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Posts published in “Economics”

The left flunks economics 101

Who might you guess is better informed on issues of economics: liberals who promote government intervention in the economy, or conservatives and libertarians who oppose that?

Europeans fear crisis threatens liberal benefits

Across Western Europe, the “lifestyle superpower,” the assumptions and gains of a lifetime are suddenly in doubt. The deficit crisis that threatens the euro has also undermined the sustainability of the European standard of social welfare, built by left-leaning governments since the end of World War II.

Supply-side economics, not taxes, cure for recession, audience told

Sound money and income tax cuts -- the elements of supply-side economics -- have produced economic growth in America, according to Dr. Brian Domitrovic of Sam Houston State University. When our country imposes inflationary loose money policies and high income taxes, economic growth suffers, as in the period from 1973 to 1982. Unfortunately, these are the policies of President Barack Obama and his administration.

Primer on Mises and Austrian economics published

If you've heard of Ludwig von Mises and wondered why his ideas are important to freedom, here's a chance to easily and quickly gain understanding of this important thinker and the field of Austrian economics.

Or if you've not heard of or read about Mises and Austrian economics, here's your chance. The Institute for Economic Affairs, a free-market think-tank based in London, has just published a short book titled Ludwig von Mises -- A Primer. the author is Eamonn Butler.

Sweatshops best alternative for workers in many countries

While sweatshops are not the place most Americans would choose to work, they are often the best alternative available to workers in some countries. Pay is low compared to U.S. standards because worker productivity is low, and the process of economic development will lead to increases in productivity and pay. But most policies promoted to help the purported plight of sweatshop workers actually lead to harm.

‘In Praise of Sweatshops’ lecture

The third in the series of three Lectures on Liberty will be held on Thursday April 8 at the historic Granada Theater in downtown Emporia. The speaker will be Benjamin Powell, professor of economics from Suffolk University in Boston, will be speaking on the topic "In Praise of Sweatshops." The lecture is free and open to the public and begins at 7:00 pm.

What kind of man was Ludwig von Mises?

What kind of man was Ludwig von Mises? As this unique film shows, Mises (1881-1973) was a man who never stopped fighting for freedom: not when the Nazis burned his books, not when the Left blackballed him at universities, not when it seemed as if statism had won. With courage and genius, he fought big government until the day he died ... in 25 books, hundreds of articles, and more than 60 years of teaching.

The stimulus evidence one year on

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported a piece that analyzes whether the Obama stimulus plan, after one year's time, can be judged a success. (See The Stimulus Evidence One Year On)

Robert J. Barro, who is professor of economics at Harvard University and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, writes that the stimulus may be a good deal in the short run -- if the government spends on things that are truly worthwhile. As we've seen, that is not always the case.

Importance of economic freedom explained in Wichita

Yesterday Robert Lawson appeared in Wichita to deliver a lecture titled "Economic Freedom and the Wealth and Health of Nations." The lecture explained how Lawson and his colleagues calculate the annual "Economic Freedom of the World" index, which ranks most of the countries of the world in how the "policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom." The conclusion is that economic freedom is a vital component of well-being, income, health, and both personal and political freedom.

Hayek vs. Keynes: the video

There's a video concerning some obscure but vitally important ideas in economics that's getting a lot of play on YouTube. Titled "Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem, the video tells the story about two competing theories of how the world works -- the theories of John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich A. Hayek. The ideas of Keynes have been vastly more popular in mainstream economics and politics and are embraced by President Obama and his advisors. This, of course, doesn't necessarily mean that Keynes and his followers are correct.

‘Economic Freedom and the Wealth and Health of Nations’ lecture to be in Wichita

Do you know where the United States ranks on the global index of economic freedom? (Hint: It wouldn’t get a medal.) The answer is in the latest edition of the Economic Freedom of the World report.

Dr. Robert Lawson of Auburn University is co-author of this popular and widely cited report. He will be the guest lecturer at a Feb. 25 public forum in Wichita.

Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve

Events over the last year have placed our nation's monetary system in focus. Or, at least it should be in sharp focus, as U.S. monetary policy and the Federal Reserve System bear much responsibility for the financial crisis and the accompanying recession. Few politicians, Ron Paul being one, are looking in the right places for the cause of the problem. His campaign to audit the Fed is a good first step.

Cash for clunkers clunked

Did the "Cash for Clunkers" program work as advertised? It all depends on the meaning of the word "work," I suppose.

If the definition of success means moving more cars off of dealer lots than what probably would have happened anyway, that's good. But when looking at the marginal activity -- and I believe this is the correct way of looking at things -- the cost of moving the additional cars is astonishingly high.

Defending insider trading

Insider trading is almost universally judged to be bad. Company insiders, using information not available to the public, making stock trades and usually very high profits: Is that fair? How could allowing abuse like this be beneficial?

But if you value the importance of prices as conduits of information, allowing insider trading makes a lot more information available.

John A. Allison: The current problem, and what to do

Last Thursday, John A. Allison visited Wichita to address the annual economic outlook conference produced by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) at Wichita State University.

Allison is chairman and former CEO of BB&T Corporation, the nation's 10th largest financial-holding company. Its headquarters are in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His talk first diagnosed the cause of the crisis. You can read my coverage of it at Causes of global finance crisis explained in Wichita

Having described the cause, Allison told what we need to do to fix the mess we're in, and to avoid future crises like the present.

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