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.

Galbraith Offers a Poor Defense of MMT

– January 16, 2021

“The rise of MMT on the political left will no doubt continue. It is politically expedient. It provides a justification for spending. Political expediency does not imply theoretical soundness, however. And defenses along the lines offered by Galbraith do little to assuage very real concerns.” ~ Nicolás Cachanosky


From the Land of Financial Bubbles

– January 16, 2021

“For the aspiring startup today, perhaps working away in the venture-cap lands of overpriced unicorns, the history of bubble allegations teaches you one thing: be right or be a bubble. Until the dust has settled, nobody can really tell.” ~ Joakim Book


Pandemic Security Theater

– January 15, 2021

“After ten months of lockdowns and shocking degrees of economic and social carnage, millions of Americans have decided that there surely must be some rationale for all the insanity and have signed on to become enforcers themselves, even and perhaps especially when the rules make no sense at all.” ~ James Bovard


The Physics Behind Freedom

– January 15, 2021

“Bejan’s book shows that freedom is actually scientifically good for society. It truly is a groundbreaking fusion of physics and economics. In his case, he sees things through the lens of energy movement and evolution, the literal workings of the universe. Economists call prosperity the result of free people and free markets. He calls it a force of nature.” ~ Ethan Yang


Shifting Political Views and Covid Concerns Pull Down Consumer Sentiment

– January 15, 2021

“Consumer sentiment fell in early January, driven largely by ideology. Combined with renewed restrictions and weakening economic activity, the outlook remains highly uncertain.” – Robert Hughes


Manufacturing Output Rose in December But Remains Below Pre-pandemic Levels

– January 15, 2021

“Manufacturing continued to recover in December despite reinstated government restrictions.” – Robert Hughes


First Goes Law, Then Goes Democracy

– January 15, 2021

“If this agenda is indeed to be forced on us by ruse, via the exploitation of a pandemic, one must wonder if its masterminds are remotely trustworthy. Why can’t they openly explain their intentions, if they are so wonderful? Today, they implement a covert replacement for the rule of law, one that subverts our will to theirs with no right of appeal. Tomorrow, they replace democracy.” ~ Stacey Rudin


Retail Sales Decline for a Third Consecutive Month

– January 15, 2021

“Retail sales fell in December as reactionary government policies delay economic recovery.” – Robert Hughes


Monetary Rules have been Interpreted to Justify the Status Quo

– January 15, 2021

“I can only imagine that those in charge of monetary policy, following Woodford and the precedent set by Bernanke, see stable implementation of a fixed monetary rule as being an antiquated idea, obviously inferior to their more flexible interpretation of rule-based policy. Their perspective, now widely shared among monetary theorists and policymakers, risks leaving us sleepwalking toward a state of fiscal insolvency.” ~ James L. Caton


In the Midst of Covid-19, Pakistan Continues Its Fight Against Polio

– January 15, 2021

“The nation’s health authorities have realized that Covid-19 mitigation is only one component of holistic public health practices. Public health must take all epidemiological factors into account. Tunnel vision only serves to create new kinds of misery, scrapping hard-earned progress.” ~ Fiona Harrigan


Enterprise Perseveres Through the Crisis

– January 14, 2021

“Though many of them are doing so in the shadows, there are entrepreneurs everywhere who are setting to work to solve the most pressing problems of our present and our future. The businesses those innovators introduce to the world will be all the more significant for the hurdles they surpassed.” ~ Peter C. Earle & Fiona Harrigan


Initial Claims for Unemployment Benefits Surge to 965,000

– January 14, 2021

“Initial claims for unemployment benefits jumped in the latest week and remain high as renewed government restrictions continue to threaten the recovery.” – Robert Hughes


A Pandemic Reading List for Left, Right, and Libertarians

– January 14, 2021

“Pandemic responses will continue to serve as a convenient rationale for government interventions in the future. Anyone who has a concern for human liberty and prosperity should armed with intellectual ammunition to combat this huge increase in government power. We need more than ideological instincts here; to fully understand, we need to be aware of the sciences of infectious disease and the discipline of public health.” ~ Jeffrey A. Tucker


Andrew Ross Sorkin Strives to Improve Markets by Blinding Them

– January 14, 2021

“If politicians were constrained, they wouldn’t have privileged information in the first place. Will Sorkin write about that? It wouldn’t be a serious bet to place. Which is why there’s little reason to take his overwrought hand-wringing about ‘insider trading’ seriously.” ~ John Tamny


Study Indicates Lockdowns Have Increased Deaths of Despair

– January 14, 2021

“Regardless of whether they think lockdowns work, policymakers must be cognizant of the fact shutting down society also leads to excess deaths. Whether it’s from the government policies themselves or the willful compliance of society enforcing the soft despotism of popular hysteria, social isolation is taking its toll on the lives of many.” ~ Ethan Yang


Congressional Hypocrisy and the Crackdown

– January 13, 2021

“It is possible to condemn both the protestors who rampaged in the Capitol and the career politicians whose perennial abuses have destroyed Americans’ faith in the federal government. It would be especially unwise to confuse last week’s buffoonery with a bona fide coup attempt – which could happen if Washington continues disdaining too many angry Americans.” ~ James Bovard


Everyday Prices Rise Just 0.9 Percent in 2020

– January 13, 2021

“Everyday prices increased just 0.9 percent in 2020. The pandemic and government restrictions are likely to distort relative prices, but overall trends are likely to remain moderate.” – Robert Hughes


Twelve Principles of International Trade: Part 4

– January 13, 2021

“When combined with the empirically verified reality that increased trade between nations decreases the likelihood of those nations getting into shooting wars with each other, what is left of the national-security exception to the case for unilateral free trade is very narrow indeed.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux