If not armed teachers, if not gun-free zones, if not gun bans, if not granting to the government an exclusive domain for security and the threat of violence, what is the answer? The least satisfying answer is actually the right one: we do not know precisely how to secure schools. We – “we” as in intellectuals, pundits, or society in general – do not know how to secure banks, jewelry stores, shopping malls, or casinos. How can we find out? By devolving that responsibility to institutions themselves, you allow the emergence of security solutions that are adaptive to the particular conditions of time and place.
Ever since the invention of cryptocurrency, people have asked whether governments will just create their own to compete directly with private issuance. Many governments have talked about doing so. In the greatest of ironies, it was Venezuela (socialist “paradise” of hunger, poverty, and massive emigration) that has made the most public attempt with the pre-sale of a new token called the Petro. It was a fiasco.
Although China and the European Union compete at close quarters with the United States for international-trade leadership, the latter has an ace up her sleeve: the world's second highest de minimis thresholds (DMT), a little-known variable that greatly facilitates electronic commerce and retail sales.
Lottery winners are thrust into a unique situation few others can understand. The struggles of many of these winners show the complexity of real wealth, which includes human and social capital, even though they can’t be measured on a balance sheet.
The future has a lot of potential awe-inspiring inventions coming down the pipeline. But while daydreaming about these, we shouldn’t forget to be in awe of the invention of fractional-reserve banking. Long before fancy apps, and indeed long before the internet even, it was solving our problems and making our lives better.
Americans deserve to be treated like productive citizens, as opposed to tax cattle when they take their talents abroad.
Ending the railroad’s long-distance routes would take trains off segments of rural railroad, saving lives. An Amtrak that behaves like a truly private railroad could focus on getting service in major corridors right, investing in improvements to do its job better, and improving overall maintenance to prevent close calls like the Maryland separation. Getting its year back on track will be a challenge, but there is hope for policy change that could make things a little better.
There is a reason to the rhyme of why dealers, rappers, and pimps wear their wealth. It all comes down to the legal gulf that separates their professions and art from civic practices. If you want to keep what you have earned, and take every precaution against having it pillaged by the police, it’s best to carry it with you.
Liberty Street Economics, the New York Fed’s blog, recently did a question-and-answer session with Fed economists Michael Lee and Antoine Martin about cryptocurrencies. It’s a largely neutral and factual interview, but the economists do make one provocative comment: “Cryptocurrencies arguably solve the problem of making payments in a trustless environment, but it is not obvious that this is a problem that needs solving, at least in the United States and other advanced economies.”
Californian charter schools are avoiding or outright leaving the public pension system due to high costs and sustainability concerns. This puts the public pension systems in a situation akin to a Ponzi scheme, since it needs new paying members to avoid an inevitable downfall.
If you are prevented from leaving your own nation, what kind of nation is it? Prison state comes to mind. So many people I know have come to favor closed borders because they somehow think there is a connection between big government and heterogeneous populations. What they do not seem to understand is that closed borders themselves are big government program, one that will always come back to bite its own advocates.
Over the past 10 years, prevailing wages earned by New York public construction workers have almost doubled the rate of inflation. There is just one problem. Most of the increase didn't go into their pockets.
The parable of top-down socialism vs. bottom-up Bitcoin tempts one to adopt a general theory of the relationship between ideas and social change. It might be the case that bad ideas come from the top down and good ideas from the bottom-up, as a general expectation and principle. That seems to cover most use cases, until the point comes when liberal intellectuals become hugely influential in academia. We’ll wait a long time for that to be the case.
The news has been packed with fake economics for the weeks since the correction in stocks began. Story after story has claimed that rising wages could translate into higher inflation, setting off fear and trembling on Wall Street. These claims have caused anyone with contemporary economics knowledge to slap their heads with exasperation. This is precisely how fallacy lives on and on: it keeps being reported by journalists who don’t know better.