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

How the US Treasury Induced a New Era of Swiss Monetary Policy

“Central bankers are told that their domestic monetary policy obligations…must be balanced with or even subjugated to currency management practices that accommodate American exporters and competitors more broadly.” ~Mariana F. Trujillo and Peter C. Earle

The Middleman Is a Public Servant

“Letting people make their own choices is an important part of respecting one another as free equals… We don’t help people by prohibiting the choices they actually make.” ~Art Carden

Look With Two Is

“Look at institutional arrangements as they actually play out, making the comparison by looking through two Is: information and incentives.” ~Michael Munger

Preserve Architectural History with Incentives, Not Bans 

“Removing government from the process by changing dated zoning regulations is the best path forward to solving the housing shortage. A small piece of the puzzle should be historic landmarks and district reform.” ~Jason Sorens and Thomas Savidge

Should We Panic Over Excessively Low Global Temperatures?

“We simply have no way to trace out more than a minuscule fraction of the economic consequences, positive and negative, of government efforts to alter a phenomenon as massive as the earth’s environment.” ~Donald J. Boudreaux

AI Opposition: Economic and Philosophical Sophistry

“Economic growth is by far and away the most far-reaching and compounding good mankind has ever experienced — the very phenomenon responsible for modern infrastructure, schools, and health care.” ~Jack Nicastro and Samuel Crombie

How the Subsidy Straw Is Sucking The Colorado River Dry

“A trifecta of farming-sector entitlements have incentivized producers to grow thirsty plants, underpriced water extraction, and created moral hazard….Subsidies have made water 10 times cheaper in Arizona than in Michigan.” ~Peter Clark

20th Century Ideology, Modern Mixed Economies

“Neither the Chinese communists nor the Russian communists ever redistributed significant resources from the able to the needy. If anything, they did the reverse.” ~John Goodman

Quality Boosts in Sports Collectibles

“An hour of labor today might not buy many more baseball cards than an hour of labor a generation ago, but it would be a mistake to conclude that living standards haven’t changed much because the quality has improved so much.” ~Art Carden

Principleless, Panicked and Power-Hungry

“The authoritarian response to COVID amounted to the biggest inroads on our civil liberties in two hundred years… the judges were as frightened and panicked as most everyone else.” ~James Allan

US Manufacturing is Doing Just Fine

“Faced with the increased prosperity that has correlated with lowered trade barriers, making the case that trade liberalization has led to widespread harm is no easy task.” ~Colin Grabow

Eating The Rich Won’t Feed the Beast

“The hungry behemoth that is the US federal government is already eating the rich… Jeff Bezos’ great fortune would finance the government for… less than a week. ” ~Joakim Book