Tag: stimulus
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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The U.S. Economy’s Hidden Resilience

One of today’s pivotal questions is the ability of the economy to cope and adapt in the face of mandatory and voluntary social distancing. Real GDP in the second quarter of 2020 fell at an annualized rate of 32.9 percent, an unprecedented drop. It has become commonplace (and bipartisan) to assume that economic vitality...
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No $1,000 Handouts, End Payroll Taxes!

As a small business owner, I don’t need a $1,000 handout. This is a gimmick—let’s instead focus on solutions tailored to the problem. I need the tax relief of suspending the payroll taxes I and my workers pay. Some math—my workers are all being paid their normal salaries for the foreseeable future, despite trials,...
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A (Brief) Critical Review of “This Time is Different”

Eastern bloc economists Carmen Reinhart, she of the University of Maryland, and Kenneth Rogoff, he of Harvard, have gotten rave reviews for This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, published in 2009 by Princeton University Press. I started reading it today, now that the book is out in paperback. It didn’t take...
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Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Rap Video Round Two

“Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two” is the superb and very timely sequel to the phenomenally successful and insightful, rap video pitting the views of macroeconomist John Maynard Keynes against those of Austrian School economist Friedrich A. Hayek, “Fear the Boom and Bust.” The original has attracted to date more than...
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I Now Report Sightings of Shovel-Ready Projects

I was on the road a good deal last week, driving from my home in southeast Louisiana first through a long stretch of Mississippi to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, then to the outskirts of Birmingham and on to Auburn, Alabama, and finally from there back to my home by way of Montgomery and Mobile. Along the way, I was...
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Dr. Emily Skarbek Talks about the Government Cost Calculator on Taking Back America

Dr. Emily Skarbek, Director of the Independent Institute’s Government Cost Calculator was interviewed on the nationally syndicated, web, radio blog, “Taking Back America”. During the interview, Dr. Skarbek uses MyGovCost.org to explain the specific effects of rampant government spending for any individual in America. Dr. Skarbek illustrates how an individual can find out what...
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Do the Post-Panic Changes in Corporate Bond Yield Curves Indicate Regime Uncertainty or Only Expectations of Increased Inflation?

On August 24, I posted some data and analysis on yield curves for high-grade corporate bonds since the beginning of 2008, seeking to determine whether changes in these curves are consistent with the hypothesis that the current economic crisis has given rise to regime uncertainty. If it has done so, the yield curves should...
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Regime Uncertainty: Are Interest-Rate Movements Consistent with the Hypothesis?

Regime uncertainty has gained increasing recognition as the current economic troubles have persisted with little or no improvement since the economy reached a cyclical trough early in 2009. As described in my 1997 paper, regime uncertainty pertains to the likelihood that investors’ private property rights in their capital and the income it yields will be...
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More Economists Join Higgs’s Call to “Do Nothing”

The Wall Street Journal has been polling economists throughout the recession on their forecasts, including for unemployment—which have not been very accurate—as well as advice on government policy. Their most recent response: “Economists Want Policy Makers to Back Off Now.” Despite the continuing challenging conditions, 30 out of 48 economists ... said the economy...
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