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Limited Government Is a Vain Hope

Monday, June 30th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Philosophy.
riotpolice teaser

Reprinted from Mises.org Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto. By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. Rockwell Communications. 190 pages. Lew Rockwell has set himself a difficult task. He has written Against the State, not for the already convinced libertarian, eager to discuss

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Bubbles Worry Central Bankers

Monday, June 30th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.

After years of QE and other loose monetary policies, central banks are starting to get jitters about the effects of their policies. An organization representing the world’s main central banks warned Sunday that dangerous new asset bubbles were forming even

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How to Make Government Cost More

Sunday, June 29th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

Think the government is expensive? It’s about to cost a little more. The Grow America Act, introduced earlier this month in the U.S. House of Representatives, contains “Buy American” language that would raise U.S. content to 100 per cent by

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Why Imagining Freedom is Essential

Friday, June 27th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Philosophy.
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Reprinted from Liberty.me “What are you complaining about all the time?” people sometimes ask me. “I’m just about as free as I want to be.” Here’s the problem. How can we really know what we want if we’ve never had

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Private Health Care is Inevitable in Canada

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Health Care.
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Private health care is inevitable in Canada. Does that sound crazy? Decades ago, socialized medicine became an iconic institution in the country. It wasn’t just the establishment of “free” healthcare for all, but an existential “right” created by a loving

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My letter to the Financial Times, London re: Here…take all the cocaine you want

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

Dear Sirs: The Fed’s warning to banks that tougher stress tests are coming, so they should be making extraordinary preparations, is tantamount to passing out cocaine while warning that tough new drug tests will follow.  What does the Fed believe

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Inequality, Free Markets, and Crashes

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 by and posted in Economics, Philosophy, Politics.
stockmarket teaser

Reprinted from National Review Mark Spitznagel and Nassim Taleb started the first equity tail-hedging firm in 1999. Since then these two friends and colleagues have helped popularize so-called “black swan” investing, with Spitznagel as the founder and CIO of hedge

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Replace Striking Teachers with Babysitters

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

With British Columbia’s 41,000 unionized public school teachers still on strike, parents are scrambling for solutions. What is one of the more popular ones right now? Teenage babysitters. It’s more than a little ironic that the province’s teachers strike has

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Turning Piketty Right Side Up

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
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Thomas Piketty, a neo-Marxist French Professor, has written a near-700-page book, published by Harvard University Press. His book is titled Capital in the Twenty-First Century, in honor of Karl Marx’s 19th century Das Capital. It has been greeted with fervent

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This Boom is a Problem

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

Writing for the Globe and Mail, Tom Bradley is worried about the markets: It feels like investors have become complacent about – well – everything. The strongest consensus I’ve seen in recent years relates to low interest rates. The rationale

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Bank Deposits are Not Idle Reserves

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.
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What role do bank deposits serve? If you asked this to a run-of-the-mill bank customer they would likely tell you that they are looking for some safety reserve to cover expenses. Ask a banker and the answer could well be

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My letter to the Financial Times, London re: Socialized monetary union means constant meddling into sovereign affairs

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Socialism.

Dear Sirs: Wolfgang Munchau’s post on June 23rd titled “Merkel versus Renzi for the future of the eurozone” illustrates the inherent weakness of the European Monetary Union.  Like all socialized services, the EMU requires constant meddling by foreigners into the

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End QE and Pop the Stock Bubble

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

Writing in the Financial Times this weekend, John Authers is concerned with the lack of volatility in the stock market. More remarkable than the market’s level has been its consistency. The US not seen a correction (a top-to-bottom fall of

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My letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer re: Wanting to jail the wrong bankers

Monday, June 23rd, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.

Dear Sirs: Mr. Joseph N. Distefano’s column “Should some bankers be in jail?” targets the wrong the bankers.  Sure, private sector banks made what ultimately came to be revealed as bad loans, but why would they do this?  There is

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Understanding the Price Level

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

When I teach Austrian economics, I spend a lot of time explaining the three uses of money–holding, spending, and investing–and how only spending and investing affect the overall price level.  This helps my students understand that the total money supply

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Measuring Unemployment, Take Two

Saturday, June 21st, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
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I recently looked at whether there is a better way to measure unemployment than the standard measures. In it I made two fundamental criticisms about the common measurements of unemployment. The first had to do with who was counted as

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Krugman: Whether “Potential GDP” Is Way Down or Unchanged, It Proves We Need Stimulus

Saturday, June 21st, 2014 by posted in Economics.
krugman

The time span between utterly contradictory Krugman talking points keeps shrinking. The latest example involves the notion of “potential GDP” and how it relates to the case for government stimulus. In less than a year, Krugman went from arguing that

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End Ottawa´s Equalization Program

Friday, June 20th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

Hot off her Ontario electoral win, Kathleen Wynne is taking aim at Ottawa. The federal government´s equalization program distributes money between the provinces to help those with less fiscal capabilities deliver the same services. In an interview with the CBC,

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My letter to National Review Magazine re: Free trade is NOT a “prisoner dilemma”

Friday, June 20th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Politics.

Dear Sirs: I despair that National Review has run such a piece of economic ignorance as Oren Cass’s “Fight the Dragon”, in which he calls on the US to wage economic war on China.  The basis of his claim that

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Negative Interest Rates– Only The Start?

Friday, June 20th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.
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Reprinted from Circle Bastiat As Ryan McMaken noted on June 5,  the European Central Bank has instituted negative interest rates for member banks. This could soon spread to the US and also to consumer accounts. If so, you would find money

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