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Opinion and commentary related to economics, finance, and the war on free market capitalism.

Southern Secession Was One Thing — And The War To Prevent It Was Another

in Economics/History/Politics by

There’s an old saying that “he who distinguishes well teaches well.” In other words, if one’s going to talk about an important subject, one should be able to define his terms and tell the difference between two things that are not the same. This wisdom, unfortunately, is rarely embraced by modern pundits arguing about the causes of the American Civil War. A typical example can be found in this article at the Huffington Post in which the author opines: “This discussion [over the causes of the war] has led some people to question if the Confederacy, and therefore the Civil…

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The Eclipse: How Markets Could Have Prevented The “Traffic Nightmare”

in Economics by

In a typical illustration of how the news media resorts to exaggeration and hyperbole in order to seem relevant, the national media promised us “chaos” and a traffic “nightmare” in cities and towns where a total eclipse could be viewed yesterday. A month ago, USAToday suggested that too many hikers and forest-fire danger “could cause eclipse-watching chaos during solar eclipse.” The Oregonian reported last month that the presence of public lands invite “eclipse watching chaos across Oregon.” And then the event came and went. The media, which had promised “chaos” ended up reporting little more than the so-called “traffic nightmare”…

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Letter From England 2: Europe And The Culture War

in Culture/Economics/Politics/World by

If I were to draw up a list of the problems facing my country, and then to discuss their nature and possible solutions, I might be starting work on a rather long book. Instead, I will confine myself to what I think are the two most immediately pressing, and that are within the direct control of the British Government. These are our withdrawal from the European Union and the state of our so far uncontested culture war. I begin with Europe. When we voted, in June 2016, to leave the European Union, we were plainly willing an end without willing…

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Even Partial Drug Legalization Goes a Long Way In Protecting Property Rights

in Economics/Politics by

The partial legalization of marijuana has not been particularly ideal. Thanks to high regulatory burdens on the marijuana-production industry, limitations on production volume, and high taxes, black markets have persisted within those states that have adopted a variety of legalization measures. Perhaps most burdensome has been ongoing federal banking regulations that essentially prohibit marijuana producers from using commercial banking services. The resulting reliance on physical cash has led in many cases to more robbery and inefficiencies within the cannabis industry. Nevertheless, even partial legalization has brought at least some of the benefits that one would expect. Cannabis products are now…

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The Tragedy Of The Commons In The Prison System

in Economics/Politics by

In a previous article, I wrote about how the war on drugs and the government monopoly on the legal system has created the Tragedy of the Commons in our justice system. Because legislators and police officers have every incentive to appear “tough on crime” but the cost of the sending a criminal to a courtroom is socialized, the courts have become increasingly backlogged. What that article did not cover is the related “commons problem” in the prison system and the consequences that follow. Where legislators and police officers have in-built incentives to send as many people through the courts as…

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What A Conservative Health Care Bill Ought To Look Like

in Economics/Politics by

Now that House and Senate Republicans have released health care bills, I have come to one conclusion: the GOP is in need of major help writing a health care bill. They never seem to get it right, and they always fall short of making these bills conservative. Consequently, I have created a guideline that highlights the problems within the Senate and House bills, and how they can be fixed. Problem #1: Both House and Senate bills continue spending and subsidizing for poor people and states. Although it sounds moral to give the poor tax credits for health care, it will only…

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Beware The Predictions Of “Experts” Like Janet Yellen

in Economics by

Speaking in London, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen predicted recently that the “the system is much safer and much sounder” and explained that the Federal Reserve is prepared to deal with numerous enormous shocks to the economy. In her conversation with Lord Nicholas Stern, Yellen also went on to list the reasons that, thanks to central bank intervention, there is unlikely to be another financial crisis “in our lifetimes.” For those who have lived through more than one business cycle, however, alarm bells tend to go off every time an economist, central banker or high-ranking government official declares that there’s…

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The Racist History Of Minimum Wage Laws

in Economics by

In 1966, Milton Friedman wrote an op-ed for Newsweek entitled “Minimum Wage Rates.” In it, he argued “that the minimum-wage law is the most anti-Negro law on our statute books.” He was, of course, referring to the then-present era, after the far more explicitly racist laws from the eras of slavery and segregation had already been removed. Friedman’s observation about the racist effects of minimum wage laws can be traced back to the nineteenth century, and they continue to have a disproportionately deleterious effect on African-Americans into the present day. The earliest of such laws were regulations passed in regards…

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What Derek Carr’s Contract Teaches Us About Wall Street And Income Inequality

in Culture/Economics by

Derek Carr has just signed the most lucrative deal in NFL history, receiving a five-year extension worth $125 million with the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders. At $25 million per year, Carr edges out Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (though Luck’s contract did reward him with over twice as much in guaranteed money). Carr also becomes a big winner in the Raiders’ taxpayer-funded escape from Oakland, with his contract scheduled so most of the money kicks in after the franchise moves to income-tax-free Nevada. While the structure of Carr’s contract offers another opportunity to discuss the “jock tax,” it also serves…

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Texas Freedom Caucus Flexes Its Muscles

in Economics/Politics by

New players are now on the scene in Texas politics. The Texas Freedom Caucus, founded by members of the Texas House of Representatives dedicated to carrying out the will of liberty-minded Texans, is beginning to flex its muscles in the Texas State legislature. Texas Freedom Caucus members, led by pro-gun champion Jonathan Stickland, recently made their presence felt by killing more than 100 local and uncontested bills in short order. Such an unprecedented move was largely in retaliation for House leadership’s failure to address critical pro-liberty legislation during the 2017 legislative session.

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Buy American, Hire American

in Economics/Politics by

His original intent was to eliminate the H-1B visa program. However, upon meeting with corporate executives during his campaign, President Trump changed course, deciding the H-1B visa program didn’t need to be eliminated but reformed. Trump signed an executive order entitled “Buy American – Hire American”, designed to make it harder for U.S. companies to hire foreign help. It calls for four government agencies to suggest reforms to the H-1B visa program as soon as possible. Although the order doesn’t eliminate the H-1B visa program, its purpose is to ensure high-quality workers are being hired for “specialty positions” and not…

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Healthcare Isn’t a Right Or a Privilege

in Economics/Politics by
healthcare

A few days ago I had the opportunity to participate in a brief discussion on the subject of healthcare, more precisely, whether it is a right or a privilege. The person I was talking with is one of those who frames the debate in terms of a false dilemma: healthcare is either a right or a privilege. If it is not one it must be the other, the former being the morally upright side of the debate, the latter being on the side of evil corporations and systemic greed aimed at killing and robbing as many poor people as possible.…

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“Audit The Ed” – The Effort To Audit Federal Student Loan Programs

in Economics/Politics by

Do you have federal student loans? I do and, if you are anything like me, it sucks. Regardless of being on the receiving end of a loan, the program administered by the U.S. Department of Education is clearly flawed. In fact, one can easily make an argument claiming that because of widespread borrowing, the student loan program was a direct link to the epidemic of ever-rising tuition rates in American higher education. Millions take out multi-thousand dollar loans from institutions that have to comply with federal standards to allow such things and the end cost is a steeply subsidized environment. With the…

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Animal Chiropractic: A Case Study On Government Overreach And Over-regulation

in Economics/Law by

You’re probably scratching your head right about now, aren’t you? Well, let me take a few minutes to explain to you the level of importance the following case carries for the larger narrative of governmental overreach and over-regulation. No, it is not a federal agency defying the new administration. Better yet, it takes place at the state level as an evident issue that affects many across the Union.

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The Rise Of Modern Environmental Federalism

in Economics/Politics by

Too often, the realm of environmental policy has gone down unforgiving roads. In terms of regulating industry being one of those many roads, the devil in the details become exposed. At this point, a Pandora’s box of nonsensical regulation envelopes the free marketplace with unrealistic standards that limit and restrict growth for an economy. Upon the transition of power, visa vi the transition of an Obama White House to a Trump White House, the American Environmental Protection Agency had nearly unchecked power. Now, as we see the rise of individuals like Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke to lead the nation’s…

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The Conservative Case Against Right To Work

in Economics/Politics by

On Thursday, the Missouri State Legislature passed right to work legislation, sending it to the desk of Governor Eric Greitens. Should Greitens sign the bill, Missouri would become the 28th right to work state. Right to work laws are becoming more and more popular among conservatives and have spread to many new states in recent years. However, the effect of right to work on the freedom of business owners is not usually considered. Right to work laws allow employees to opt-out of paying union dues or being a member of a union as a condition of employment at a given…

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Trump Vows To Expedite FDA Approvals

in Economics/Politics by

President Trump met Tuesday with the heads of several pharmaceutical companies at the White House. During the Oval Office meeting, Trump discussed bringing more pharmaceutical jobs back to the U.S. and making drugs more affordable. He urged the drug companies, which included Johnson and Johnson, to bring more jobs back to America, saying, “So you have to get your companies back here. We have to make products…” “We have no choice,” he added in typical Trumpian fashion. He called on the execs to lower drug prices, which are exorbitant, saying, “We have to get prices way down.” Trump’s first point…

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Awkward: Trump’s Wall Is A Progressive Policy

in Economics by
trump

‘This Congress is going to be the busiest Congress in decades — maybe ever.’’ With these words, President Donald Trump urged fellow Republicans in Congress to help him halt illegal immigration by supporting his plan to build a United States-Mexico border wall. But a wall that isn’t erected by the private land owners bordering Mexican land owners isn’t a wall. It’s government spending. And if government is spending, someone else is footing the bill. That someone is you and me.

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Free Markets At Home The Cure To Outsourcing Abroad

in Economics/Politics by

Fixing the outsourcing epidemic requires looking to treat the cause, not the symptom. The case for free trade is simple. Businesses should be able to locate where they want and import what they want. International free market activity is fundamentally parallel to that which occurs within U.S. borders. Thus, when everyone is doing what they are most efficient at, all benefit. For example, Floridians may be efficient at producing produce while Missourians may be most efficient raising livestock. Kansans may be best at growing crops while Pennsylvanians may be best at making steel. The same holds true internationally. The U.S.…

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President Meets With CEOs. Here’s The Problem…

in Economics/Politics by

“They’re going to have to pay a border tax — a substantial border tax,” President Trump pledged Monday morning during a White House meeting with twelve CEOs including the heads of Dow Chemical, Proctor and Gamble, and Ford. He went on to thinly veil threats against the businessmen, saying, “All you have to do is stay. Don’t leave. Don’t fire your people in the United States.” The President also discussed a 75% regulation cut and tax cuts for both the middle class and for corporations and a ‘big border tax.’ This is troubling for several salient reasons. Primarily, the public…

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Why Does The Left Riot? Because They Don’t Work!

in Culture/Economics/Politics by

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Washington D.C. to express their disdain for the live incarnation of sexism, President Donald J. Trump himself, and the misogynist patriarchy during the Women’s March on Washington. Throughout the 2016 election cycle, massive and unprecedented rioting and protesting has taken place at Trump rallies, after election night, and again during and after the inauguration. What brings the left out in force to riot? And why weren’t Republicans doing the same thing to President Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton? Rioting became out of control during several Trump rallies…

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Hands Off My Healthcare: Opposition To Obamacare, Explained.

in Economics/Law/Politics by

Unless you’re Bill Belichick, you may have heard a thing or two about the impending repeal of The Affordable Care Act on Snapface or Instachat. Actually, you’ve probably heard quite a lot. From Esquire stating 30 million people lost their healthcare overnight, to countless pithy tweets and Facebook quotes about the evils of the Republicans for wanting to deny coverage to the American people. The problem is that this isn’t true. The Affordable Care Act has NOT been repealed. Nor have any provisions been dismantled. The infamous late-night vote you surely read about was to authorize congress to modify Obamacare’s funding down the…

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Taxation, Regulation: Not Reasons To Legalize Pot

in Culture/Economics/Law/Politics by

In the marijuana legalization debate, two talking points are often utilized: taxation and regulation. These are good arguments from a liberal perspective, but quite problematic in a conservative or libertarian context. The basis for justifying the legalization of marijuana is simple. Consenting adults should be allowed to choose what to put in their bodies, whether or not it’s harmful, so long as there are no externalities. This is the only legitimate and principled basis for legalization.

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Is Buying American Really Being American?

in Economics/Philosophy/Tech by

On Monday night, “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe joined Tucker Carlson on Fox News to discuss Ford’s and Chrysler’s respective plans to reinvest in U.S. manufacturing. Rowe, who is a proponent of technical and skilled jobs, told Carlson, “Get a skill that’s in demand, that’s really in demand, that can’t be outsourced. Plumbers, steamfitters, pipefitters, carpenters, mechanics, those men and women right now … can pretty much write their own ticket”. Rowe is right about skilled jobs. According to the Manhattan Institute, there are around a half-million U.S. skilled jobs that aren’t being filled. Millennials are spending their time in…

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Relax, Hippies: Jeff Sessions As Attorney General Isn’t The End Of The World

in Culture/Economics/Politics by

The hypocritical liberals are sounding the alarms about Jeff Sessions being President Trump’s pick for Attorney General. Suddenly and conveniently, they care about civil liberties and the rule of law again now that they have lost political power. Nevertheless, they are blowing smoke and relying on ignorance to push their tired agenda. The George Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is especially ham-fisted in their nauseating “analysis” of the appointment. Purportedly a nonpartisan group, their true colors were shown after they released a ridiculous screed filled with so much nonsense that looks as if it was drafted by John Podesta himself:

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The Trump Rally: Stocks Fly High As Confidence Surges

in Economics/News/Politics by

The election of President-elect Donald Trump last month has awakened, what some people are calling, the “animal spirits” of capitalism. Anyone with a 401k or money in the stock market could tell you that things are going very well at the moment. The election of President-elect Trump and conservative, pro-market Republican majorities in the House and Senate represents a turning of the page from eight years of growing tax burden, government spending, and red tape. The Trump Rally, as some pundits are calling it, has resulted in the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping 1,600 points since 2016’s election day. Such…

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Did The Free Market Kill Coal?

in Economics/Politics by

Would you like to know my secret to turning my environmentalist friends into stalwart defenders of the marketplace? The answer is simple: coal. You would be amazed by the reversal in rhetoric witnessed right before your eyes, typically accompanied by a big dose of schadenfreude aimed at Appalachian people. The “free market killed coal” adage apparently qualifies as ironic humor in leftist circles. Never mind the tens of thousands of families, hundreds of communities, a plethora of near-bankrupt school districts, and so many others left behind in the wreckage of coal’s decline. They’ll laugh as states who have endured generation…

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Dear Thomas Sowell — Thank You

in Economics by

Earlier this week, shockwaves were sent through the liberty movement. At age 86, Thomas Sowell, one of the most gifted and influential libertarian economists of our lifetime, announced that he is finally putting the brakes on his weekly column. This came as sad news to many. Over the past 25 years, Sowell has guided countless youngsters to the path of liberty for the first time. One of them was me. I was a liberal, both economically and socially, until I began reading Sowell’s column in school. I’ve always believed that, as president-elect Donald Trump frequently says, the system is rigged.…

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Work Force Participation Down Along With Unemployment

in Economics/Politics by

The latest jobs report is out for November 2016 and the media is in a frenzy over the fact that the unemployment rate has fallen to a nine year low at 4.6%. However, as anyone who has a passing familiarity with the voodoo science of statistics will tell you, numbers can be made to dance to any tune you wish and, contrary to popular opinion, they often lie. And while a 4.6% unemployment rate seems at face value to be great news for the economy, it is unwise to take anything from the government at face value and that holds…

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‘Economics Is Hard’: Groupthink Is Why We’re In Such Bad Shape

in Economics by
economics, hands, politics

In Principles of Economics, Carl Menger corrected the theoretical mistakes made by the old classical school. At the time, the founder of the Austrian School of economics seemed to want to make economics accessible to everyday people, which may explain why he exemplified the nature of economic value in his book, making sure readers understood that economics revolve around the actions of individuals. Described by many as “the best introduction to economic logic ever written,” Menger’s Principles inspired young economists like Ludwig von Mises to explore the populist nature of economics in an attempt to make the case that economics…

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Trump’s Deal Cutting Just Won’t Cut It

in Economics/Politics by

Last week, President-elect Donald J. Trump and his administration reached a deal with United Technologies, holding company of the air conditioner and appliance manufacturer Carrier, to keep around 1,000 jobs in the United States. Trump has promised on the campaign trail that he would keep those jobs on US soil since Carrier first announced that they would move their manufacturing from Indiana to Mexico in February. Outlets from Breitbart to The Young Turks have praised the deal. What a great power move! Trump isn’t even in office yet, and he’s already closing deals. But what if Trump’s latest deal is filling…

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A Cash Crop To Rebuild America: The Cannabis Revolution Means Better Public Health And Limitless Prosperity

in Culture/Economics/Politics by

Whether you like it or not, the cannabis revolution is underway throughout America. Four states have already legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, and four more states are slated to join them after the results of last month’s election. On Nov. 8, the big winner wasn’t Donald Trump – it was the cannabis plant. It reigned triumphant in Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada in varying degrees. Of course, the prohibitionists are out in full force with a propaganda blitz of their own against the progress being made. Some warn of “killer weed” while other desperate individuals say…

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A War Not Lost: The Conservative Plan To Defeat Poverty

in Culture/Economics by

In his far-reaching effort, known as “A Better Way”, to define a coherent, conservative legislative agenda, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan brought together the talent and put in the time to chart a path forward in the War on Poverty. For too long, conservatives have allowed the War on Poverty to be waged by leftists, bureaucracy, and those whose favorite part of the Constitution is the taxing and spending clause. The product of these misguided technocrats couldn’t signal a more resounding defeat. They’ve waged a battle in which success was measured by inputs rather than outcomes. Rather than focusing…

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What Would Ludwig Von Mises Do In Venezuela?

in Economics by

The crisis in Venezuela is the most modern illustration of the horrific consequences of socialism and the devastating reality of hyperinflation. What makes this disaster all the more infuriating is that it could have been avoided with a basic understanding of history. We’ve seen the disaster of socialism and interventionism in various forms play out across the world time and time again with similar results, and yet new generations of central planners — backed by ideologically aligned intellectuals — are consistently able to fool people into believing that “this time will be different.” Ludwig von Mises himself lived through one…

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In Defense Of Trump’s Deal With Carrier

in Economics/Politics by

Donald Trump hasn’t yet made the move from Trump Tower to America’s most expensive public housing, but he was able to come through with one campaign promise this week by announcing a deal with Indiana-based Carrier Air Conditioning that will keep almost 1,000 jobs in the state. As reported, the deal seems largely focused on the State of Indiana offering millions in tax breaks and an understanding that the Trump administration will push for regulatory and corporate tax relief at the Federal level. While the jobs Carrier will be keeping in the US only makes up about a third of the jobs…

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“Buy America” Legislation Is The Wrong Way To Put America First

in Economics/Politics by

A large part of Donald Trump’s stunning upset against Hillary Clinton was the rise of the working class American who has long been left behind by the political elite. Overbearing regulations and high taxation drive good jobs out of the country, where businesses can get the job done for cheaper. Now that the controversial Republican businessman has gone from longshot to President-elect, expect more discussion regarding stopping the outsourcing of jobs and bringing work back home. “Buy America” legislation is again front and center in Congress. Although Republicans often adopt the America First rhetoric, it is the Democrats who are…

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The Authors Of Prosperity

in Economics/Politics by

Amid a torrent of rumors surrounding the allegedly chaotic Trump transition, there have been some glimmers of hope emerging from the fledgling ascendance of the Manhattanite billionaire to the halls of power in Washington, DC. Vice President-elect, Mike Pence, has taken the reins of the transition process and his first order of business was to fire all lobbyists from the team, a promising sign that Trump plans to make good on his campaign pledge to “drain the swamp.” Coming on the heels of this welcome news is the report that the president-elect will order a ban on all lobbying activities…

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In Defense Of “Vulgar Libertarianism”

in Economics/Philosophy by

One difficult aspect of living as a libertarian in a less-than-free society is that we cannot describe to our opponents with absolute certainty how a genuinely free market would look. We are left to rely on thought experiments and the examples of existing businesses models to compare to the State. If I want to discuss how state intervention raises the costs of healthcare, for example, I may compare it to the cell phone industry, which must do the opposite in order to compete in the marketplace. Should we reach the conclusion that the higher prices are the result of government,…

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Making Protectionism Great Again

in Economics/History/Politics by

The 1760’s called, they want their economic policy back. Am I the only one who’s a little tired of both major party platforms scraping the bottom of the barrel for economic theories that’ve been disproven since before we were born? I’m a libertarian. A deep, cynical, state-is-obsolete libertarian who finds his views overlapping heavily with conservative thought and Republican politics. That’s why it irks me that this election cycle has made abundantly clear that there is no home for hands-off economics in the major party system. From the days of Saint Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party has been billing itself…

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The Bastardization Of Knowledge

in Economics by

Friedrich August von Hayek published The Use of Knowledge in Society in the American Economic Review in 1945. With the world turning towards central economic controls, Hayek set out to describe what he called “the problem of a rational economic order.” Hayek’s emphasis here is how a system of economic order is to overcome the problem that much of the information relevant to decision-making is dispersed among many individuals; often among those not in direct communication with the decision maker. However, a decision about the use of resources will inevitably be made by a decision maker. Hayek describes planning as…

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The Establishment, The Real Deplorables

in Economics/Politics by

To those who say that Trump is going to lose this election: conventional wisdom agrees with you, as do the various betting pools out there. Of course, Brexit reminds us that the anti-establishment, populist vote in this election cycle is probably larger than the polls would indicate. Still, is it likely that lightning will strike the same place twice and give us two Brexits in the same year? Again, conventional wisdom would say no, which is why you have history, most current polls, and common sense on your side when you say that the election is lost. My sense is that…

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Regulations Violate The Checks And Balances Of a Representative Republic

in Economics/Politics by

Big business is ruining this country. Big business is using its vast resources to bribe politicians. Big business is using its lawyers to abuse the legal system to ensure favorable court rulings. Big business is not afraid of small fines passed out by the government, as this is just the price of doing business. Big business does not care about its workers because they can easily be replaced. These statements, while some would argue that they are applicable today, are actually statements regarding the business condition in the United States between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. If you thought politics…

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Three Myths About Venezuela’s Opposition

in Economics/History/Politics/World by

Venezuela’s current political crisis has drawn much attention worldwide. The shortages, increasing violence, skyrocketing inflation, and the increasing militarization of its economy are all fixtures of Venezuela’s current national disaster. Opposition movements have naturally arisen in response to Venezuela’s squalid state, with the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) leading the charge against the current ruling class.  Despite the unprecedented awareness of Venezuela’s delicate situation, considerable amounts of disinformation abound both in mainstream media and social media coverage of these events. This article seeks to dispel many of these myths and misconceptions that concern Venezuela and its political opposition. The Venezuelan Opposition is Attempting…

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Single-Payer Sucks

in Economics/Politics by

Proponents of universal healthcare hold one of the most morally attractive political positions of present day: healthcare is a natural human right and should be readily available to all, regardless of socioeconomic standing.  On top of their moral high ground, they pile on supposed proof of single payer’s merits by pointing to Canada, Scandinavia, and various other countries.  It’s their belief that if only such a system were implemented in the US, the problems associated with healthcare would largely be alleviated. It’s a very emotionally pleasing opinion to hold.  Single-payer advocates pat themselves on the back for being so benevolent…

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Immigration And Conservatism– The Economy

in Culture/Economics/Politics by

Conservatism is the philosophy of a predictable, healthy society. No issue brings our various beliefs together like immigration, particularly the proposition of open borders and an immigration policy grounded outside of the national interest. Conservatives have rightly objected to an ill-conceived agenda of mass migration into the United States with no additional effort to assimilate or filter immigrants. While the media will attempt to characterize and demonize conservative opposition to limitless immigration as racist or counterproductive, it’s our duty as a movement to remember where we’re coming from, what we’re conserving, and why the Left is wrong. Economic and Political…

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Donald Trump Is No Hugo Chávez

in Economics/Politics by

The rise of Donald Trump’s candidacy has generated a strong degree of backlash among the chattering classes worldwide. No stranger to controversy himself, his campaign’s unconventional style has led various experts to draw parallels between Trump and the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. While both Chávez and Trump never shied away from throwing verbal haymakers towards their opponents, the actions that these men have taken in their respective political careers could not be any further apart. The age-old axiom of “actions speak louder than words” is now more relevant than ever in this discussion. These comparisons are not only specious,…

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Vanishing Labor

in Economics/Politics by

You may have read the piece in the Wall Street Journal: “America’s Unworking Men”. I agree with the comments that the Democrat Party benefits from increasing joblessness. It makes sense when we consider the Democrat model for expanding their political power: 1.) Strengthening control from the top through the regulatory and tax power of the Washington-Wall Street Axis. This is the “corporate socialism” (a.k.a. Fascism) that makes the Clinton Crime Syndicate the preferred political puppets of the lobbyist class, the bureaucrat class, and the “too big to fail” money firms. The money side of this Axis replenishes the Democrat Party coffers, and…

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Inequality Is A Non-Issue (Part 2)

in Economics by

Despite failing to prove his thesis that capitalism generates inequality (addressed in Part 1), the author closes by outlining the policy proposals he’d enact to reduce inequality.  This proposal includes: “…a large cash grant to all citizens when they reach the age of majority, around the benchmark cost of taking a bachelor’s degree at private university in the United States. This grant would be repaid into the national treasury at death.” And: “…an annual wealth tax of two percent on a person’s net worth above a threshold of $80,000.” The first part of his proposal needs some unpacking.  He essentially…

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Inequality Is A Non-Issue (Part 1)

in Economics by

A large number of people are convinced that rising inequality between the rich and the poor is the primary driver of the ills that plague our society.  Both the #Occupy movement that arose after the housing bubble burst, and the fervent support for the self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, are proof of this. This opinion is backed by supposed logic and apparent economic law that can be articulated in ways that are quite convincing.  I recently came across an article that attempts to prove the thesis that capitalism generates inequality, and which offers a policy proposal (addressed in Part 2) that will…

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Venezuela’s Economic Collapse: A Process 50 Years In The Making

in Economics/Politics/World by

In recent times, Venezuela has been the object of many headlines across the globe that detail its current economic predicament. Once Latin America’s most stable country, Venezuela is now experiencing a historically unprecedented economic and social collapse. How did such a nation awash with bountiful oil reserves and numerous decades of democratic stability stoop to such levels of misery? The conventional narrative typically points to Hugo Chávez’s arrival to power in 1998 as the main catalyst of Venezuela’s economic decline.  Quantitatively speaking, Chávez’s presidency was responsible for the largest economic downturn in the country’s history. Through an unprecedented number of…

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