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.

There Are Libertarians In A Pandemic, And For Good Reason

– March 1, 2021

“If nothing else, the Covid pandemic will create dissertation topics for generations of Ph.D. students across the humanities and social sciences. Someone looking to write the definitive history of the pandemic could get a head start by considering some of Cochrane’s commentary.” ~ Art Carden

More Positive News for the Manufacturing Sector

– March 1, 2021

“The manufacturing-sector recovery continues, though output remains slightly below pre-pandemic levels.” – Robert Hughes

The Story of Vicky

– March 1, 2021

“Although self-imprisoned, alone and forever, in her apartment with literally not a friend left in the world, Vicky never wavered in knowing that she had her priorities ordered correctly, sensibly, and scientifically.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux

The Sin Tax Paradox

– March 1, 2021

“It is time to jettison the notion of taxing sin and think hard again about the LBT advocated by Milton Friedman and Henry George, a tax on the unimproved value of land. It’s a tax, and hence bad, but it’s less distortionary than taxing income or sin and it doesn’t have to be high if government would only stick to its core functions.” ~ Robert E. Wright

Vaccine Central Planning Fails Too

– March 1, 2021

“In both the supply of vaccine doses and the ability to secure an appointment, the primary obstacle facing most Americans is not a lack of interest in vaccination or the fringe anti-vaxx groups that the media dwells upon. It’s the classic obstacles of central planning in allocating a scarce and widely desired good.” ~ Phillip W. Magness

Forgiving Student Loans: Not The Great Idea You Think It Is

– March 1, 2021

“Like Bryan Caplan, I love learning so much I decided never to leave school. I live for the lightbulb moments students have when they realize what economists mean by ‘at the margin’ or when they start using and applying the concepts we cover in class. Economically speaking, those are private benefits, however, and the case for sticking taxpayers with the bill is shaky indeed.” ~ Art Carden

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