Tag: economy
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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Populism Is Far From Over

Many people overseas infer from President Trump’s electoral defeat that most Americans are finally fed up with populism. They miss the fact that populism is just as powerful in the Democratic Party as it is in the Republican Party and that Trump got some 70 million votes. Populism has been a defining trait of...
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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:

National Debt to Nearly Double GDP by 2050

The Congressional Budget Office has finally released its 2020 Long Term Budget Outlook. Delayed for months, the CBO’s budget analysis confirms the coronavirus recession has made the U.S. government’s fiscal situation much worse. How much worse? In its 2019 outlook, the CBO expected the publicly held portion of the debt would hit 144 percent...
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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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Coronavirus Crises: Everything to Fear from Fear Itself

The coronavirus has spawned crises on three fronts—medical, financial, and economic—and the tide in each turns at different times. The stock market has rebounded from its March 23 bottom, two weeks after Treasury bond yields began to rise from their all-time low. COVID-19 death rates passed their peak in the United States and most...
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Torrent of New Federal Spending Leaves Ominous Clouds of National Tax Hikes

The total public debt outstanding of the U.S. government has been exploding at a nearly unprecedented rate. Starting from March 15, 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic gave politicians a reason to open the federal government’s spending floodgates, the national debt stood at a nearly even $23.5 trillion. Three months later, on June 15,...
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Pandemics Are Not Recessions, And Pessimism Isn’t Logic

I thank Dr. Edwin G. Dolan for taking the time to critique my recent Independent Institute Executive Summary, A Pandemic is Not a Recession, in his April 15th blog posting for the Niskanen Center, “The Shaky Logic Behind Hopes for a Quick Recovery.” Criticism is valuable and necessary—though inaccuracies need to be cleared up...
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China Steels California

Before the coronavirus was detected in the U.S., there were other reasons to question the wisdom of doing business with a one-party Communist dictatorship such as China. With considerable support from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, China gained entry to the World Trade Organization. That removed the annual review of the regime’s record...
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