Sunday, the 19th of February 2017
The idea of building a wall between Mexico and the United States has been in the news a lot lately. The idea is short-sighted. It’s treating a symptom...
Thursday, the 26th of January 2017
Years ago, when my wife and I were just getting started with our publishing business, and before we knew anything about labor markets, we moved our business from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to a small town in Centre County, Pennsylvania, called Spring Mills.
Wednesday, the 28th of December 2016
One of the most basic principles of economics is that the more capital there is invested in a job, the more productive that jobholder can be. Consider...
Tuesday, the 29th of November 2016
Yes, I was having trouble with Algebra when I was in ninth grade. And so my dad hired a math wiz from the local college to help me improve my grades. And I do remember the next day in class...
Monday, the 31st of October 2016
Let’s start arbitrarily with President Kennedy. We got Kennedy instead of Nixon. How evil was Nixon? Stay tuned. With Kennedy as President...
Friday, the 30th of September 2016
Questions: Why can’t the Fed keep interest rates low? How does the market drive them back to market value? Answers: ...
Monday, the 26th of September 2016
Assuming you had the money, would you lend $10,000 to be paid back over 30 years plus 3% interest? What if inflation skyrocketed? ...
Monday, the 29th of August 2016
There’s a lot of rhetoric leading up to the election about taxing the rich, making them pay their “fair share,” etc. But who’s going to determine how much one’s “fair share” is? Some poor but greedy politician, some rich politician, or some bureaucrat? What do they know about what’s “fair?” Why wouldn’t it be fair just to have everyone pay the same amount regardless of their income? Isn’t that equal treatment under the law? Alas, that’s not what we argue about…
Friday, the 29th of July 2016
Some of you may have heard the story my dad used to tell about how, back in the early 1970s, he planted (actually, he had me plant) black walnut trees on some land we own. The big-picture plan was to plant them so that future generations would be able to harvest them and reap the benefits of their far-sighted ancestors. It was a great long-term plan, but there were a few details missing…. Now, I’m going to tell you the rest of the story.
Wednesday, the 29th of June 2016
Someone recently asked me whether I thought there would be a war as a result of the British electing to exit the European Union (EU). After all, she said, President Lincoln went to war when the Confederate States of America seceded from the United States of America.
Monday, the 6th of June 2016
One of the chief virtues of a gold standard is that it serves as a restraint on the growth of money and credit. It makes runaway government deficit spending and major monetary catastrophes such as hyperinflation practically impossible.
Monday, the 30th of May 2016
We've all heard about negative interest rates by now. How the bank depositor has to pay the bank for the privilege of keeping his/her money in the bank…the opposite of the way things have worked in the past.
Wednesday, the 27th of April 2016
Everyone knows that regulators regulate markets. Markets, of course, are the result of individuals acting freely to determine the price of everything from food to insurance. It's simply the most efficient way to allocate scarce resources in a world of unlimited wants. And when regulators regulate, they alter the way people behave.
Monday, the 28th of March 2016
As interest rates go negative, savers have less incentive to save and everyone has less incentive to stay within the unrewarding "system." The "system," of course...
Thursday, the 25th of February 2016
Let's say there's a banking crisis and banks stop lending money. The economy contracts. Voters become unhappy. And nowadays it's the central bank's job to stimulate the economy. So, what does it do?
Friday, the 12th of February 2016
The Federal Reserve Board finds itself back in a quandary of its own making.
Thursday, the 14th of January 2016
Some advocates of the gold standard look to the past and idolize the way it was during the 19th and early 20th centuries. They point to the Coinage Act of 1792, where a dollar was defined as 371¼ grains of pure silver, and gold was fixed at a ratio of 15 to 1 relative to silver. “If only we could fix the dollar to a set quantity of silver again,” they lament.
Thursday, the 31st of December 2015
The war in Syria continues, sending out a flood of refugees to Europe and beyond. Russia has joined the Syrian fray, and Europeans are becoming frayed around the edges as more refugees move in. Meanwhile, rich Arab countries...
Thursday, the 17th of December 2015
Is America on the cusp of a revolution that will usher in a new monetary order? The lessons of history tell us...
Wednesday, the 2nd of December 2015
You may have heard that Saudi Arabia has just brought a halt to its experiment of growing wheat in the desert. In other words, they are about to stop turning their oil revenues into...
Thursday, the 29th of October 2015
Back in 2008, when Lehman Brothers failed, Merrill Lynch was taken over by Bank of America, AIG was nationalized, and Reserve Primary Fund's (a large money fund) price dropped below one dollar, the Fed came to everyone's rescue with cash. Since then...