have thought the final verdict was in:

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Minimum Wage: Making People Useless

Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.
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Reprinted from Casey Research Karl Marx must be smiling. It’s capital vs. labor all over again. Income inequality is on the tip of every pundit and politician’s tongue. Thomas Piketty’s bestselling nonfiction tome, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, lends credibility to the

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What Else Piketty Says — on Inflation, Canada, and Democracy

Friday, May 30th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Politics.

With all the commentary that has greeted the publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, there seems to be little left to say about the book. However, it being a huge book, there’s more in it than has

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The Essence of Keynesian Thinking

Friday, May 30th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Philosophy.
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Reprinted from Mises.org [This article originally appeared as "Keynesian Thinking" in Newsweek, August 11, 1954.] Arthur F. Burns, now chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is one of the country’s outstanding statisticians. Yet there is in his implied economic philosophy

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The Last Communist City

Thursday, May 29th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, History.
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Reprinted from City Journal Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 science-fiction filmElysium, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, takes place in Los Angeles, circa 2154. The wealthy have moved into an orbiting luxury satellite—the Elysium of the title—while the wretched majority of humans

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Is There a Case for Reparations?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, History, Politics.
tanehisi

Any writer capable of making a reader rethink his firmly-held position is gifted. Words are the projection of meaning, and it’s through words that ideas change, attitudes adjust, emotions are tempered, and we learn. The message doesn’t always have to

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The Economic Fantasy of “Star Trek”

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
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Reprinted from FEE.org A friend of mine is an award-winning science-fiction novelist. When we first met, I happened to mention to him that I was working on a science-fantasy novel, just as he was. He bristled. “I write science-fiction, not

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The Weak Defense of Piketty

Monday, May 26th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
Giles vs Piketty on UK

In response to Chris Giles’ allegations in the FT that Thomas Piketty’s book is replete with outright mistakes and dubious methods of blending the raw source data, Piketty has hit back hard. Bloomberg reports: Piketty, the French economist whose book “Capital

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Piketty’s Garden of Envy

Monday, May 26th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
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Reprinted from Taki’s Magazine Resentment is the one emotion that can last a lifetime and will never let you down. All other emotions are fleeting and unreliable by comparison. I have tried hating someone for years, but found it impossible:

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Are You Kidding Me? Now Allegations That Piketty Fudged His Wealth Data

Saturday, May 24th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
Giles vs Piketty UK

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a moving target. The book contains foundational theoretical problems, a misreading of the empirical literature that blows up his whole case, sloppy and absurd factual errors concerning tax rates and minimum wage hikes, and shocking quotations that

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