Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is the editor of Mises Wire and The Austrian. Send him your article submissions, but read article guidelines first. (Contact: email; twitter.) Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

Articles by Ryan McMaken

How California’s Government Plans to Make Wildfires Even Worse

Not every square inch of the planet earth is suitable for a housing development. Flood plains are not great places to build homes. A grove of trees adjacent to a tinder-dry national forest is not ideal for a dream home. And California’s chaparral ecosystems are risky places for neighborhoods.

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Politicians Want Thanksgiving To Be Political. Ignore Them.

Often, government-created holidays begin with a good premise — i.e., Independence Day, Armistice Day — and get worse from there. On Independence Day, instead of celebrating armed rebellion and secession, we now sing the praises of the government. Similarly, Armistice Day — a day designed to commemorate the end of a war — became Veterans Day, a day designed to honor government employees.

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Money-Supply Growth Accelerates to 28-Month High

M2 and TMS/Rothbard-Solerno Measure, 1998-2019

The money supply growth rate rose in October, climbing to a twenty-eight-month high. The last time the growth rate was higher was during July of 2017, when the growth rate was 5.07 percent. During October 2019, year-over-year growth in the money supply was at 4.95 percent. That’s up from September’s rate of 3.10 percent, and was up from October 2018’s rate of 3.49 percent.

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The Deep State: The Headless Fourth Branch of Government

School children learn that there are three branches of government: the legislative, executive, and judicial. In actual practice, however, there are four branches of government. The fourth is what for decades now has been called a “headless fourth branch of government,” the administrative state.

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Ocasio-Cortez is Wrong: We’re Not Working 80-Hour Weeks Now

Average Annual Hours Worked by Persons Engaged for United States, Hours, Annual 1950-2017

It has become nearly commonplace for pundits and politicians to claim that Americans are working more than ever before; that they’re working more jobs, and working longer hours — all for a lower income. During the Democratic debates this summer, for instance, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio claimed “the economic system now forces us to have two or three jobs just to get by.” Kamala Harris made similar comments.

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The American Middle Class Isn’t Disappearing — But it’s Not All Good News

Median Total Income, Households, in 2018 Dollars

I’m not of the opinion that the American economy is doing amazingly well. However, I’m also not of the opinion that it is falling apart, or that the American middle class is disappearing before our eyes. Nor is there is no one, single, magic statistic we can point to and say “see, we’re all worse off — or better off — now.” Aggregate economic data is by its very nature lacking in nuance, moreover, difference measures of economic growth and prosperity can be conflicting and woefully incomplete.

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If American Federalism Were Like Swiss Federalism, There Would Be 1,300 States

In a recent interview with Mises Weekends, Claudio Grass examined some of the advantages of the Swiss political system, and how highly decentralized politics can bring with it great economic prosperity, more political stability, and a greater respect for property rights. Since the Swiss political system of federalism is itself partially inspired by 19th-century American federalism, the average American can usually imagine in broad terms what the Swiss political system looks like.

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Don’t Confuse Immigration With Naturalization

As the immigration debate goes on, many commentators continue to sloppily ignore the difference between the concept of naturalization and the phenomenon of immigration. While the two are certainly related, they are also certainly not the same thing. Recognizing this distinction can help us to see the very real differences between naturalization, which is a matter of political privilege, and immigration, which simply results from the exercise of private property rights.

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When It Comes To Household Income, Sweden & Germany Rank With Kentucky

Last year, I posted an article titled “If Sweden and Germany Became US States, They Would be Among the Poorest States” which, produced a sizable and heated debate, including that found in the comments below this article at The Washington Post. The reason for the controversy, of course, is that it has nearly reached the point of dogma with many leftists that European countries enjoy higher standards of living thanks to more government regulation and more social benefits.

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