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.

AIER’s Editorial Policy.

Helping Social Security by Helping Yourself

“Not retiring — instead, doing age-appropriate jobs — is at least a partial solution to the prospect of an insolvent Social Security trust fund.” ~Jimmy Alfonso Licon

Why Does the Federal Government Borrow? 

“Policymakers have an incentive to finance spending with money printing and debt to hide the cost of spending from taxpayers. These costs cannot be hidden forever, though.” ~Thomas Savidge

Communism’s Routine Evil: East German Edition

“Hoyer attempts to provide a sympathetic reading of an alternative to capitalism – one that engaged in brutality, sure, but made such wonderful strides for inequality, women, and workers, and in which individuals did make their way and find meaning. In doing so, she ignores one big problem: the bodies.” ~Nikolai Wenzel

On the Efficiency and Morality of Free Markets

“Conservatives should be among the first to recognize that the struggle for political power when the state enforces concrete moral codes is destined to lead either to tyranny or to society-shredding violence.” ~Donald J. Boudreaux

Robinson-Patman Deserves Last Rites, Not Resurrection

“It strips consumers’ freedom to choose for themselves in an area they are far more competent at than government ‘enforcers,’ combined with the chutzpah of claiming that its purpose is to benefit competition.” ~Gary M. Galles

Whither the American Dream? 

“While the American dream was in its ascendancy, the Democratic left splintered, creating two factions which helped kill the American dream.” ~Ryan Bourne

The Origins of The War on Prices

“The past decade…has normalized the view that tampering with specific prices is no big deal. An unexpected inflation, arbitrarily redistributing income as it does, creates a fertile environment to justify controlling more prices still.” ~Ryan Bourne

More Housing Fixes (Almost) Everything

“The right should like that housing deregulation means fewer rules burdening businesspeople and people earn higher real incomes. The left should like that housing deregulation means higher real incomes and lower inequality.” ~Art Carden

The Martyrdom of Jimmy Lai

“Anyone who watches the documentary on Lai’s life is likely to find himself asking a question: ‘Would I have the courage to do what Jimmy Lai is doing?'” ~Jon Miltimore

Inflation to the Nines

“Americans will have to decide for themselves if the claim made by Biden was a lie intended to mislead anyone not familiar with the trajectory of prices over the past several years, or an innocent error.” ~Peter C. Earle

‘Tyranny’ by Any Other Name

“The liberal version of true democracy is everyone getting to decide, peaceably, how to manage their own lives — not everyone being perpetually subjected to the whims of 50-percent-plus-one of their fellow men.” ~Richard Morrison

Business Conditions Monthly March 2024

“We remain cautious, as economic statistics have been both volatile and reflective of highly unusual underlying conditions since pandemic policies were lifted three years ago.” ~Peter C. Earle

The Demise of the Dual Banking System 

“The issue comes down to whether a state-chartered bank that fulfills the legal requirements for a master account can be denied one by the Federal Reserve.” ~Gerald P. Dwyer

Creating So Many Jobs that Destroy Wealth 

“Many of the jobs created directly or indirectly by government policies impose net costs on society rather than producing benefits, which worsens rather than improves Americans’ wellbeing.” ~Gary M. Galles

FISA Destroys the Rule of Law

“Evidence…cannot be challenged by opposing counsel and are highly classified. This has resulted in the drone-like ‘rubber stamping’ of warrantless surveillance conducted without oversight or challenge.” ~Spence Purnell

Protectionists’ Cheap Tricks

“Gains from trade are mutual, a reality that isn’t changed one iota by imposing a political boundary between the traders. Protectionism therefore strips both foreigners and Americans of these gains.” ~Donald J. Boudreaux

The Super Market

“Something that you can purchase with income you’ve earned with just a few minutes of your work-time is something that includes the work-effort of thousands or millions of strangers.” ~Donald J. Boudreaux

Protectionists Are Wrong: Free Trade is the Path to Prosperity

“Consumers and producers in America are better off with more domestic and international trade. As we don’t want to produce everything we consume daily, trading with others is the most efficient way to meet our needs.” ~Vance Ginn

Government Failure in One Lesson

“Perhaps the easiest way to explain government failure in one lesson is to remember that there is no such thing as ‘the state.’ Instead, essential decisions about resource use will be made by political actors.” ~Michael Munger

AI Eases Its Own Labor-Market Transitions

“Not long ago, search engines like Google were not understood by the masses, which forced people through experience to learn how to ‘Google’ webpages in the proper way. Submitting a search query is similarly a new language to learn, just like prompting a language model.” ~Samuel Crombie and Jack Nicastro

Trade Deficits: Accounting Masquerading as Economics 

“Reducing ‘imports’ would not, in fact, increase GDP at all. At best, doing so would leave GDP unchanged since we would be adding less to consumption, investment, and government spending while subtracting equally less from imports.” ~David Hebert

Politicizing Monetary Policy Won’t Fix the Fed’s Failings

“Even if one thinks Trump is well-suited to make interest rate decisions (and there is little reason to think he is), it does not follow that Trump’s proposed solution would improve monetary policy.” ~Nicolás Cachanosky

The Dollar and its Domestic Enemies

“The greatest threat to the soundness and utility of the US dollar comes not from shadowy figures in faraway lands, but from unremarkable apparatchiks carrying out the edicts of US officialdom.” ~Peter C. Earle

Governments Shouldn’t Be In the Lending Business

“When government officials approve and guarantee loans, lenders don’t have to worry about taking the loss. They can be very generous, pursuing what they regard as socially beneficial goals, and never worrying about the losses the taxpayers will have to bear.” ~ George Leef

Defense Manual for The War on Prices

“The book advocates for a substantial policy shift toward minimal governmental interference, allowing market mechanisms to function unimpeded. Sadly, we are moving in the opposite direction.” ~Vance Ginn

Confounding the Case for Oil and Gas Collusion

“Oil is produced and sold in a global market. Even true cartels like OPEC don’t have total control over prices. It comes down to supply and demand.” ~Alexander W. Salter

Our Kids Have No Economic Immune Systems

“Kids are told they can do anything, that they are personally mighty and important. But they never have the experience of everyday effort and failure.” ~Michael Munger

Governments, Not Markets, Impel ESG 

“Prominent financial institutions have backpedaled on ESG, with net outflows from ESG funds. This divestment suggests that financial institutions may have overestimated market demand for ESG.” ~Daniel Sutter and Allen Mendenhall

The Sixties’ Toxic Legacy 

“Woke-friendly corporations, billionaires, foundations, and individuals with impressive foreign ties are demonstrating the effectiveness of funding campus radicals…echoing similar anti-Western, violent hate-marches throughout Europe and elsewhere.” ~Juliana Geran Pilon

Dollar Dominance, Dollar Dependence

“Skeptics to the global monetary hegemon have long called for its demise — on causes of design or ideology, theory or empirics. And for decades, they have been proven wrong.” ~Joakim Book

Biden’s Latest Student-Loan Bailout  

“What the Secretary purports to exercise in the proposed rule is no ‘discretionary’ authority appropriate to the executive branch; it is full-blown legislative authority, treading into the appropriations domain constitutionally reserved to Congress.” ~Jack Fitzhenry and GianCarlo Canaparo

Inflation Continued to Decline in April

“While inflation is declining once more, members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have suggested rates would need to remain high for longer than they had previously projected.” ~William J. Luther

“A Child Is Not the Mere Creature of the State”

“The educational diversity that exists today — district schools, private schools, charter schools, home schools, and microschools among them — are an enduring testimony to the Pierce decision and to that bedrock principle.” ~Jeff Ziegler