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.

Election and Resurging Virus Drag Down Consumer Sentiment

– November 13, 2020

“Consumer sentiment fell in early November following the election and a resurgence in Covid-19 infections. Combined with renewed restrictions, the outlook remains highly uncertain.” – Robert Hughes


Even a Military-Enforced Quarantine Can’t Stop the Virus, Study Reveals

– November 13, 2020

“The lockdowners keep telling us to pay attention to the science. That’s what we are doing. When the results contradict their pro-compulsion narrative, they pretend that the studies do not exist and barrel ahead with their scary plans to disable all social functioning in the presence of a virus. Lockdowns are not science. They never have been. They are an experiment in social/political top-down management that is without precedent in cost to life and liberty.” ~ Jeffrey Tucker


The Orwellian Pandemic

– November 13, 2020

“This strange power of language to change hearts and minds was always dubious at best but has, in our times of coronavirus need, gone completely berserk. If we tell a virus to back off, it will. If we ensure one another with empty religious phrases, we’ll all be protected from God’s wrath. George Orwell and his ‘Politics and the English Language’ has never felt more relevant.” ~ Joakim Book


State and Local Governments Should Not Get a Bailout – either from Congress or the Federal Reserve

– November 13, 2020

“A Biden Administration likely will be able to give states and localities a bailout, even if Congress doesn’t approve a new ‘stimulus,’ and even if the Trump Administration doesn’t extend the Federal Reserve’s authority. But at least the incoming Biden people would have to jump through a few hoops.” ~ Daniel J. Mitchell


A Second National Lockdown is Dangerous and Reckless

– November 13, 2020

“To say that now the entire country should enter a 4-6 week shutdown stricter than all that came before is not only tone deaf but reckless. Such a policy will likely have untold consequences that go beyond economic devastation. Suicides, substance abuse, and social turmoil have been exacerbated as a result of lockdowns, and they will only worsen under this new policy.” ~ Ethan Yang


Joe Biden, the New York Times, ‘Dark’ Winters, and ‘Terrifying Surges’

– November 12, 2020

“The more a country tests, the more infections that country will unearth. Doctors and other experts can decide for themselves whether relentless testing is good, bad, or not terribly relevant, but it presumably explains a lot when it comes to virus spread in the U.S. More than politicians and sub-editors want to admit, their predictions and headers are really just statements of a not so dark or terrifying obvious.” ~ John Tamny


The Fed Has A Commitment Problem

– November 12, 2020

“The whole point of a central bank is competently administering monetary policy. Right now, the Fed is failing at this basic task.” ~ Alexander W. Salter


Food and Gasoline Offset in the Everyday Price Index

– November 12, 2020

“AIER’s Everyday Price Index fell 0.1 percent in October as food and energy price changes largely offset each other.” – Robert Hughes


Tyler Cowen Is Wrong About Great Barrington Declaration on Lockdown Policies

– November 12, 2020

“Lockdowns are being re-imposed across Europe, and we’re in increasing danger of seeing them re-imposed in parts of the United States. Ironically, if policy makers heed the advice in the Great Barrington Declaration, which Tyler disagrees with, then the lockdowns would be behind us.” ~ Benjamin Powell


Who to Believe? What to Believe?

– November 12, 2020

“The real world is complex and most of us do not have the information, or the information processing capabilities, to make sense out of much of it. So instead of jumping on intellectual bandwagons and opining that Y is the best color, or masks work because … they do!, or somebody on TV says so, try just watching, listening, thinking, and asking questions, especially about alternatives.” ~ Robert E. Wright


Elections and Legitimacy

– November 11, 2020

“The election results will likely further erode federal legitimacy at a time when Uncle Sam has no trust to spare. How many more election debacles and brazen abuses of power does Washington believe the American people will tolerate?” ~ James Bovard


David Skarbek on Prison Order

– November 11, 2020

“At best Skarbek has illustrated how governance institutions can be analyzed, providing us with a fascinating case study of prison life in a dozen settings. A bit more charitably, governance theory applied to prisons is not falsified by the examples he uses. Whether he has proven the usefulness of the theory, or its ability to explain the observed world, is much less clear.” ~ Joakim Book


What Drives Progress: The State or the Market?

– November 11, 2020

“The idea of an entrepreneurial state as proposed by Mazzucato is a romantic one. It’s an idea that people can come together and through sheer will can make innovation happen. That some very smart people with fancy degrees and prestigious titles can steer society to an optimal location. The only problem with that is just about everything.” ~ Ethan Yang


AIER’s Leading Indicators Index Improves Again in October

– November 10, 2020

“The U.S. economy continued to recover in October, but the pace of recovery in some areas has slowed. The potential for renewed lockdown policies remains a threat to future growth.” – Robert Hughes


Small-Business Survey Shows Mixed Expectations in October

– November 10, 2020

“Small-business confidence was unchanged in October, but details of the survey suggest a mixed outlook.” – Robert Hughes


Why Politics Breeds Divisive Fears and Angers

– November 10, 2020

“Politics becomes a life and death struggle, a fight to the finish, since the winning side with the majority upper hand is able to impose and enforce its views and values on all in society. Only by limiting government to those few though essential functions can these tensions, angers, and divisions be reduced or even removed.” ~ Richard M. Ebeling


It Was a Mistake to Close Schools, UK Study Concedes

– November 9, 2020

“In nine months of this hell, one might suppose there would have been a clear test of whether and to what extent severe outcomes from catching the virus were really associated with school attendance. It has finally arrived, and the news is not good for the lockdowners.” ~ Jeffrey Tucker


For Better Health and a Stronger Economy, Don’t Lock Down Again

– November 9, 2020

“Instead of following Europe into a second round of lockdowns, the United States should follow the advice of the top scientists and medical experts who have signed the Great Barrington Declaration. They advise avoiding lockdowns and focusing instead on protecting the most vulnerable, letting the disease spread among the young and healthy to build population immunity.” ~ Benjamin Powell