Price-gouged and Happy About It

– February 9, 2021

“When the anti–price gouging law is in effect, being able to buy a necessity here is a matter of timing: being on store premises at or shortly after a shipment arrives. Then you can buy it, and not even at the market price, but at the pre-emergency price enforced by the government. Everyone else is out of luck.” ~ Jon Sanders

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“Sustainability” Misses the Point

– February 7, 2021

“By standard definitions, what we are doing is ‘unsustainable,’ but most human activities are. Over some time period every activity is unsustainable, but that’s not an indictment, practically or morally, of doing them. When the environment is harming humans (the default position of life), we should offer those humans the best available protection against that – with or without a worsening climate.” ~ Joakim Book

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A Nuanced Approach to China Part 2

– February 7, 2021

“Chinese economic prosperity does directly contribute to its authoritarian goals, but trade wars and isolation have not done anything to remedy the situation. Rather a strategy of economic integration will likely lead to not only mutually beneficial outcomes, but also greater leverage in the future if the need to take action arises.” ~ Ethan Yang

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Lockdowns Have Depleted Capital in All Forms

– February 6, 2021

“Outside of a major war, it is hard to recall a time when government policies have so seriously roiled business practices, economic structures, and personal lives as much as lockdowns have, not only in the US but all over the world. The consequences will be felt for many years in the future.” ~ Jeffrey Tucker

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Monetary Policy is Pushing Americans, Kicking and Screaming, Up the Risk Curve

– February 6, 2021

“Gamestop is only a symptom. The size and frequency of monetary policy interventions is pushing investors further and further up the risk curve.” ~ Peter C. Earle

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That Mystical Monetary Theory

– February 5, 2021

“The MMT mistake lies in believing that any alleged shortfall in money or supply of U.S. Treasuries is big enough to finance their entire policy wish list for the foreseeable future. It also assumes that any potential labor or capital goods not currently used can be effortlessly moved to whatever production line politicians desire, without causing prices or wages to increase.” ~ Joakim Book

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Robinhood and Redditors: Who’s Robbin’ Who?

– February 5, 2021

“We don’t need more regulation; we need better regulation. We need the rule of law not only in monetary institutions but in financial markets too. We need to replace the ‘regulatory leviathan’ in financial markets with ‘a regulatory constitution.'” ~ Roger Koppl

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Economic Illiteracy Is No Virtue

– February 4, 2021

“Leading a misguided crusade ‘to reign in the market’ or to smash capitalism for the working class is not only a recipe for failure according to history, it completely fails to understand what economics is all about. Just because you don’t care about economics does not mean that the world suddenly bends to your wishes. As the late economist, Walter Williams used to say: ‘Politicians exploit economic illiteracy.'” ~ Ethan Yang

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There Are No Experts On That for Which We Really Need Experts

– February 4, 2021

“The pandemic has revealed a shortcoming in our ever more technocratic approach to addressing social problems: there are more and different kinds of problems than there are kinds of experts. The division of scientific expertise according to discipline, field, and sub-field does not encompass, much less map onto, all of the problems for which we might want experts.” ~ Scott Scheall & Parker Crutchfield

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How Much Does Cleaning Everything Really Help?

– February 3, 2021

“These issues all boil down to opportunity cost. The time and resources directed towards extra cleaning could be used for an alternative activity that would reap higher benefits for the business, especially in the midst of economic turmoil.” ~ Amelia Janaskie

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The Political Economy of Mass Panic

– February 2, 2021

“The demand for action creates the pressure to avoid being perceived as weak and indecisive on the part of politicians, while the information asymmetry between the visible, concentrated and identifiable benefits of “action” and delayed, speculative and more distributed costs of action, makes irrational and ineffective but ritualistic policies much more likely. Policies adopted to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic illustrate very painfully these truths.” ~ Ivan Jankovic

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Did Market Failures Require A Lockdown Response?

– February 2, 2021

“Economists and policymakers must ask the question: what are people actually doing in the status quo to manage the harm? We may find that what, on its face, appears to be a failure is actually preferable to the reasonable and feasible alternatives.” ~ Jon Murphy

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