Category Archive: 6b) Austrian Economics

The Fed: Why Federal Spending Soared in 2020 but State and Local Spending Flatlined

In the wake of the Covid Recession and the drive to pour ever larger amounts of “stimulus” into the US economy, the Federal Government in 2020 spent more than double—as a percentage of all government spending—of what all state and local governments spent in 2020, combined.

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The Feds Collect Most of the Taxes in America—So They Have Most of the Power

In 2021, it's clear Americans now have thrown off any notions of subsidiarity and instead embraced the idea that the federal government should be called upon to fund pretty much anything and everything. From "stimulus checks" to "paycheck protection," it's assumed an entire national workforce can be propped up by federal spending.

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Prospects for China’s dual circulation strategy

Once again, the 2021 National People’s Congress, held from March 5-11, followed a strict choreography. The political leadership entered the Great Hall of the People to the sound of a military band and led by state and party leader, President Xi Jinping.

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Can Economics Save Medicine?

First, in a certain sense medicine in America is broken. Doctors and patients are unhappy, the quality of care deteriorates, and costs keep increasing. Even before covid, US life expectancy declined three years running. Even before covid, too many Americans were sick, depressed, fat, and unhappy with their physical and mental health.

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The Fed Plans to Raise Interest Rates—Years from Now

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee voted to continue with a target federal funds rate of 0.25 percent, and to continue with large-scale asset purchases. According to the committee’s press release:

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Governments Are Failing at Their Most Basic Duties—While Promising Free Stuff

Three city blocks were systematically burned to the ground as hundreds of the local police stood by and viewed the violence. They were obeying orders not to harm the arsonists. The National Guard was called, adding more armed watchers. A passive gendarmerie consorting with open rebellion has rarely been seen in American history, until recently.

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End the Draft Permanently

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a challenge to the all-male draft. The plaintiffs in the case argued that excluding women from the draft was unconstitutional. Apparently the Court is simply letting Congress decide the issue. 

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This Is What Could Trigger Big Growth in CPI Inflation

Many episodes of monetary inflation, some even long and virulent, do not feature a denouement in a sustained high CPI inflation over many years. Instead, these episodes have the common characteristics of asset inflation and the monetary authority levying tax in various forms – principally inflation tax or monetary repression tax.

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The G7’s Reckless Commitment To Mounting Debt

Historically, meetings of the largest economies in the world have been essential to reach essential agreements that would incentivize prosperity and growth. This was not the case this time. The G7 meeting agreements were light on detailed economic decisions, except on the most damaging of them all. A minimum global corporate tax

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Kamala Harris and the Same Old Immigration Nonsense

Vice-President Kamala Harris got jeered in Guatemala, and deservedly so, after telling the Guatemalan people, “Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.”  At the same time, the Biden administration is promising $4 billion in foreign aid to the Guatemalan government.

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Why Monetary “Stimulus” Won’t Prevent an Economic Bust

The increase in the growth rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has fueled concerns that if the rising trend were to continue the Fed is likely to tighten its interest rate stance. Observe that the yearly growth rate in the CPI climbed to 4.2 percent in April from 2.6 percent in March and 0.3 percent in April 2020.

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A Libertarian Approach to Disputed Land Titles

The recent spate of bombing violence in Israel's West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza demonstrates the enduring attachment both Israelis and Palestinians have to physical land in the country. Both sides make claims—legal, moral, and political—to land within Israel, from the southernmost tip of Gaza to the northernmost tip of the Golan Heights.

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The Economics of the Extended Family: From Risk Management to Human Capital

When we think of analyzing economic organizations, we generally think of firms and corporations. But there is another organization that is just as critical to economic development: the extended family. Indeed, the advantages offered by this institution are numerous and include risk sharing, mutual aid, human capital building, social capital building, and resource complementarity and coordination.

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The Fed’s Policies since the 2020 Coronavirus Panic

In chapter 7 we summarized some of the major changes in how central banks have operated since the 2008 financial crisis. In the present chapter, we detail some of the even more recent changes in Federal Reserve operations since the onset of the coronavirus panic in March 2020.

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Private Security Isn’t Enough: Why America Needs Militias

In late May we learned that, after a five-month deployment to one of the most dangerous cities in the world, the American military would finally be going home. Well, not really. They already were home. The dangerous warzone was the American federal capital, Washington, DC. And the “danger” that the military was supposed to be countering was entirely government made.

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Inflation risk takes center stage – Part II of II

A lot of people might be aware of historical cases of hyperinflation, like that of Hungary and the Weimar Republic, or even contemporary ones, like that of Venezuela. And yet, these are taught or reported like extreme cases, very far removed from the daily experience of most modern Western citizens.

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Decentralization: Why the EU May Be Better than the US

Over the years, I’ve been pretty hard on the European Union. Both as an editor and a writer, I’ve published articles criticizing its central bank and its unelected, bureaucratic central government. Especially objectionable is the EU ruling class’s propensity for cynical politics built around threatening and intimidating voters and national governments who don’t conform to Brussels’ wishes.

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Malta under Pressure

Malta is a compact archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, 80 km from Sicily, 333 km from Libya and 284 km from Tunisia. It had a long list of rulers, including the Phoenicians, the Byzantines, the Arabs and later the French under Napoleon and finally the British. The island gained independence in 1964, and in 2004 it joined the European Union.

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More Evidence the American Economic “Recovery” Will Disappoint

The University of Michigan consumer confidence index fell to 82.8 in May, from 88.3 in April. More importantly, the current conditions index slumped to 90.8, from 97.2 and the expectations index declined to 77.6, from 82.7. Hard data also questions the strength of the recovery.

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Inflation risk takes center stage – Part I of II

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been seeing more and more mainstream headlines about inflation fears being on the rise, both in the US and in Europe. Central bankers on both sides of the Atlantic have been doing their best to assuage these concerns, promising that they have everything under control and that the situation will without a doubt normalize soon.

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