Archive for December, 2012

A Bogus Example of Controlling Inflation with Price Controls »

As the U.S. government prepared for and then engaged fully in World War II, it made increasingly stringent efforts to control inflation by imposing price controls. Late in 1942, these controls were strengthened substantially, and from early 1943 through mid-1946, when the controls were allowed to lapse, the consumer price index rose very little....
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Not Every Intellectual Gunman Is a Hired Gun »

A venerable guide in political analysis is “follow the money.” Not many people need to be taught this idea; indeed, in popular journalism and political discourse, it is taken for granted. So, the standard way to discredit one’s political enemy is to expose that he is being bankrolled by a nefarious interest group or...
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An Overview of Recent Changes in Federal Finances »

Everyone who pays any attention to public affairs knows that after the onset of the current recession, the federal government’s finances took a very bad turn for the worse. As taxable income fell, federal tax receipts also fell, especially between 2008 and 2009 (here as elsewhere in this post, unless otherwise noted, references to...
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Freedom: Because It Works or Because It’s Right? »

Libertarians divide into two broad classes: those who espouse a free society because it gives better results than an unfree society, and those who espouse a free society because they believe that it is wrong to deny or suppress a person’s right to be free (unless, of course, that person is suppressing the equal...
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How Unfair Is Medicaid Funding? »

On the average, the federal government pays about two-thirds of the costs of Medicaid, and it makes funds available to the states on a matching basis. In theory, the federal funding formula is designed to redistribute money from wealthier states to poorer states by giving poorer states a higher match for every dollar they...
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The Amazingly Popular Bush Tax Cuts »

As we prepare to go off the edge of the fiscal cliff (no big deal, I argue here), one thing all parties agree on, amazingly enough, is that they want to keep the Bush tax cuts. These are the tax cuts the Democrats have vilified, and President Obama campaigned against. Now, everyone wants them...
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How Wasteful Is Medicaid? »

[This post is another in a series on problems with Medicaid. For more details, please consult my recent book from the Independent Institute, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis.] Fraud and abuse have plagued Medicaid since its inception. In 1997, the GAO estimated that fraud and abuse may be as high as 10 percent of...
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A December 1941 Speech that FDR Never Delivered »

On or about December 5, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (probably with the aid of one or more speech writers) prepared a speech on U.S. relations with the Far East, in general, and with Japan, in particular. The speech was to be delivered to the Congress in order, as its opening sentence indicates, “to...
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Who Goes to Prison Due to Gun Control? »

Somehow, left-liberals have associated the cause of gun rights with white racism, when if anything it is gun control that has a racist legacy. In the United States, early gun laws targeted recently freed blacks, and open carry first became banned in California under Governor Ronald Reagan to disarm groups like the Black Panthers....
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Krugman on Regime Uncertainty »

Speaking of regime uncertainty, even distinguished mainstream economists get it. Here’s Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman: I think that the main thing keeping long-term interest rates low right now is cognitive dissonance. Even though the business community is starting to get scared—the ultra-establishment Committee for Economic Development now warns that ”a fiscal crisis threatens our...
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