by Art Carden

Had he not passed away at the tender age of 92 in 1973, Ludwig von Mises would have turned 131 years old today. In my humble opinion, he was the greatest social thinker of the twentieth century. In a series of breakthrough contributions like The Theory of Money and Credit, Socialism: An Economic And Sociological Analysis, Human Action (his magnum opus), and Theory and History–to say nothing of a series of smaller and no-less-insightful works like Bureaucracy and Omnipotent Government–Mises developed theories of economic growth and business cycles that are relevant today.

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by Sydney Williams

We should all feel better. Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist, columnist for the New York Times and apologist for the Obama Administration recently headlined an op-ed: “Newsflash: There was no debt crisis.” He references the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projection that the U.S. federal debt will be no higher in 2039, as a percent of GDP, than it had been at the end of World War II! In doing so, Comrade Krugman accepts as absolute the prophecy of a vision-impaired seer. He appears unconcerned that today’s federal debt borrowers lack the discipline of their post-World War II compatriots. He seems unwilling to account for the fact that while the last baby-boomer turns 65 on 2030, life expectancy continues to rise. Given current trends, there will only be two workers for every retiree in 2039. No matter. He sums up his opinion, in case anyone misunderstands him: “We don’t have a debt crisis, and never did.”

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by Robert Murphy

Most Americans implicitly assume that the financial system has always worked the way it does now. Although they may have a vague knowledge that the U.S. dollar used to be tied to gold, they can’t really imagine a world in which prices don’t steadily rise, year after year. It’s also difficult to imagine an economy working without a central bank, since the Fed has been around for a century now. These just seem like facts of life.

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For the Germans, July 8 was a good day. Not just because it also happened to be your columnist’s birthday or because of Germany’s emphatic 7-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup, but because this year, it also marked Germany’s Tax Freedom Day. Until then, theoretically all that the average German earned in income over the year was taxed away by government. Now Germans can actually start earning money for themselves for the rest of the year.

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hOccupy Central with Love and Peace, a civil-disobedience campaign for democracy and direct elections in Hong Kong, was initiated a year and a half ago by Benny Tai, an associate professor of law at the University of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s chief executive officer is currently chosen by a 1,200-member election committee consisting of individuals and groups, which are increasingly pro-Beijing. The Chinese central government has promised universal suffrage in the next elections, in 2017, raising much hope among Hong Kong’s people.  Continue reading

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Dr. Barbara Kolm talks about the grim economic outlook for Europe in an interview with the Washington Times.

The ECB’s policy with its negative interest rates and European politicians living in a “parallel universe” constitute the biggest problems for future growth within the EU. “The modest growth rates of below 1% over the last years can not really be considered growth”, Kolm states. Future developments will depend on politicians smarting up and embracing wise policies that may eventually lead to serious and sustainable growth, providing reasonable incentives for enterprises. At the moment however these positive changes are quite out of sight.”

 

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Dr. Barbara Kolm talks to Kitco NEWS about the current economic situation in Europe.
While she thinks that some things have improved and private business are doing quite well or are recovering in most of the countries productivity is still an issue in general. However, it is governments which continue to be in trouble and are still reluctant to reduce their sovereign debts. The political framework all over Europe needs urgent reform!
Especially the policies of the ECB have been flawed over the last few years. While its original task consists in merely keeping the money- supply constant and avoiding inflation, it is engaged in the frivolous printing of new money and the bailing out of banks and whole countries.
“Structural reforms may hurt in the beginning, but they need to be implemented nevertheless. In the long round sound economic policy will definitely pay off”, Kolm is convinced.

 

 

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BIS1by John E. Charalambakis

In the most recent report from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – the central bank of the central banks- we observed one the clearest divisions between the accommodative/coordinated policies of the most important central banks and the opinion of the BIS. The latter is warning of potential dangers in the global economy due to the over-accommodative policies, and emphasized that the central banks in their zeal to overcome the Great Recession may be ignoring the concept of financial cycles.

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by Jan Winiecki

Here we go again, straight into the old debate as to from what the poor benefit more: growth or redistribution. It has been rekindled by the near simultaneous appearance of two books written by Indian economists. I think I am justified in calling professor Jacques Dreze an (honorary) Indian, given his attachment to that country (even if I definitely do not share his and professor Amartya Sen’s prescriptions…).

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by Tyler Cowen

Income inequality has surged as a political and economic issue, but the numbers don’t show that inequality is rising from a global perspective. Yes, the problem has become more acute within most individual nations, yet income inequality for the world as a whole has been falling for most of the last 20 years. It’s a fact that hasn’t been noted often enough.

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