Archive for February, 2013

Obamacare’s Marriage Penalty »

In almost every case under the Affordable Care Act, married couples will fare poorly compared to unmarried couples. The reason: subsidies in the newly created health insurance exchange will treat two singles better than a married couple. Suppose you are earning 200 percent of the federal poverty level (currently $21,660). You will be required...
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The Federal Reserve’s First Century »

One factor often cited as contributing to the decline of the Roman Empire was the debasement of the currency. In a period of about 150 years following Emperor Nero’s reign (from 54 to 68 AD) the value of Rome’s currency fell by 50%. By 250 AD, 200 years after Nero, the value of Rome’s...
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Armen Alchian (April 12, 1914 – February 19, 2013) »

Arline Alchian Hoel reports that her father, Armen Alchian, “passed away peacefully in his sleep early this morning at his home in Los Angeles.” He was 98 years old. Armen Alchian was a major figure in the economics profession for more than half a century. At UCLA, where he spent his academic career as...
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Political Problems Have Only One Real Solution »

Eldridge Cleaver famously declared, “You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.” Although I did not agree with this sentiment in its original context, it has more definite applicability in regard to what one might think of as “solving political problems.” Notice, first, that politics consists in the struggle to...
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Presidents’ Day »

Presidents’ Day should itself remind us that the executive branch has expanded its power way beyond what the nation’s founders had intended at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. We don’t have a “Congress or Judiciary Day.” The day celebrates powerful executives as caricatured celebrities. The founders had envisioned Congress, as the dominant branch of...
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Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act »

Like all other individuals, young adults will be required by federal law to purchase health insurance with the specific benefits the federal government says they must have, regardless of whether they want to pay for them and regardless of whether those benefits are useful to them. For instance, young single males will be required...
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Regime Uncertainty and Firearm Purchases »

In a post entitled “Regime Uncertainty on Display – Gun Version,” George Johns at Sleepless in Midland argues that the White House’s rhetoric on gun control has been good (so far) for the firearms industry: Gun and ammo manufacturers and sellers are thriving like never before. And the reason is fear of Barack Obama’s...
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Can the Internet Save Us? »

Many of my freedom-loving friends have great confidence that communication via the Internet and the World Wide Web will prove to be a game-changer in the fight against the disinformation and propaganda disseminated by the state and its running dogs, and that the greater ease of spreading the truth will shift the balance in...
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How Will Obamacare Affect Health Savings Accounts? »

If you are one of the more than 22 million people [1] enrolled in a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Health Reimbursement Arrangement or if you work for the one of every two employers who now offer one of these consumer-driven health plans, in the future you will have fewer options. The new...
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The 16th Amendment: A Transfer of Power from the States to the Federal Government »

This is the centennial year of the 16th Amendment — the income tax amendment — which was ratified in 1913. While often associated with the growth in government spending, its biggest effect has been to shift the balance of power toward the federal government and away from the states. It is not difficult to...
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