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Economics

Opinion and commentary related to economics, finance, and the war on free market capitalism.

Big Banks Try To Cash In On Crypto As Goldman Sachs Unveils Digital Currency

in Economics/News by

While the big banks originally were reticent toward adopting cryptocurrencies, they are finally jumping on the bandwagon and actively looking for ways they can cash in on this trend. In an attempt to do so, Goldman Sachs has released its first cryptocurrency: Circle USD Coin. “Today we announced the pending availability of tokenized US dollar coins supported by developments in the CENTRE open source framework and by a new partnership with Bitmain, which is also leading a $110M Series E equity investment in Circle,” Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire wrote on the Circle blog. Circle is a payment processing startup…

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New Housing Construction Is Near Historical Lows

in Economics by

During the housing bubble that ended in 2007-8, the amount of new housing construction was remarkable. Enormous subdivisions were being constructed in metro areas across the land. Buildings of condominiums sprang up in city centers, and the ready availability of credit meant many were buying more than one house as “investments” or summer homes. New housing, it seemed, was everywhere.  At the same time, home prices were increasing, driven up in part by fact that everyone was convinced that housing prices always go up, and real estate — any real estate — was a rock solid investment.  When the bubble popped, there…

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Trump Nominates Another Obama-Approved Federal Reserve Nominee

in Economics/News by

In no area has President Trump differed more from his campaign rhetoric than the field of monetary policy. Yesterday Trump announced the nominations of Richard Clarida and Michelle Bowman to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, with the former to fill the role of Vice Chair. Clarida’s nomination in particular illustrates how uninspiring Trump’s appointments have been, as he was a finalist for a Fed governorship under Obama until he withdrew his name from consideration.Interesting enough, doing so resulted in Jay Powell, Trump’s new Fed Chair, to fill the position. Richard Clarida, a former Bush Treasury official, currently serves as a…

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IMF: Trump’s Tariffs Could Cause Global Trade System To Be “Torn Apart”

in Economics/News by

With President Donald Trump’s recent threats of massive tariffs and his willingness to start a global trade war, the globalists are in panic mode. They are seeing the ‘free trade’ status quo unwind, and they are not happy about it. “That system of rules and shared responsibility is now in danger of being torn apart,” International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. “This would be an inexcusable, collective policy failure.” The IMF has promoted globalism and so-called “free trade” for decades. What has resulted is the skyrocketing of global debt throughout the world and multinational corporations have grown…

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Prominent Bankster Warns Of Federal Reserve Taking ‘Drastic Action’ Against Inflation

in Economics/News by

While President Donald Trump celebrates gains in the economy as job numbers rise, a prominent banking executive is warning investors that the Federal Reserve may have to take “drastic action” to combat massive inflation that is to come. “Many people underestimate the possibility of higher inflation and wages, which means they might be underestimating the chance that the Federal Reserve may have to raise rates faster than we all think,” JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon wrote in an annual letter to shareholders, according to the Financial Times. “We have to deal with the possibility that, at one point, the…

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President Trump’s Push For Internet Sales Tax Would Hurt The Deep State

in Economics/News by

President Donald Trump is pushing for an internet sales tax, a move that is enraging his free market conservative and libertarian supporters. However, his proposal will also have an impact on the deep state as Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is one of their most influential and helpful clients. “I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election,” Trump wrote in a tweet on Thursday. “Unlike others, they pay littler or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of…

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GOP’s Omnibus Bill Should Have Gone Off a Cliff

in Economics/Politics by

The Republican Party needed just 90 days to tumble from triumph to self-humiliation. On December 22, President Donald J. Trump signed the $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most significant levy reduction since 1986. Even Trump’s critics conceded that Republicans ended 2017 on an unexpectedly high note, with their free-market banners flapping smartly in the tail winds. But on March 22, the GOP House hosted a drunken orgy of bipartisan fiscal recklessness. The resulting $1.3 trillion omnibus bill should have been steered off a cliff.

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Wal-Mart Unveils Robots At Their Stores, Denies They Will Replace Workers

in Economics/News by

As technology advances at warp speed, many economists and other observers have worried about the impacts it will have on job displacement and income inequality. We will soon know if their dire predictions are correct as one of America’s leading retailers and world’s most powerful corporations, Wal-Mart is now integrating robots into their stores. According to a CBS San Francisco report, Wal-Mart has prepared a “small army” of sophisticated robots that will help with scanning items and stocking them at their stores. Right now, these robots are being tested at 50 different locations throughout America, but it is widely believed…

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Trump Administration Set To Unleash Yuge Tariffs On China

in Economics/News by

Senior U.S Government officials confirmed this week that President Trump’s administration was preparing to announce a hefty package of intellectual-property based tariffs targeting China. The news comes as the President appears increasingly to be turning back to an international trade strategy featuring tariffs and protective measures, a major campaign promise that President Trump initially appeared to back away from during the first year of his administration. After imposing internationally universal (providing exemptions to the NAFTA member states of Mexico and Canada) 25% and 10% tariffs on steel and aluminum respectively, the President’s latest move places more focus on practices of…

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Why Newspapers Are Going Out Of Business

in Culture/Economics by

It was announced this week that the Denver Post will soon be cutting one-third of its newsroom staff. The newsroom currently has 100 reporters, and that will soon be cut by 30 positions.  Reporters and other observers quickly began to look for whom to blame.  One reporter quickly blamed the hedge fund (Alden Global Capital) that owns the Post: ” 30 people to be cut from @denverpost by April 9. This hedge fund won’t quit killing journalism to meet its bottom line.”

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Bill Ackman V. Herbalife: Crony Capitalism’s Failure

in Economics by

Over five years after billionaire investor and political donor William Ackman took a massive short position on nutritional supplement company Herbalife Ltd in an effort to kill the company for profit and this past week his firm has finally given up. Over the years, most of Ackman’s $571,000 donations to federal campaigns has gone to Democrats like Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT). By contrast, Carl Icahn, who donated $240,673 to Republicans in 2016, invested in the Herbalife’s success and he was rewarded with about $1 billion for supporting a company that has proven to be a…

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Kudlow Thrills Free-marketeers As President Trump’s New Economic Guru

in Economics/Politics by

President Donald J. Trump has tapped Larry Kudlow as chief economic adviser. Free-marketeers are cheering among their graphs and charts. “Larry Kudlow is an excellent choice,” Freedom Works president Adam Brandon tells me. “He’s a former economist in the Ronald Reagan administration with the knowledge and the experience necessary to advise the president on ‘America First’ policies that will continue growing the economy and creating jobs through free markets, lower taxes, and less regulation. The White House deserves to have the finest economic minds in the room, and Larry Kudlow is the real deal.” National Association of Manufacturers president Jay Timmons says: “President Trump has chosen a tremendous advocate for…

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Metal-import Taxes Will Make America Rusty Again

in Economics/Politics by

President Trump deserves applause for boosting the prospects for this county’s forgotten manufacturing workers, notably in steel and aluminum. Democrats lately have neglected these Americans. Hillary Clinton barely campaigned among them in Michigan in fall 2016, and she thoroughly ignored them in Wisconsin. Alas, Trump is doing this all wrong. He likely will hurt the very middle class that he has championed since his escalator ride onto the political stage. Trump aims to protect U.S. metal makers with new taxes of 25 percent on foreign steel and 10 percent on overseas aluminum. “Tariffs” is just a jumped-up word for taxes on…

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Against Free Trade Dogmatism

in Economics/Politics by

President Donald Trump announced last week that he plans on slapping a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. Everyone seemingly lost their minds in response. Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, and the mainstream media all had the same reaction: they universally opposed it. Where’s the other side to this story? The fact that no mainstream media outlet, politician, or think tank “economist” is willing to even mention the other side of the story will raise questions in every critical mind. Clearly the political and media establishment are all on-board for free trade. But…

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The Myth Of America’s “Stingy” Welfare State

in Economics/Politics by

According to the usual news sources, Donald Trump’s new budget proposal “envisions steep cuts to America’s social safety net” and will “gut social programs.” Most of the cuts were proposed to pave the way for more Pentagon spending.  In truth, Trump’s proposal doesn’t matter, and Congress will set to work piling on more deficit spending for both social programs and for the Pentagon.  But, the debate of “gutting” social programs will no doubt be used to perpetuate, yet again, the myth that the United States is ruled by libertarian social Darwinists who ensure that no more than a few pennies are spent via…

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Slam The Brakes On Proposed Gas-tax Hike

in Economics/Politics by

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Republicans are on a roll. So, why is President Donald Trump praising a gas-tax hike to finance his infrastructure plan? Despite House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi’s complaints that the GOP tax-rate reductions are “Armageddon, “crumbs,” and — as of Tuesday — “unpatriotic,” Americans are growing fond of tax reform. Tax-relief promises helped boost GDP growth from 2016’s 1.5 percent (under Obama) to 2017’s 2.3 percent (under Trump). Unemployment is just 4.1 percent. And some 3.8 million Americans at 377 companies are enjoying bonuses, higher wages, lower power bills, and other post-tax-cut benefits. Survey Monkey has watched the tax cut’s popularity…

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Siemens And The Financial Sector Defend Trump’s Tax Cuts

in Economics/News by

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser believes that President Trump’s tax overhaul could bring positive changes to the country, particularly for the job sector. Kaeser asserts that more jobs will be created from the tax cuts due to companies having more money to spend on innovation and expansion. “That’s why I’ve been congratulating the American president for his tax reform,” Kaeser said. “I didn’t congratulate him for his first year in office or anything else but that I believe was a job well done.” Kaeser believes that there’s nothing wrong with President Trump’s tax cuts because even the average American can benefit…

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GOP Spending Bonanza Screams For Budget Reforms

in Economics/Politics by

There’s plenty to hate about last week’s GOP surrender on the federal budget. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, this nearly $300 billion extravaganza is “a 14 percent annual spending increase over current levels.” This exceeds 2017’s 2.1 percent inflation rate nearly seven-fold. Even worse, this spend-o-rama avoids structural reforms to limit, or even reverse, the damage from this midnight raid on the Treasury. Among the items that Congress should have included:

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Trump’s Infrastructure Plan: Privatize The Airports!

in Economics/News by

President Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure plan requires selling off federal government interests in the two main Washington, DC, area airports. Ronald Reagan Washington National and Dulles International airports have been targeted for potential divestiture under the plan released Monday. “The Federal Government owns and operates certain infrastructure that would be more appropriately owned by State, local, or private entities,” the plan says. Also targeted for potential sale are two main DC car thoroughfares, the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Baltimore-Washington Parkway, as well as the Washington Aqueduct, which provides the general public water supply to the district. Beyond Washington, Trump is…

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A Message To Congress: Repeal Obamacare, Then Get Out Of The Way

in Economics/Politics by

The drama and tension surrounding the future of healthcare in the United States give House of Cards a run for its money. To say that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, nicknamed Obamacare) is falling apart would be a great understatement. Like many issues facing our country, the disaster that is the ACA is a clear example of misguided government intervention. While the recent tax cut legislation Congress passed repeals the individual mandate, Republicans in Congress should not even dare to think that they are now off the hook for their years of promising to repeal Obamacare once they regained control.…

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Fed Nominee Marvin Goodfriend Lied To The Senate On Taxing Cash

in Economics/News by

The government shutdown wasn’t long enough to delay the nomination hearing for an economist who could be considered to be one of the “worst Fed nominees of all time.” While most of the headlines generated from Marvin Goodfriend’s testimony before the Senate today focused on the grilling he received from Senate Dems, there is one curious part of his testimony that has been largely overlooked: he flat out lied about his past support for taxing cash. Unfortunately this issue that would directly impact every single American wasn’t brought up until well over an hour into this testimony. It was then that Nevada Senator Catherine…

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How Free Market Economics Birthed The Video-Game Era

in Economics/Tech by

In 1962, the first version of Spacewar! was completed. Technically, this wasn’t the first video game ever created, but it was probably the first one that really mattered, as it serves as the beginning of the long line of advances in video game technology that continues into the present day. The invention of the game is generally credited to Steve Russell, who was the primary programmer. But the development of the game was the product of a handful of programmers working with an early computer known as the PDP-1. The original version of the game employed two “ships” – really just shapes…

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Why California Has The Nation’s Worst Poverty Rate

in Economics by

Earlier this week, the LA Times reminded its readers that California has the highest poverty rate in the nation.  Specifically, when using the Census Bureau’s most recent” Supplemental Poverty Measure” (SPM), California clocks in with a poverty rate of 20 percent, which places it as worst in the nation. To be sure, California is running quite closely with Florida and Louisiana, but we can certainly say that California is a top contender when it comes to poverty.

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No, We Don’t Need A Federal “Solution” To Infrastructure Problems

in Economics/Politics by

On December 19, an Amtrak train in Washington State killed three people and injured 100 others when it derailed and crashed into traffic lanes on a nearby highway. The day before, Atlanta’s international airport suffered a disastrous power outage: the whole airport, the world’s busiest, went dark for 11 hours. Thousands of flights were disrupted. For many hours nobody in authority attempted to explain—or even seemed able to explain—what had happened. Both cases have been used to bolster claims that the US federal government needs to spend more on infrastructure.  In the wake of the Washington derailment, President Trump quickly took…

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The Astonishing Efficiency Of School Vouchers

in Economics by

There are a plethora of reasons why education in America is mediocre. We can argue that teacher unions care more about personal benefits than teaching kids, that the information taught in America is far less advanced than the information taught in other nations, or even that America is not fostering a culture where the youth even value education. Whatever argument you choose, we can all agree that America is inept at educating. But instead of rambling on and on about the status quo, real solutions should be formulated. It would be important to note that the US spends more than…

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President Trump Unleashes The Engines Of Growth

in Economics/Politics by

It was a little over a year ago that I wrote my first article for the Liberty Conservative, “The Authors of Prosperity.” Published on the 20th of November, 2016, it expounds on the promise of then-candidate Donald Trump’s intent to slash taxes for individuals, couples, and businesses, and in so doing, usher in an epoch of wealth generation the likes of which most millennials can’t fathom. This would not be an unprecedented feat, and I wrote of how Harding and Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush all stewarded over economic rebounds and successes through of conservative tax reform. In my…

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Just In Time For The Holidays, Reckless States Are Coming For Your Online Purchases

in Economics/Politics by

If there is anything that gets demagogic politicians and pundits riled up, it’s the closing of tax loopholes, and the tax-hike demagogues might just be getting one of their wishes come December. Bloomberg reports that most online consumers will pay sales taxes in some shape or form in the next few months. Currently, consumers pay taxes on goods purchased straight from Amazon, but they can avoid paying taxes on goods if they purchase them through Amazon’s third-party merchants. By the start of December this could all change, as several merchants are expected to start collecting taxes in return for partial…

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Yes, We Can Have The 20 Percent Corporate Tax Rate — Next Month!

in Economics/Politics by

Former Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey (R – New York) has discovered the formula for delivering a 20 percent corporate-tax rate in 2018 — as the U.S. House wishes — not 2019, as the Senate voted, thus flirting with GOP political suicide. McCaughey, a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research (as am I), offered a delightfully simple plan in Wednesday’s New York Post: “This beautiful committee,” as President Trump dubbed the House-Senate conference, should accept the House’s January 1, 2018 date for the corporate tax to plunge from today’s 35 percent rate to a new, paradigm-shifting 20 percent. And how would conferees “pay for” such history-making tax relief for American…

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Is Marvin Goodfriend The Worst Fed Nominee Of All Time?

in Economics by

Yesterday Donald Trump nominated Marvin Goodfriend to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, one of the numerous vacanciesthat have emerged over the course of the past year. While his prior nominations of Jay Powell as Chairman and Randal Quarles as Vice Chair represented a disappointing commitment to the status quo, his selection of Goodfriend is a dangerous act of outright betrayal to Trump’s core constituency of working class voters. The timing of the decision is ironic. After all, while Trump is busy lobbying Senate Republicans to support his desired tax cuts, he has decided to nominate a would-be central banker who…

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Eliminating The State And Local Tax Deduction Is a Terrible Idea

in Economics by

The tax “reform” currently being discussed in Washington is mostly a political exercise for politicians who can use the process to extract more campaign contributions from supporters, and punish non-supporters. The actual tax burden imposed on Americans overall will change little.  The proposed elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) is an excellent illustration of how the tax reform is really about playing political games. Forever in pursuit of “revenue neutral” tax reform, the GOP is simply turning to the elimination of the SALT deduction so it can raise federal revenues, and this allows for a tax cut…

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Hey GOP Establishment, Want To Cut The Burden Of Government? Cut Spending

in Economics/Politics by

Washington, DC is currently in the middle of a the “tax reform” process, which as Jeff Deist, points out, is ” a con, and a shell game.” Tax reform proposals, Deist continues “always evade and obscure the real issue, which is the total cost — financial, compliance, and human — taxes impose on society.” Tax reform is really about which interest groups can modify the current tax code to better suit their own parochial interests. The end result is not a lessened tax burden overall, and thus does nothing to boost real savings, real wealth creation, or real economic growth. It’s just yet another government method of…

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The Swamp Wins: Trump Nominates Powell To Replace Yellen

in Economics/News by

In the end Donald Trump gets what he wanted, a “low interest rate person” who also happens to be a “Republican.” Jerome Powell will replace Janet Yellen. This means Trump will ensure that, while the stationary at the Eccles Building will change, the monetary policy guiding it likely will not. The fact that, in naming Powell, Trump is picking an Obama-appointed Fed Governor for his most important nominations is itself quite fitting. While we have long known that bad monetary policy is bipartisan, Powell’s nomination serves as a particularly useful illustration of how little has changed in Washington since the Bush Administration. Of course, just…

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Obama Administration’s Bank Regulation Still Widening Gap Between Rich And Poor

in Economics by

One of the most devastating consequences of the Obama Administration has been that Americans who don’t have the luxury of large bank accounts are continuing to be treated like second-class citizens by the US financial system. The Wall Street Journal this week offered another example this week in an article noting that banks are now paying higher interest rates to keep their wealthiest clients from shopping their services to other institutions. Even though the federal funds rate has remained at historically low levels, in theory the recent string of minor interest rates hike by the Fed should have allowed savers to start seeing…

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The Tax Increase In Reform’s Clothing

in Economics/Politics by

In a 2011 piece for the New York Times, leftist billionaire Warren Buffett claimed that investment managers are getting “extraordinary tax breaks,” due to the classification of income from managing others’ money as “capital gains.” “Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as ‘carried interest,’ thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate,” Buffett said, always portaying himself as the patriotic rich man willing to pay his “fair share” of taxes. Under the current tax code, capital gains are taxed at 15 percent, rather than the top tax rate…

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The Next Generation Of Currency Wars: Private Vs. State-Backed Crypto

in Economics by

Recently, Russia announced that it will be unleashing a CryptoRuble, just a week after Vladimir Putin strongly criticized Bitcoin and other private cryptocurrencies.  When announcing the move, Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov acknowledged that it was in part inspired by the aim of getting ahead of other governments: I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after two months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will. In doing so, Russia is following the lead of another country that too has become hostile to private crypto, China. Last July, the People’s Bank of China became the first central…

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How Trump Bailed Out Janet Yellen And The Federal Reserve — For Now

in Economics/News by

The biggest winner of the Trump presidency is also the most surprising: Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen. After all, Yellen was a constant target for criticism by Candidate Trump, going so far as to accuse her of being “more political than Hillary Clinton.” Beyond Mr. Trump’s barbed rhetoric, pundits such as Paul Krugman predicted that Trump’s ascendency would be disastrous for the US economy and the stock market in general, which would have wiped out the modest recovery that Yellen’s legacy depends on.

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A Sneak Peek At Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s ‘Libertarianism And The Alt-Right’ Speech

in Economics/Politics by

The twelfth conference of the Property and Freedom Society took place last month, in the usual place and with the usual enjoyments. The Hotel Karia Princess was about the same as ever, and I believe I was put up in the same room as last year. Bodrum itself was somewhat busier than last year, which must have been a mercy for its tradesmen and hoteliers – though it remains but a shadow of what it was when I first knew it. This year has seen two earthquakes, at least one terrorist attack, a fallen pound and a bitter argument between…

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Fed Chair Yellen: The Economy May Be Weaker Than We Thought

in Economics by

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this week cast doubt on the Fed’s announced plan to continue Fed rate hikes and reverse its years of “unconventional” monetary policy. “My colleagues and I may have misjudged the strength of the labor market,” Yellen announced on Tuesday, adding that they’d also misjudged “the degree to which longer-run inflation expectations are consistent with our inflation objective, or even the fundamental forces driving inflation.” Yellen also “noted that the labor market, which historically has been closely linked to inflation, may not be as tight as the low unemployment rate suggests.” In other words, Fed economists are…

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Ackman’s Quest To Ruin Herbalife Is Cronyism At Its Worst

in Economics by

For five years, billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has attempted to bring Herbalife, a global nutrition and weight management company, to the brink of financial ruin—all for his personal financial gain. Fortune reported that, back in 2012, Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management took a $1 billion short position in Herbalife’s stock, expressing his belief that Herbalife was a “pyramid scheme.” He claimed that he would give proof the very next day. In an apparent victory for Ackman’s short position, Herbalife’s stock lowered 10 percent within six seconds, causing the company to issue a temporary trading halt. Ackman offered a…

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Government Regulation And Crony Capitalism Is Keeping Thousands In Florida Without Power

in Economics/News/Politics by

Almost two weeks have passed since Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida, yet tens of thousands remain without power. With temperatures regularly eclipsing over 90 degrees, these outages are not only a grave inconvenience for Floridians cleaning up after the storm, but have proved to be deadly. Given the power of Irma, it is not surprising that it has left behind incredible devastation. Unfortunately it is also not surprising that it is a government-protected utility that has done the most to impede recovery. The pain and suffering currently being felt is the direct result of government policy and the…

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Why Natural Disasters Are Worse For Poor Countries

in Economics/Politics by

In the wake of hurricane Harvey, disaster experts were shocked by how few deaths resulted from the storm: ““It was astounding that we didn’t have a much larger loss of life,” said Phil Bedient, co-director of a Rice University effort to research severe storms and evacuations. A recent count puts total storm-related deaths at 82, out of a metropolitan population of more than 6.5 million. The relative lack of lives lost is being attributed to a variety of factors including luck, the timing of evacuation orders, and “swift action by first responders.” There’s no doubt that these factors contributed to…

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CFPB’s Unconstitutional Assault On Private Business Harms Consumers

in Economics/Politics by

Under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new rule, private companies would be banned from fully utilizing mandatory arbitration clauses. Pertaining mainly to financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts, these clauses currently prevent consumers from joining together in class action lawsuits to sue their banks. While the rule wouldn’t ban these clauses from company contracts entirely, it would prevent them from being used to stop group action. Aside from representing a blatant government intrusion in private businesses, this could seem like a good thing at face value. Consumers would be free to utilize further legal options, however,…

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Think Gentrification Is Bad? The Opposite Is Worse

in Economics by

We’ve long been told that gentrification is the scourge of many communities, and we’ve become very familiar with the scenario: a stable middle-class community is destroyed when wealthy (usually white) people move in, drive up home prices, and force out the “diverse” population that had been there previously. There are problems with this narrative of course. Very often, the working-class homeowners who leave the neighborhood experience a windfall from selling their property to the incoming “up and comers” who buy out the aging homeowners. There is an upside. On the other hand, there are indeed downsides to gentrification. There are…

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Maine Is Nullifying Federal Regulations That Cripple Local Farmers

in Economics/News by

A few weeks ago, Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a Food Sovereignty Bill into law, guaranteeing the rights of Maine towns to regulate food production locally, rather than submitting to federal regulation. Although the press is avoiding describing the bill as such, this is a nullification of federal food regulations. The movement for food sovereignty in Maine began in the town of Sedgwick, which passed its own food sovereignty bill, and the idea quickly spread to twenty towns across the state. The Sedwick law explicitly gave citizens of the town the right to “produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local…

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Trump’s Historic Opportunity With The Federal Reserve

in Economics/News by

Today Stanley Fischer submitted his letter of resignation from the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, effective next month, the second such resignation of Donald Trump’s presidency. While Fischer’s term as Vice Chairman of the Fed was set to end next year, he had the ability to serve as a governor through 2020. Along with Trump’s decision next year on whether to replace Janet Yellen as the Fed’s chair, this means Trumps will have the opportunity to appoint five of seven governors to America’s central bank. Given that the position holds a 14-year term, it is unusual for a president to…

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Seattle Seahawks Flee America For Medical Treatment

in Culture/Economics by

Baseball may still identify as America’s pastime, but every year consumers prove that football is the country’s true love. In fact, the intertwining of national identity and the NFL can often be troublesome, such as when the Pentagon pays the league to promote the military — or the large subsidies governments grant to help billionaires pay for new stadiums. Yet increasingly America’s best athletes in America’s favorite sport have to flee the country to get medical treatment, because of an opponent more dangerous than Ndamukong Suh: the Food and Drug Administration. On Monday, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll informed…

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Southern Secession Was One Thing — And The War To Prevent It Was Another

in Economics/History/Politics by

There’s an old saying that “he who distinguishes well teaches well.” In other words, if one’s going to talk about an important subject, one should be able to define his terms and tell the difference between two things that are not the same. This wisdom, unfortunately, is rarely embraced by modern pundits arguing about the causes of the American Civil War. A typical example can be found in this article at the Huffington Post in which the author opines: “This discussion [over the causes of the war] has led some people to question if the Confederacy, and therefore the Civil…

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The Eclipse: How Markets Could Have Prevented The “Traffic Nightmare”

in Economics by

In a typical illustration of how the news media resorts to exaggeration and hyperbole in order to seem relevant, the national media promised us “chaos” and a traffic “nightmare” in cities and towns where a total eclipse could be viewed yesterday. A month ago, USAToday suggested that too many hikers and forest-fire danger “could cause eclipse-watching chaos during solar eclipse.” The Oregonian reported last month that the presence of public lands invite “eclipse watching chaos across Oregon.” And then the event came and went. The media, which had promised “chaos” ended up reporting little more than the so-called “traffic nightmare”…

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Letter From England 2: Europe And The Culture War

in Culture/Economics/Politics/World by

If I were to draw up a list of the problems facing my country, and then to discuss their nature and possible solutions, I might be starting work on a rather long book. Instead, I will confine myself to what I think are the two most immediately pressing, and that are within the direct control of the British Government. These are our withdrawal from the European Union and the state of our so far uncontested culture war. I begin with Europe. When we voted, in June 2016, to leave the European Union, we were plainly willing an end without willing…

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