Tag: economy
Thomas Sowell on Truth and Proportionality
“Even the best things come to an end,” wrote Thomas Sowell in late 2016, as he shut down his newspaper column in order to “spend less time following politics and more time on my photography.” Four years later, when he turned 90, the economist and Hoover Institution fellow was back with Charter Schools and...
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Venezuela Goes Digital–It Won’t Fix the Problem
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently announced that the country will be moving toward a “fully digital” economy. The South American nation has struggled in recent years with rampant shortages of staple goods, civil unrest, and hyperinflation. According to the opposition-controlled National Assembly, consumer prices rose more than 65 percent in November, placing the interannual...
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To Live and Dine in L.A.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl believes “outdoor dining is probably more dangerous in terms of contagion than any other kind of business,” so on November 30 she voted to uphold a ban on outdoor dining in the county. Hours after casting her vote, Supervisor Kuehl dined outside at the upscale Il Forno Trattoria...
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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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