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.

‘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

Bootlegger in a Baptist’s Mask

“Bob Lighthizer wants you to join him in what he claims is a moral crusade to save a few American jobs. He fails to mention that ultimately, we will all pay much higher costs to do this.” ~G. Patrick Lynch

Are You a Servant of Tyranny or Liberty? 

“What happens to a country with no constitution or deep-seated commitment to curbing the use of power? Absent those limits, virtue wanes, and it is easy for people to become servants of tyranny.” ~Barry Brownstein

When Ideological Bubbles Trump Economic Thinking

“That a Nobel Prize-winning economist can hold these naïve views and fail to use simple economic reasoning should give us pause about how ideology and echo chambers can dull our reasoning.” ~Paul Mueller

‘Consumer Reports’ Jettisons Objectivity on Climate Change

“Scaring the public into action simply does not work — indeed, Chicken Little can proclaim only for a short time that the sky is falling until people begin to see through the ruse that Chicken Little is really Chicken Liar.” ~David Legates and E. Calvin Beisner

April’s Disinflation Delivery

“In the first quarter of 2024, the US economy expanded at a rate of 1.6 percent per year. That’s hardly an impressive growth rate, but it’s significantly faster than money supply growth. Money looks somewhat tight.” ~Alexander W. Salter

Private Governance Will Make You Free

“Enforcement of these emergent rules can be accomplished largely by what Adam Smith called ‘propriety,’ rather than by armed employees of the state.” ~Michael Munger

Sloppy Utopia

“The book is irrelevant in the exact meaning of that word: It does not answer the question it sets for itself, does not rise to the task of chronicling the big economic changes of the extended twentieth century, does not adequately and accurately capture a believable grand narrative.” ~Joakim Book

AIER Everyday Price Index Rises for Fifth Consecutive Month

“April’s core CPI data represents the lowest of 2024 and may signal the resumption of disinflation, particularly where shelter costs are concerned. Despite some favorable signs, though, there remains a persistent inflationary pressure in certain categories.” ~Peter C. Earle

Japanese Immigrant Exclusion: 100 Years Later

“Scientists and academics nationwide embraced these outward intentions to divide the ‘desirable’ immigrants from those more susceptible to crime, disease, and incompetence.” ~Will Sellers

Is The Fed Manipulating the Market?

“We cannot just look at the Fed’s target rate to determine whether it is manipulating the market. We must consider its target rate relative to the natural rate.” ~Bryan Cutsinger

Why Even Insiders Underestimate Markets’ Power

“There tend to be more and better substitution possibilities known to both buyers and sellers than we recognize from the outside of those exchange relationships.” ~Gary M. Galles

Competition Can’t Be Perfect

“Since if something is perfect, it must be desirable, a new generation of attorneys is attempting a wholesale takeover of antitrust enforcement.” ~Michael Munger

Breaking the Shackles of Socialism in Africa 

“A new generation of Africans (Wade labels them the Cheetah Generation) are rejecting socialism and embracing entrepreneurship and markets as the path to human flourishing.” ~Marcus Witcher

Business Conditions Monthly February 2024

“Amidst mixed economic data reminiscent of most of the past two years, there are pockets of strength which are nevertheless overshadowed by inflation concerns and speculation regarding monetary policy actions in the coming quarter or two.” ~Peter C. Earle

Elon’s X Marks the Spot in Brazil

“Brazil is facing its greatest struggle for freedom of speech since the end of the military regime… Freedom of speech has been effectively limited without due process, and contrary to the Constitution.” ~Ricardo Gomes

Why Haven’t We Whipped Inflation Yet?

“The best we can do is recalibrate models when we get new data. But that’s like driving the car while looking out the rearview window…hardly ideal for knowing how to adjust your steering.” ~Alexander W. Salter

Nippon Acquisition of US Steel 

“Despite its shrunken condition, the Japanese suitor looks to infuse new life into this former behemoth with an infusion of cash, technology, and vision. Blocking this acquisition will result in losses to shareholders, workers, and our economy.” ~Joel Griffith

ESG Puppeteers

“Climate financiers are not capitalists. They are corporatists who think the government should direct private industry. They want to work with government officials to benefit themselves and hamstring their competition.” ~ Paul Mueller

The Colorblind Counterattack

“How on earth could the ideas of Frederick Douglass and MLK find themselves labeled ‘white supremacist’? Two authors have shaken off the shellshock, and now stand ready to fight back.” ~GianCarlo​​​​ Canaparo

The Justice of an All-Volunteer Military

“A person who voluntarily enlists in the military obviously believes that that employment option is the best one for him or her. In exchange for his or her performance of military duties, that soldier or sailor is paid.” ~Donald J. Boudreaux

Inflation We Can Feel But Don’t Measure

“Regardless of whether one thinks that the CPI should include interest rates and/or asset prices, it seems clear that consumers factor in these costs when evaluating the cost of living.” ~Joshua R. Hendrickson

Business Schools Undermine Wealth Creation

“Universities promote an obsession with social impact that ignores the vital social impact already accomplished by the realm of private enterprise.” ~Kimberlee Josephson

Another Dismal Tax Day: Can It Drive Fiscal Reform?

“The pain and uncertainty from an ever-changing federal progressive marginal individual income tax system with forced withholding and payment or refund later are destructive.” ~Vance Ginn

‘Shock Values’: An Idiosyncratic Economic History

“While it provides a concise accounting of the many efforts taken to address inflation and deflation over the history of the republic, there is a cost to recounting such a rich history in so few pages.” ~Paul H. Kupiec

Economic Development is not a Zero-Sum Game 

“By equating profit-making, as such, with evidence of greed and immorality, [the Vatican] perpetuates the harmful zero-sum mentality of mercantilism and socialism. ” ~John C. Pinheiro