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.

We Can Still Have a Century of Liberty

– February 28, 2021

“Maybe I’m just the victim of an elaborate after-the-fact selection issue: maybe I just remember the precursors to what actually happened, and conveniently forgot the signs that indicated an outcome that didn’t come to pass. Most people who call flourishing futures for the ideas whose times have come are wrong. Still, from where I’m standing, the corona madness and infantilizing political landscape aside, it does look like the twenty-first century might be the century of true freedom.” ~ Joakim Book

Dear Students: Here Are Ten Ways To Get Your Financial House In Order

– February 28, 2021

“You might think you’re saving money when you’re not. Unless you really enjoy cooking, you should probably have a meal plan and devote the time and energy you save on shopping and meal prep to studying. Look at the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook for the job you want, look at the hourly wage, and use that as a proxy for what your time is worth right now.” ~ Art Carden

Is the U.S. Going the Way of Afghanistan?

– February 27, 2021

“When the Supreme Court voted last week not to hear cases challenging arbitrary changes in state election procedures, Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, ‘The decision to leave election law hidden beneath a shroud of doubt is baffling. By doing nothing, we invite further confusion and erosion of voter confidence.’ Unfortunately, almost no one is talking of the peril of the ‘Afghanization’ of American democracy.” ~ James Bovard

Escape Hatches: Migration, Bitcoin, and the Ability to Get Out

– February 27, 2021

“Keep more mobile assets; have larger buffers, financial and physical; instead of a large house in a nice suburb, perhaps aim for a smaller home coupled with a condo or house in a different jurisdiction? Don’t put all your financial eggs in one portfolio – keep some gold and some bitcoin; keep healthy; update your survivability skills. Ensure that your escape hatches remain open.” ~ Joakim Book

Looking For Common Sense In A Senseless World? The New Thomas Sowell Documentary Delivers

– February 27, 2021

“Rethinking and questioning our assumptions has long been en vogue in the academy, and if you really listen to what he has to say, few scholars will make you rethink your assumptions like Sowell will. If you’re looking for a one-hour introduction to one of the great minds of the last century, Common Sense in a Senseless World is exactly that.” ~ Art Carden

The Danger of the Administrative State

– February 27, 2021

“What was a handful of executive agencies at the beginning of the republic has now become an expansive list of alphabet soup abbreviations, some with their own SWAT teams and court systems. The administrative state not only saps our treasure and stifles our creativity but it drains our spirit. If left unchecked it will surely turn this country of ambitious innovators and entrepreneurs into one of paper pushers and clerks.” ~ Ethan Yang

Lower Income Households Pull Down Consumer Sentiment in February

– February 26, 2021

“Consumer sentiment fell in February, driven by a weaker economic outlook, especially among lower-income consumers.” – Robert Hughes

Government Transfer Payments Distort Personal Income in January

– February 26, 2021

“Personal income jumped in January as government payments surged but excluding government distortions, incomes fell.” – Robert Hughes

Should We Rethink Macroeconomics?

– February 26, 2021

“Critiques of mainstream macroeconomics are common among Austrian economists. In a new book, titled Macroeconomics as Systems Theory, Richard Wagner goes further. He starts with Erik Lindahl’s distinction between microeconomics as individual action and macroeconomics as interaction. He then offers a new approach to macroeconomics based on theories of complex systems.” ~ William J. Luther

Are the Conditions Right for Another Commodity Super-Cycle?

– February 26, 2021

“With unemployment rates still elevated and much of the global economy in some form of lockdown, it is hard to imagine the conditions for an economic boom, especially one that will see wage increases, but the size and scale of the global monetary and fiscal response to the pandemic is unprecedented. It creates the conditions for a continued appreciation of a wide range of essential commodity prices as the pandemic ends and demand rebounds.” ~ Colin Lloyd

The Utter Futility of a Bitcoin Ban

– February 26, 2021

“Throughout history, governments have identified emerging threats and sought to eliminate them through heavy-handed bans, or regulations so stringent that they are effectively bans themselves. But the only thing that is guaranteed through these actions is certainly not the eradication of the ‘undesirable’ product or behavior––it’s the human tendency to find new and innovative workarounds in the face of obstacles.” ~ Peter C. Earle

The Foundations of American Political Thought

– February 26, 2021

“The three major schools of thought we outline all try to put forward a vision for society that prioritizes liberty and well-being. They have their own unique histories and doctrines that understanding not only enlightens one to their finer workings but also to the forces that shape human civilization. Understanding the intellectual foundations of these ideologies will not only elevate political discussion but lend greater clarity to the political forces and narratives driving change in society.” ~ Ethan Yang & Jack Nicastro

How to Beat the Permanent Covidocracy

– February 25, 2021

“Despite the declines in alleged infections and deaths, vaccine rollouts, and continued progress in finding possible treatments for Covid-19, the pandemic panic remains at high pitch. Until there’s some restoration of reason, we’re shooting BBs at a bull elephant. As Charles MacKay observed in his 1852 classic Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, people ‘go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.'” ~ Michael Fumento

Core Capital-Goods Orders Hit Another Record High in January

– February 25, 2021

“Manufacturers’ new orders for durable goods rose in January, with core capital goods hitting another record high. The strong showing is a positive sign for the overall outlook.” – Robert Hughes

Initial Claims Fall to the Lowest Level Since November

– February 25, 2021

“Initial claims fell to the lowest level since November, but overall, data suggest the labor market remains fragile.” – Robert Hughes

Yes, This Time We’ll Have Inflation, and Here’s Why

– February 25, 2021

“The political forces supportive of anti-growth policies such as trade restrictions, higher minimum wages, perverse energy regulations, and cronyism appear to be on the rise, and they will dampen future growth. But inflation is going to be the big story of the post-pandemic economy. Get ready for an inflationary ride.” ~ James D. Gwartney

Daycare Costs are Driven by Over-Regulation

– February 25, 2021

“Adding the direct and indirect effects of government policies on daycare costs forces one to accept that the crisis is created by government interventions. If one really cares about making it easier for households to have both parents working thanks to accessible childcare, one should really look at policies that increase the supply before considering ways to subsidize demand.” ~ Vincent Geloso

Unfreezing the Economy After Lockdowns

– February 25, 2021

“In order to emerge with an economy that can produce prosperity for all and not just those who benefited from lockdowns, we need to embrace the ideas of sound economics, innovation-friendly rules, and individual agency. It was the principles of a free society that brought the wonders of modernity into existence, and it’s the same principles that will lead us back.” ~ Ethan Yang