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

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

Substitution Effects and Steering-Wheel Daggers

“Because of substitution effects, we should always be aware that outcomes quite different from those that seem most obvious are possible. Mandating greater automobile safety might reduce traffic fatalities. Or it might not.” ~Donald J. Boudreaux

Illiberal Youth Threaten Freedom

“Like National Socialist youth, individual rights mean nothing to young people today. The loss of talented people with different opinions was a plus for the Nazis.” ~Barry Brownstein

Importing Votes, Not Steel 

“Cooperation between conglomerates can be swept aside by the government for political gain. Ultimately, it is the public who pays for these political plays.” ~Stefan Bartl

Climate “Reparations” Numbers Are Rigged

“Human living standards have improved in unprecedented ways over the past 300 years. These remarkable improvements in human welfare are not limited to wealthy, developed economies but are enjoyed around the world.” ~Paul Mueller

Every Village a Republic

“Article I, Section 10 might protect local communities from federal abuse, as intended by the Founders, but offers no tools to simultaneously protect ourselves from local tyrannies.” ~David Gillette and Thaddeus Meadows

Chairman Powell and The Fed’s Limits

“Congress should applaud Chairman Powell’s candor on uncertainty and strongly support his principle of operating the Fed within the limits of its mandate.” ~Alex J. Pollock