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New EU credit card proposal will harm small businesses

Friday, February 21st, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.

From today’s Open Europe news summary: The European Parliament’s economic affairs committee yesterday voted in favour of a proposal to limit credit card payment fees charged to retailers by banks at 0.3% of the transaction value, reports EUobserver. Negotiations with

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The Misery Index

Friday, February 21st, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
homelessness teaser

Arthur Okun developed the “misery index” as an economic indicator to proxy the welfare of a country. By adding the unemployment and inflation rates, the index is an indicator of the hardship caused by a lack of jobs coupled with

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Episode 40: Mark Thornton – Currency Wars, Depreciation, and Gold/Silver

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.
thornton_mark-300x300

Make sure you catch Director of Mises Canada Redmond Weissenberger’s daily podcast “Better Red than Dead.” The latest episode features Mark Thornton, a senior resident fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama and the book review editor for

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My letter to the NY Times re: Fuel Economy Economic Nonsense

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.

Re: Obama Orders New Efficiency for Big Trucks Dear Sirs: President Obama needs a lesson in Econ 101.  Requiring that business meet a new fuel economy standard in order to achieve some environmental goal, no matter how discredited the theory,

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My letter to the NY Times re: A tale of two banking models

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.

Re:  Fed Closes a Loophole for Banks Overseas Re: Lending Where Banks Can’t: Blackstone Thrives in Ireland Dear Sirs: These two articles appeared on the front page of your Business Day section on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.  Nothing could more completely

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Krugman Re-Writes His Stimulus History

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by posted in Economics.
Krugman Point

There’s always a danger in providing too much attention to blogger Paul Krugman, but he is definitely the Goliath of Team Keynes. Moreover, one of Krugman’s favorite rhetorical ploys is to constantly tell his readers that his predictions have been

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Martha Hall Findlay, Supply Management: Past its Expiration Date!

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
port teaser

Reprinted from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy Frontier Centre: What is Supply Management? Martha Hall Findlay: It’s the system of protection of dairy, poultry and eggs in Canada that allows the industry to set prices based on the cost of

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David R. Henderson Points Out Huge Flaw in Pro-ObamaCare Claims

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Health Care.
DRH 2008-1

The good thing about the Internet is that there is a Hayekian safety net: When a bunch of free-market economists are idiots and overlook an obvious point, eventually somebody comes along to rescue them. For today’s example, we have the

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My letter to the NY Times re: The Fallacy of Planning–set Detroit free

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Economics, Politics, Regulation.

Re: A Picture of Detroit in Ruin Dear Sirs: Detroit does not need another worthless plan in order to deal with its problems.  To what end will a “blight plan” be put?  This is the question that should have been asked

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China’s Dollar Trap

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Foreign Policy, Politics.

Re: China Digs Itself Deeper into Dollar Trap This short Bloomberg article is written from a Chinese point of view; i.e., that China finds itself in a trap having sold over a trillion dollars in goods in exchange for what

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What Causes Inflation?

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.
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When the Bank of Canada talks about inflation, what they really mean is price inflation. That is, the general rise in prices of goods and services. Indeed, justification for the central bank is in its perceived ability “to contribute to

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The Economic Harm of Prohibition

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Law, War on Drugs.
weed teaser

According to the United Nations, cannabis, the plant from which marijuana is derived, is the most widely used, produced and trafficked drug. Governments across the globe have invested heavily in fighting drug production and consumption. Notwithstanding, even though the war

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Mises and Schumpeter: Friendly Rivals?

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 by posted in Economics, History, Philosophy.
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Reprinted from Mises.org Ludwig von Mises and Joseph Schumpeter are the most famous economists trained by the older Austrian School, although generally Schumpeter has received the lion’s share of attention.[1] This is especially true, for example, in the field of entrepreneurship.

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Bernanke’s QE Programs: Has This EVER Worked in History?

Monday, February 17th, 2014 by posted in Economics.
Fed assets

Now that Ben Bernanke has handed over the keys of the Federal Reserve, there are all sorts of theoretical arguments, pro and con, concerning his bold quantitative easing (QE) programs, in which the Fed massively expanded its balance sheet: Many

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Choice in Currency: A Way to Stop Inflation

Monday, February 17th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.
currency teaser

[Based on an Address entitled 'International Money' delivered to the Geneva Gold and Monetary Conference on 25 September, 1975, at Lausanne, Switzerland. IEA 1976; Mises institute/IEA 2009] Preface The Occasional Papers are intended to make essays or addresses, of outstanding importance, accessible

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My letter to Nat’l Review Magazine re: Mr. Beckworth’s wrong prescription for monetary stability

Sunday, February 16th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Politics.

Re: David Beckworth’s review of Money, Gold, and History by Lewis E. Lehrman   Dear Sirs: Austrian School economists recommend monetary freedom, not any specific state-supported money.  End legal tender laws and the most marketable commodities will be chosen as mediums

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Yet More Clarification on ObamaCare Work Distortions

Sunday, February 16th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Health Care.
Jonathan Gruber

After publishing my recent post discussing how the proponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “ObamaCare”) were making a distinction without a (significant) difference on the terms “substitution effect” versus “income effect,” I saw that Scott Sumner over at

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The real cause of sub prime lending

Saturday, February 15th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.

Re: Wells returns to sub prime lending The author blames the banks, as if for some unknown reason bankers simply choose to expand lending to sub prime borrowers.  But the real source is the Fed’s artificial lowering of the interest

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“Income vs. Substitution Effects” Not the Issue With ObamaCare

Saturday, February 15th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Health Care.
bank-error-in-your-favor-monopoly

With the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) recent announcement that the Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”) will lead to a long-term reduction of employment of (the equivalent of) 2.5 million full-time jobs, the economics pundits are arguing over the significance of

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Anti-Sweatshop Activists and the Crony Capitalists Who Love Them

Friday, February 14th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
sweatshop teaser

Reprinted from PanAm Post There is an old saying that opposites attract. Bruce Yandle refashioned this idea into an economic theory that explains why special interest groups with seemingly antagonistic missions so often find common cause in regulatory crusades. Yandle uses the analogy of

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