by John Cochran
There is a sliver of good news on the central banking front. Given the Fed’s poor performance before and after the 2007–08 financial crisis and Great Recession, and its now recognized 100 year history of failure, at least some members of Congress, even without Ron Paul, are now willing to consider major reform.
Many libertarians who recognize that the correct long-run reform is to “End the Fed” — or essentially eliminate central banking (see here or here) — have focused most on the Audit the Fed Bill.by
Just about everyone agrees that incentives affect behavior, but economists really mean it. That’s because economists take the logic of incentives further than most other people are willing to. Such analysis often reveals that government policies have unintended consequences that seem shocking to the average person. The list includes welfare programs that lead to higher rates of birth out of wedlock, seatbelt laws that lead to more pedestrian deaths, and even the possibility of changes in estate taxation that lead to people strategically timing their deaths.by
When Leonard Read founded the Foundation for Economic Education in 1946, he did not intend to create an overtly political movement with particular political goals. He wanted something deeper, more lasting, and more culturally profound. He sought to inspire a love of liberty in all groups of society. Only this, he said, would create the basis of a lasting freedom that could resist despotism over time.
That dream has been gradually building for nearly 70 years, and today we have the opportunity to gain a glimpse of what it looks like and what it means for our future.by
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the first Turkish president to be elected directly by the people. He believes that gives him a far-reaching mandate. Mr Erdogan is pursuing a project under the slogan ‘New Turkey’ to profoundly transform the Turkish republic. His ambition is to make the country into a Muslim regional power and the world’s tenth strongest economy by 2023, the centenary of the foundation of the Turkish republic. His plans have polarised politics and society. Though he still has the backing of the majority of Turks, internal tensions have increased. The Kurdish question remains potentially explosive. The presence of 1.5 million refugees from Syria is meeting with growing resistance. Whether the AKP secures a two-thirds majority in the general elections in June 2015 will play a decisive role in Mr Erdogan’s political future. If it does, he could strengthen his long term position by passing a new constitution.by
“Report Suggests Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Are Vulnerable to Computerization,” screams a headline. The cry of “robots are coming to take our jobs!” is ringing across North America. But the concern reveals nothing so much as a fear—and misunderstanding—of the free market.
In the short term, robotics will cause some job dislocation; in the long term, labor patterns will simply shift. The use of robotics to increase productivity while decreasing costs works basically the same way as past technological advances, like the production line, have worked.by
One of the great myths about the capitalist system is the presumption that businessmen make profits at the expense of the consumers and workers in society. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In the free market, consumers are the sovereign rulers who determine what gets produced, and with what qualities and features. The sovereign consumers also determine who will be the owners and entrepreneurs of business enterprises.by
by Sydney Williams
The world has always been dangerous. However, as much as we all would like to live without war, as long as there are men and women driven by passion rather than reason the possibility is unlikely. Following World War I (the war to end all wars!), Europeans desired nothing more than to live in peace. Their families, their homes, places of business, their churches, synagogues and mosques had been destroyed. Woodrow Wilson proposed a League of Nations so that men could discuss differences without resorting to bloodshed.by
Can we have political liberty without first having economic freedom? Is the form of government predetermined by the form of economic organization? At first blush the opposite would seem to be self-evident, i.e., that our form of government determines all else, including our economic structure. But Mises advises otherwise. InHuman Action (page 283 of the Mises Institute’s scholars’ edition), Mises explains (my emphasis):by
It wasn’t a compromise; it was a capitulation. Greece’s new government has accepted the thing it kept insisting it would never accept: a continuation of the bailout-and-borrow racket that has reduced the country to indigence.
The only concession that Syriza won in the talks – if it can be called a concession – was to be allowed to present its own surrender papers. Having climbed down from all his demands, the finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, yielded in the form of a communiqué, and then huffed and puffed about it.by
For the head of the Federal Reserve Board Janet Yellen — and most economists — the key to economic growth is a strengthening in the labor market. The strength of the labor market is the key behind the strength of the economy. Or so it is held. If this is the case then it is valid to conclude that changes in unemployment are an important causative factor of real economic growth.
This way of thinking is based on the view that a reduction in the number of unemployed persons means that more people can now afford to boost their expenditures. As a result, economic growth follows suit.by