Simply put, low interest rates encourage borrowing and discourage savings. That, of course, is the Federal Reserve’s purpose in keeping rates low, as they hoped attractive rates would lubricate consumer and business spending. It worked with consumers, but has been less successful with businesses. And, of course, the federal government has stepped up their spending. Unlike most state governments, Washington is not subject to such inconvenient requirements as balanced budgets. Continue reading
British historian Niall Ferguson has an excellent editorial in yesterday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal Europe comparing the freedom-loving American Republic that Alexis de Tocqueville found in the 19th century to the bureaucratic, over-regulated American Empire of today. “Unlike Frenchmen, [Tocqueville wrote], who instinctively looked to the state to provide economic and social order, Americans relied on their own efforts,” he writes.No longer. Americans have grown increasingly more reliant on the state (like their European brethren) and have “become dependent on Washington.” Ferguson, who last year received the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award from the Austrian Economics Center and the Hayek Institut, says there’s still a chance to change things — if people do not become complacent.
by Sydney Williams
The title is borrowed from Edwin Fadiman’s 1970 book. But the concern it expresses goes back almost two thousand years to the Roman poet, Juvenal. He became known as the first to use the term, Quis custodiet ipros custodes? , which literally translated means who will watch the watchmen? But the meaning is the same. In a democracy, the watchers are supposed to be the people, aided by a press not beholden to any political party.
Writer, journalist and Conservative MEP for South East England, Daniel Hannan — who was here in Vienna last weekend for the 10th annual European Resource Bank meeting — raises a very provocative question in a recent column for the UK’s The Telegraph: How can Austria be doing so well economically, given that it exhibits many of the characteristics and qualities associated with “economic sclerosis”? Some of the explanations offered by his friends at the meeting ranged from culture to education, geography and size. But none of these fully accounts for the country’s success. Is it just a matter of time? Or is it doing something right? Hannan ends his column by asking readers for their explanations; we’d like to do the same: Why is it that Austria exhibits so few of the maladies seen in most of Western Europe?
The 2013 Free Market Road Show in Paris
What are the correct procedures after the absence of structural reforms and false austerity, which the politicians place upon everything except for public expenses?
Many different aspects to this question need to be discussed in Paris: First of all how France and Europe can get out of the rut? What true remedies after the absence of structural reforms and austerity false that policies impose anything but public spending?
Sat, 15th June 2013 Venue: Maison des Mines et des Ponts et Chaussees, Salle AB 270 rue Saint Jacques, Paris V
by Richard Rahn (The Washington Times)
Representatives of major European think tanks and taxpayer groups are attending the annual Resource Bank meeting here in Vienna, hosted by the Austrian Economics Center and the Hayek Institute. They are appalled by the actions of the International Revenue Service (IRS).
by Sydney Williams
While America’s volunteer army is four decades old, two long-simmering events have made this issue timely and sensitive. The ten-year wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have put enormous pressure on our forces. The fact that the U.S. has fewer troops to deploy than it had during the first Gulf War has meant three and sometimes four tours of duty for many of our soldiers. In like vein, there has been a long, smoldering resentment that dates back to Vietnam, when last we had conscription. In that era, better off young men were often able to get student deferments, or simply joined the National Guard or Army Reserve, to avoid the possibility of being sent to Vietnam.
Twenty-six years ago today, during a visit to the divided city of Berlin, Germany, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev was publicly challenged by then US President Ronald Reagan to tear down the Berlin Wall. Speaking to a crowd in West Berlin, Reagan said: “There is one sign the Soviets can make … that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. … Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” (Full text here. And background on this now famous Cold War speech here.)
by Sydney Williams
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin is being deliberated at the Supreme Court. A decision could come as early as Monday. At issue is the University of Texas’ use of race in deciding which undergraduates to admit. In 2003 the Supreme Court, in the case of Grutter v. Bollinger , concluded 5-4 that the University of Michigan Law School had a right to consider race in admissions policies. Continue reading
As President, Mr. Obama has every right to appoint whomever he chooses as his national security adviser. It is an appointment that does not require Congressional approval. Nevertheless, his choice of Susan Rice, while being characterized as being “bold” by some was in fact a cynical slap in the face of the American people. Continue reading