Tag: Economics
How Did Forecasters Get the Pandemic Economy So Wrong?

The stock market and the consensus of forecasters are two sources of economic intelligence that are often enough at odds. But history hardly ever saw a gulf as wide as what occurred in this year of pandemic. Just before the general shutdown began in March, the market’s plunge corroborated the influx of popular fear...
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Free Will: Getting the Economics Right

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein [Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1921; Philosophical Investigations, 1953] famously argued for the analytical necessity of “getting the grammar right.” By his lights, the inadequacy of language for representing ethical, aesthetic, and metaphysical concepts unavoidably creates philosophical pseudo-problems; genuine problems were said to be scientific rather than philosophical. Philosophy’s task, therefore, is to...
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Is the Presidential Election Winner Ready to Face a Mammoth Debt Crisis?

Writing in Foreign Policy, economist Dambisa Moyo paints a nightmare scenario of what is waiting for the next U.S. President:

Coordination, Cooperation, and Control: The Evolution of Economic and Political Power

My latest book is titled Coordination, Cooperation, and Control: The Evolution of Economic and Political Power. The book’s ultimate conclusion is that when the same people hold both economic and political power, the result is stagnation. When the people who hold economic power are not the same people who hold political power, the result...
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Different Dread from the Fed

“The next six months could make what we have experienced so far seem like just a warm-up to a greater catastrophe. With many schools and colleges starting, stores and businesses reopening, and the beginning of the indoor heating season, new case numbers will grow quickly.” That sounds like the latest pronouncement from Dr. Anthony...
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As the Pandemic Demonstrates, Leviathan Feeds on National Crises

Crisis and Leviathan is Robert Higgs’ great work of history exploring how politicians exploit crisis situations to grow their power. As their power grows, so too does the size of government. Leviathan, of course, refers to the old bible stories of a multi-headed sea serpent with an insatiable appetite—much like today’s U.S. government, which...
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The Devil in the PPP’s Bailout Details

Of all the actions the U.S. government has taken during the coronavirus pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been one of the most effective in achieving its desired results. The PPP provided $510 billion in emergency loans to small businesses to let them continue paying the incomes of their employees as they were...
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After the Government-Engineered Recession, How Soon Will the Economy Return to Normal?

The arrival of COVID-19 has brought with it an unprecedented and uncertain situation in many ways. One uncertainty is that because the disease is novel, we don’t know its future trajectory. Another uncertainty is how rapidly governments will move to lift restrictions on economic activity. That is something government officials can choose. Yet another...
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COVID-19 Policy: Yet Another Intergenerational Transfer

There is still a lot we don’t know about the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing we do know is that those most at risk of death are the elderly and people with other underlying health problems. While there is a small risk of death for people who are healthy and young, most healthy young...
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Why Is Unemployment Rising?

The obvious answer to the question in my title–that unemployment is rising because of the COVID-19 pandemic–is not quite correct. The virus is not causing unemployment to rise. The government’s response to the virus is causing unemployment to rise. I won’t offer an opinion on whether the government response, overall, goes too far or...
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