Tag: Economics
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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Capitalism: Getting Ahead and Staying Ahead

Joseph Schumpeter described capitalism as a process of creative destruction, and an economic system that is always changing, never stationary. He called capitalism an evolutionary process and said the engine that keeps the economy advancing is entrepreneurship. In a capitalist economy, people get ahead by being entrepreneurial: looking for ways to create value for...
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Elizabeth Warren’s Proposed Wealth Tax

People tend to view taxes in one of two ways. One view is that taxes are the price people pay for government goods and services. The other is that taxes are a penalty levied on people who earn income or have wealth. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax takes the second view.

Three Assumptions the Left Makes About Economic Inequality

Are policies to reduce inequality beneficial to those who are least fortunate? Sometimes they are; sometimes they are not.

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