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April 2009

Volume 59, 2009


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Recycling Discredited Ideas

April 01 2009 by ,

The current financial crisis has fueled a frenzied recycling of discredited Keynesian ideas. We are hearing again of the need for “public works,” of the need to “stimulate” the economy. The Federal Reserve is frantically inflating the supply of money. We are laying the groundwork for a disaster reminiscent of the 1970s—if not worse.

A Microeconomist's Protest

April 01 2009 by ,

The conventional macroeconomic diagnosis and proposed cures ignore many important structural or microeconomic factors.

Too Big to Succeed

April 01 2009 by ,

One widely cited culprit for the 2008 financial crisis was a supposed decision by the U.S. government not to regulate a relatively new type of financial instrument known as a credit default swap (CDS). In fact, this so-called “failure to regulate” refers to regulations that prohibited public trading of these instruments, concentrated risk in a small number of large firms, and massively increased the probability of a financial disaster. To add to the irony, one of the government officials most responsible for these interventions, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, recently apologized for having had too much faith in the free market when he should have apologized for not having had enough.

Somalia: Failed State, Economic Success?

April 01 2009 by ,

By most measures Somalia has improved living standards faster than the average sub-Saharan African country since the government of Siad Barre collapsed in the early 1990s.

T. Boone Pickens is Right About Oil Imports? It Just Ain't So!

April 01 2009 by ,

The $700 billion that Americans spend annually to purchase oil from other countries (according to Pickens) is a price not a transfer. For the $700 billion we send to oil exporters, we get something in return—oil. Our receipt of millions of barrels of oil in exchange for that money is hardly a transfer. We receive a versatile commodity that can be used for everything from making plastics to fueling family vacations. The exporters receive the $700 billion that they can then use to purchase other goods and services.

Madoff Is a Piker

Madoff's Scam Was Small Compared to U.S. Government's Two Ponzi Schemes
April 01 2009 by ,

Where Does Your Vote Really Count?

Your Dollar Votes Always Count in the Free Market
April 01 2009 by ,

Globalization: Extending the Market and Human Well-Being

April 01 2009 by ,

Much of the prosperity of today’s world arises from the division of labor. Globalization, by extending the market’s scope to the entire world, enables the division of labor to become as developed as the current world population allows. However, to be truly in the interests of consumers and a boon to economic prosperity, globalization needs to occur spontaneously through the workings of the unhampered free market. Government attempts to meddle with this process—even with the sincere intent to facilitate or accelerate it—will only undermine its efficacy at benefiting us all.

The NRA: How Price-Fixing Perpetuated the Great Depression

April 01 2009 by ,

The National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA) dramatically altered America’s traditional free-market system. Under the NRA, a majority of firms in any industry had government approval backed by force to determine how much a factory could expand, what wages had to be paid, the number of hours to be worked, and the prices of products. Whether or not a businessman helped write the code for his industry, he was bound by the terms and subject to a fine or jail term if he violated them.

The Sage of Tampa

Harry Teasley is a True Champion of Liberty
April 01 2009 by ,

The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity

April 02 2009 by , ,

The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal

April 02 2009 by , ,

Supreme Neglect: How to Revive Constitutional Protection for Private Property

April 02 2009 by , ,

Capital Letters -- Is Energy Independence Desirable?

April 02 2009 by

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