Daily Economy

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

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. 

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

What is the source of this fixation on putting some variation of corn in everything we make and eat? From an economics perspective, it stems from two main sources.

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

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.

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Let us not forget the contribution of free economies to making life safer. It wasn’t the regulations that made the difference. It was the innovations in the context of free enterprise.

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

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.

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

The creators of Dirty Money have failed to interpret the significance of profits in an economic system. What in fact seems to be a case against capitalism, is actually a case against patent monopolies.

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

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.

Monday, February 19th, 2018

You might be living in a time in which you will experience the end of central banking and perhaps even fiat currency, and their replacement by a completely new system.

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Americans deserve to be treated like productive citizens, as opposed to tax cattle when they take their talents abroad.

Friday, February 16th, 2018

The reason I think significantly tighter gun laws would be a fool’s errand can be summed up in four words: the War on Drugs.

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

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.

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Dear Mr. Keynes: Much of your open letter to President Roosevelt, seems so appropriate to be above criticism.... Unfortunately, portions of your advice seem somewhat perplexing.

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

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.

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

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.”

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

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.

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

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.

Monday, February 12th, 2018

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.

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

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.

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

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.

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Federal grants and transfers are the techniques of choice used by socialist regulators in all federal countries, because in such countries it’s difficult to impose one-size-fits-all national schemes from the top down. Hence, federal spending power greases the wheels of reform by bribing the population and docile politicians and blackmailing and boxing in politicians skeptical of federal meddling.