Social Sciences

The Claude Rains Recovery

“No Recovery?” In the best Claude Rains fashion, “I am shocked, shocked!” There is no economic recovery, and there will be no economic recovery this year and probably not next. Yet the media, mainstream economists and the Administration insist we are in the midst of one. Things are definitely getting better, at least according to them. This concerted propaganda effort [...]

Wisdom: Marxian Politics

Image via Wikipedia As an economist, I am frequently asked about the economics of Marx. I generally nod approvingly, which usually pleases or perplexes the inquirer. It is only after some discussion does it become apparent that I am talking about Groucho Marx and not Karl Marx. Groucho Marx was an American original. Regarding economics, Irving Berlin once quipped: “If [...]

Wisdom: Friedman on Socialized Medicine

Image via Wikipedia Image via Wikipedia Milton Friedman on Socialized Medicine. From a talk given at the Mayo Clinic in 1978. Although over 30 years old and focused on the medical industry, there are lessons here beyond the obvious. The semi-alert and above will recognize the process as a general one that applies to any industry in which the government [...]

Which Way Markets?

It is very difficult to determine how our economic situation plays out. The economy continues to weaken. There is no recovery under way. Markets generally seem overvalued. On top of the economic situation is the political environment. Weak or incompetent Presidents are generally not good for markets. Here are two results from Rasmussen: With the economy and the political situation [...]

Wisdom: Henry Hazlitt on Economic Organization

Image via Wikipedia Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993) was an exceptional journalist and economist. He was an economist who could write clearly (John Kenneth Galbraith was a wonderful writer, but a limited economist). Hazlitt’s book, Economics in One Lesson, may be the most-read book on economics because of its simplicity and clarity. He used Frederic Bastiat‘s simple approach to economics. His comment [...]

Keynes, The Man

Murray Rothbard‘s paper presents an unflattering portrait of  John Maynard Keynes. For history or econ-geeks only.

James Buchanan, A Real Economist, Turns 90

James Buchanan won a Nobel prize in Economics in 1986 for his pioneering work in what is known as public choice theory. In my opinion, he is one of the few true economists. He understands the methodological and institutional issues and limitations of his field. As most outstanding economists, he was never lured into the political arena and forced to [...]

Obama Secret Plan for Deficit Reduction

“We’ve heard nothing but convincing rhetoric on the debt for a decade, so what we’re lacking is more of the same?  Does the White House read the current polling and focus-group data?  Deficit anger among voters has grown from ‘palpable’ to ‘seething’ in the last 24 months, yet fancy elocution will calm our protestations? Democrats will be slaughtered next Fall [...]

Wisdom: Freedom is a Country’s Source of Success and Wealth

Image via Wikipedia Image via Wikipedia I believe that the country is in long-term secular decline. There is no natural “cycle of civilization” that causes this decline. Historical declines are the result of poor policies implemented over many years. These can be modified, however history provides almost no examples of such reversals. “Every step which leads from capitalism toward planning [...]

Wisdom: Mises on Business Crises

Image via Wikipedia “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit (debt) expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit (debt) expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” Ludwig von Mises “The [...]

Wisdom: Legislation and Corruptness

Image via Wikipedia Image via Wikipedia From the standpoint of economics, I don’t think I have ever seen a more harmful set of programs and policies. These started with Bush but have been taken to insane levels by Obama. It defies logic, economics, common sense and history to believe that these programs will help. If implemented and/or continued, they will [...]

Unemployment 12 – 13% PLUS

Image by Seattle Municipal Archives via Flickr David Rosenberg posts today on unemployment, estimating it going up to 12 – 13%, as measured by U3. It is currently 10.2%. Another rate, more reflective of actual unemployment is U6. It is currently at 17.5%. A third measurement, offered by John Williams at Shadowstats.com, comes in around 22%. (As an aside, Williams [...]