Daily economy news from the American Institute for Economic Research: data, stories, research, and articles touching on economics, politics, culture, education, policy, opinion, technology, markets, healthcare, regulation, trends, and much more.

Biden Places A Bull’s Eye On “Big Rail”

– July 15, 2021

“Joe Biden’s latest pivot against ‘Big’ reveals shocking ignorance about how businesses remain in business. If the President gets his way. Big Rail will be muzzled to the detriment of its customers, and to competition in the ever-changing world of shipping more broadly.” ~ John Tamny

A Conversation On Fear, Altruism, and Freedom

– July 15, 2021

“On this episode of the Authors Corner, Ethan sits down with AIER’s Design Technologist and Interim Editorial Director, Lou Eastman, to discuss the ideas in his latest article ‘On the Tyranny of Freedom.’ Lou’s article explores the psychological forces that led to the drastic curtailing of our liberty in the age of Covid-19.” ~ AIER

Industrial Output Rose in June but Details Were Mixed; Capacity Utilization Remains Low

– July 15, 2021

“Industrial output rose in June but the details among industries and market segments were mixed. However, substantial excess capacity still exists. While reopening the economy is boosting demand, supply constraints are pressuring prices. However, a runaway inflationary spiral remains unlikely.” – Robert Hughes

The High Price of Popcorn

– July 15, 2021

“The next time you reach for a handful of buttery popped corn, give a stomping cheer for the entrepreneurial creativity of the theater owner who made it possible for a wide variety of people to enjoy a summer blockbuster.” ~ Anthony Gill

Weekly Initial Claims for Unemployment Benefits Fell but Remain Elevated

– July 15, 2021

“Weekly initial claims for unemployment benefits fell in the latest week but the trends have slowed, and the levels remain elevated. A tight labor market and a record number of open jobs should continue to drive initial claims lower.” – Robert Hughes

Lessons From the Bronze Age Collapse

– July 15, 2021

“We survived this time, but the next time a global crisis rolls around we may not be so fortunate if governments continue to pursue their anti-social policies that undermine the social order based upon the division of labor.” ~ Zachary Yost

The Dangers and Opportunities of Biden’s New Antitrust Order

– July 14, 2021

“Biden’s executive order is filled with aggressive and romantic language that seems to harken back to the tired old age of early 20th-century trust busting that reeks of disdain for large corporations just for the sake of being large. At the same time, the order does pay some respect to the idea that economic freedom is a necessary component for encouraging competition.” ~ Ethan Yang

Lumber Prices Return to Earth

– July 14, 2021

“A new round of expansionary monetary policy, wildfires, or other developments could bring more upheaval to this ordinarily sedate market, but for now it appears that the lumber market delirium has been quelled.” ~ Peter C. Earle

Debunking The 1619 Project

– July 14, 2021

“With their 1619 Project, the New York Times has weighed in to rewrite American history by deconstructing institutions responsible for our prosperity and our success: free-market capitalism and the United States Constitution. To learn what is true, listen in to Bill Walton’s conversation with Phil Magness who devastatingly debunks these claims.” ~ AIER

AIER Leading Indicators Index Suggests Continuing Economic Expansion

– July 14, 2021

“AIER’s Leading Indicators Index remained solidly above neutral in June, suggesting continued economic growth. However, labor issues, materials shortages, and logistical problems are restraining the recovery in output and putting upward pressure on prices. While the outlook remains positive, the emergence of the Delta variant increases uncertainty.” – Robert Hughes

No Victory Lap For Governors Who Locked Down America

– July 14, 2021

“As long as politicians are exalted, the actual details of their decrees are irrelevant: they have been coronated as saviors. Cuomo assured his fellow Covid-profiteering governors that ‘this will happen again.’ This is why Americans must recognize the catastrophic failure of political iron fists during the Covid-19 pandemic.” ~ James Bovard

Icelandic Study Suggests Government Workers Are Unnecessary

– July 13, 2021

“A lie can get around the world faster than truth can get its pants on, according to the adage apocryphally connected to Mark Twain or Winston Churchill (or Jonathan Swift). In a terrible ‘study,’ Iceland showed that we can reduce the hours worked by public officials without any meaningful negative outcome to society. Shocking, I know.” ~ Joakim Book

Everyday Prices Continued to Surge in June

– July 13, 2021

“AIER’s Everyday Price Index posted a seventh straight monthly increase, reflecting a wide range of lingering fallout from government lockdowns. As these issues are worked out, price pressures are likely to ease.” – Robert Hughes

Appreciating F. A. Hayek’s Insights on Money and the Business Cycle

– July 13, 2021

“Hayek’s monetary and business cycle writings from 90 years ago, and his many contributions to the general understanding of the dynamic market process and the limits to government omniscience, are and will be crucial to that task of fighting for the free and prosperous society.” ~ Richard M. Ebeling

“Externality” Is No Good Excuse for Mandatory Vaccination

– July 13, 2021

“That the choice to remain unvaccinated against Covid creates some risks for strangers is indisputable. Yet this fact about this choice does not distinguish it from many other choices with similar consequences, nearly all of which choices, again, do not justify government intervention.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux

Cracks In the Great Wall Part 3 – China’s Charm Has Expired

– July 12, 2021

“It would be safe to say that the world’s honeymoon phase with China is over and the pathway forward will see far more resistance to their ambitions. It seems like the CCP has overplayed its hand and it wouldn’t be absurd to think they know that as well.” ~ Ethan Yang

How History Moves Forward

– July 12, 2021

“History is the messy sum outcome of millions and millions of people’s incentives, desires, biases, and actions. An iconic quote from Jurassic Park is ‘Life finds a way,’ uttered by the cynical chaos-theory chanting character Ian Malcolm. History, it would seem, does too.” ~ Joakim Book

The 50 States Suffered Differentially During the Lockdowns and Pandemic

– July 12, 2021

“In the aggregate, government spending at all levels (federal, state, and local) had a mildly negative 0.3% effect on the economy. The bottom line is that the private sector actually did a better overall job in most states than governments in terms of managing state and local economic progress.” ~ Gregory van Kipnis