Research Briefs

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

The Federal Register, the Bible of the U.S. regulatory state, grew by 15,634 pages in a single year — 2016 — showing the depth of costly rules flooding American commerce.

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Adam Smith wisely pointed out what should have already been obvious: “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.”

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

The Panic of 1907, 110 years ago, was used to justify the creation of the Federal Reserve. From an economic perspective, the justification was a weak reed.

Monday, June 12th, 2017

No free-enterprise economy worth its name should tolerate government planning of energy, the master resource.

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

“Black Swan” author Nassim Nicholas Taleb is forecasting a coming “libertarian’s dream” as the grip of the ruling classes weakens.

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Fintech companies may become victims of their own successes as they increasingly come into regulatory crosshairs, but substandard economic growth rates and increasing banking sector concentration make a strong case for shifting in the direction toward laissez-faire.

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

In an earlier piece about student aid and student debt, I cited many studies that found increasing government-loan availability was the biggest contributor to the rising cost of college in recent years.

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Pope Francis delivered a blistering attack on libertarianism in April.

Friday, May 26th, 2017

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker is still regarded as a sage on Wall Street and beyond, but his contention that banking-sector competition hasn’t lessened is flat-out wrong, some say.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

The economy has added over 15 million jobs since the recession. When Americans get jobs, they tend to need cars. Finance companies and banks have been more than willing to provide auto loans. But auto-lending standards have not been as strict as in other areas.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

An especially controversial feature of President Trump’s proposed tax reform is a cut in the corporate income tax. The current tax is progressive, with rates ranging from 15 to 35 percent on income minus deductions. The Trump tax would have a single rate of 15 percent and would eliminate some deductions.

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

AIER’s founder Colonel E.C. Harwood emphasized the importance of what he called 'field work' in any research project. He embraced John Dewey’s educational philosophy, Dewey being a pioneer of constructivist learning, or learning by doing — what nowadays the education literature calls experiential learning.

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Texas declared it wants to repatriate its gold, sending beams through the monetary world. Is this the long-awaited new day for alt-currency devotees or another false dawn?

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

The American Health Care Act, the House bill intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is frequently opposed on the grounds that it cuts taxes for the rich.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

An economics scholar, Dan Thornton, sees a constitutional amendment as the only way to stop the U.S. government from engaging in “too big to fail” bailouts, but the idea appears too noble to pass.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Bitcoin’s system of radically decentralized governance is facing perhaps the biggest test in the digital currency’s history.

Monday, May 15th, 2017

It’s not systemic reform, but the Federal Reserve’s recent indication of climbing down from its $4.5 trillion balance sheet is being met with at least half smiles by free market economists.

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Move over, Al Gore. Joseph Schumpeter is the real inventor of the internet.

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

The career of Carl Schurz (1829–1906) illustrates the transformation of American liberalism from a philosophy of limited government to one that provided the beginnings of a welfare/warfare state. It was a model that Americans now take for granted.

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Glass-Steagall’s separation of commercial and investment banking was a solution in search of a problem.