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July/August 2009

Volume 59, 2009


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FDR's Lucky Timing

June 10 2009 by ,

It’s not clear how any of FDR’s 1933 policies could have accounted for a 17 percent increase in GDP, even if they promoted expansion, because they wouldn’t have had time to ripple through the economy. It seems more likely that FDR had the good fortune to come into office near the bottom of the Depression, and enough adjustments in wages, prices, and other factors had occurred that the economy was ready to recover.

Keynes's Ghost

June 09 2009 by ,

The multiplier argument is founded on two key assumptions that turn out to be false. First is the notion that savings are not spent but rather are withdrawn from the expenditure stream. The multiplier’s second incorrect premise is that government expenditures are “autonomous”; that is, government spending does not depend on current income.

What Is Seen and What Is Unseen: Government "Job Creation"

June 10 2009 by ,

How can Obama and his economic advisers know what kinds of jobs will position our economy to “lead the world” in the long term? Indeed, how can we expect anyone to know what kinds of jobs will be able to offer such a guarantee of wealth and security, considering the enormous complexity of our world?

Dim Bulbs

June 10 2009 by ,

In Praise of Tax Havens

June 10 2009 by ,

According to stereotypes, tax havens are little islands in the Caribbean, and indeed that’s true of some of the world’s premiere offshore centers. But to be more accurate, a tax haven is any jurisdiction that satisfies two criteria: First, its tax laws are attractive to global investors and entrepreneurs, and second, it protects its fiscal sovereignty by choosing not to enforce the bad tax laws of other nations, at least when they are trying to tax economic activity outside their borders. This means, of course, that individuals and businesses from high-tax nations have the option of using those jurisdictions as havens against excessive taxation.

The American Land Question

June 10 2009 by ,

Widespread landownership long supported a kind of liberal-republican independence. Perhaps we should reexamine the nexus and ask ourselves how, in Donald Davidson’s words, we “let the freehold pass,” and whether that was really for the best.

What the Drug Warriors Have Given Us

March 27 2009 by ,

The Founders, the Constitution, and the Historians

June 11 2009 by ,

How could Charles Beard have erred so badly in arguing that the Constitution was written mainly to serve the signers' economic interests? In part Beard missed the mark because he was trying to hit something else—a Progressive agenda for reform, the excuse to transfer wealth from the haves to the have-nots. If the Founders were merely protecting their economic interests, Beard and his progressive friends were justified in supporting the redistribution of wealth.

The Fatal Conceit

June 17 2009 by ,

The politicians are confident that they can wisely spend trillions of your dollars. The arrogance of the political class is stunning.

School Choice

June 17 2009 by ,

Bad Regulation Drives Out Good

April 09 2009 by ,

Government Must Keep Track of Derivatives?

June 17 2009 by ,

Regardless of what caused the crisis, government efforts to regulate derivatives will only lock in undesirable aspects of the current market and ensure that politically connected players reap artificial gains. It is absurd to ask politicians to promote financial integrity and sound accounting. They are the worst violators of these principles on the planet.

The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism

June 11 2009 by , ,

Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World

June 11 2009 by , ,

Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush

June 17 2009 by ,

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