Forgiving Student Loans: Not The Great Idea You Think It Is

– March 1, 2021

“Like Bryan Caplan, I love learning so much I decided never to leave school. I live for the lightbulb moments students have when they realize what economists mean by ‘at the margin’ or when they start using and applying the concepts we cover in class. Economically speaking, those are private benefits, however, and the case for sticking taxpayers with the bill is shaky indeed.” ~ Art Carden


Are the Conditions Right for Another Commodity Super-Cycle?

– February 26, 2021

“With unemployment rates still elevated and much of the global economy in some form of lockdown, it is hard to imagine the conditions for an economic boom, especially one that will see wage increases, but the size and scale of the global monetary and fiscal response to the pandemic is unprecedented. It creates the conditions for a continued appreciation of a wide range of essential commodity prices as the pandemic ends and demand rebounds.” ~ Colin Lloyd


How Will We Pay for a $1.9 Trillion Spending Bill?

– February 12, 2021

“Politicians are quick to ignore the costs of government spending in proposing legislation and obscure those costs by issuing debt rather than raising revenues. It is politically popular to issue debt and send checks to everyone. The benefits of the policy are clear: people get checks. The costs, which ripple out through financial markets as interest rates are bid up, are difficult to tie to the policy.” ~ Nicolás Cachanosky


Yellen was Right, the Federal Debt “Should Keep People Awake at Night”

– February 11, 2021

“If the burden of interest payments increases, will Congress make the difficult decisions required to reduce federal spending? What contingency plan do Yellen and Powell have in their back pocket if the dollar suffers a speculative attack owing to an unsound fiscal position? Yellen was right: ‘It’s the type of thing that should keep people awake at night.'” ~ James L. Caton


A Pro-UBI Talking Point Debunked

– January 29, 2021

“Perhaps the robot apocalypse really will come at some point. Perhaps not. But what is clear is that it hasn’t come yet. Until it does, we should target our aid to Americans in need – not to the entire population.” ~ Nick Buffie


Is France Suffering from Excessive Austerity?

– January 26, 2021

“Given that the United States, with its medium-sized government, does so much better than France, with its large-sized government, how can Rokhaya Diallo reconcile those numbers with her dogmatic view that society will be better off if government is even bigger?”~ Daniel J. Mitchell


CARES Act Stimulus Did Not “Replace Lost Wages”

– January 17, 2021

“Far from stimulus checks, PPP loans and jobless benefits ‘replacing lost wages,’ it was instead a swift increase in private wages during the reopening that replaced a swift withdrawal of ‘fiscal stimulus.'” ~ Alan Reynolds


What Will The Stimulus Stimulate?

– December 31, 2020

“We shouldn’t be surprised that what ultimately emerged was a dog’s breakfast of giveaways for special interests. That’s the nature of the political beast. As we continue to cede power to enormous rent-creating operations called governments, we shouldn’t be surprised by the results.” ~ Art Carden


Adopting a Gold Standard Would Promote Fiscal Discipline

– December 30, 2020

“We could allow for a de facto gold standard at little cost. And this standard would ensure that investors could discipline government for borrowing excessively. If citizens were allowed to save their income in gold-denominated accounts without extra costs of taxation and financial regulation, disciplining their government would be as easy as changing the form of one’s savings account.” ~ James L. Caton


An Incomprehensive List of Spending Bill Nonsense

– December 23, 2020

“While congressional interests guide the spending agenda, Americans will continue to suffer at the hands of the government they fund. The swamp, as we are learning, is far from drained.” ~ Peter C. Earle & Fiona Harrigan


Debt, Deficits, and the Donald

– November 15, 2020

“Fortunately, divided government will mean no Green New Deal, no federally mandated and funded paid leave, and no Court-packing. But it probably won’t mean less spending. In fact, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has already announced that we can expect another COVID-relief bill, one containing many of the Democrats’ favorite provisions, such as bailouts of the states.” ~ Veronique de Rugy


State and Local Governments Should Not Get a Bailout – either from Congress or the Federal Reserve

– November 13, 2020

“A Biden Administration likely will be able to give states and localities a bailout, even if Congress doesn’t approve a new ‘stimulus,’ and even if the Trump Administration doesn’t extend the Federal Reserve’s authority. But at least the incoming Biden people would have to jump through a few hoops.” ~ Daniel J. Mitchell