Tons of people seem (quite rightly) concerned about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. As we pointed out last week after the final text was finally, released, the agreement has a lot of really big problems. But if you want to understand just how bad the agreement is, perhaps you should just look at the industries that like it. Vox notes that ... (more)
Why won't the American people listen to the warnings? David Stockman was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1981, and he served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985. These days, he is running a website called "Contra Corner" which I highly recommend that you check out. Stockman believes that a global "debt super-cycle" that has been building for decades is now bursting, and he is convinced that t... (more)
Most economists and investors readily acknowledge that the current period of central bank activism, characterized by extended bouts of quantitative easing and zero percent interest rates, is a newly-blazed trail in economic history. And while these policies strike some as counterintuitive, open-ended, and unimaginably expensive, most express comfort that our extremely educated, data-dependent, central bankers have a pretty good idea as to where the trail is going and how to keep the wagons toget... (more)
This morning, I saw a TV ad for Lasik eye surgery and that got me wondering, “What’s happened to the price of Lasik since I had my procedure 10 years ago?” We hear a lot about the rising cost of healthcare. (By the way, how is that Obamacare working out for you?) But, what about medical procedures that patients pay for themselves? And so I called the ophthalmologist who performed my Lasik operation (with superb results, I might add) to find out the details.
Scarcity of resources exists in many forms and is the problem in economics. If resources were not scarce, there would be no need to economize. The existence of scarcity is true of all resources (such as time, human energy, and natural resources). However, it is not necessarily intuitive that allowing scarce resources to be owned privately is the solution to this problem.
Consequently, socialism appears attractive to many and they turn to having all resources owned collectively for... (more)
This was the most radical statement in the entirety of last night's republican debate, yet the media has completely ignored it.
Ben Carson said he was previously wrong on calling for subsidies for the oil industry to be shifted to ethanol producers, and said instead he now wants to get rid of ALL government subsidies, which would literally be ... (more)
Would you pay $400,000 for a single helmet? Of course you wouldn't – but that is precisely what the U.S. government is doing. Just the helmet for the pilot of the new F-35 Lightning II is going to cost taxpayers nearly half a million dollars. And since we are going to need 2,400 of those helmets, the total bill is going to end up approaching a ... (more)
Rising home prices and apartment rents have been in the news lately, but almost no one is looking at the real causes behind these problems. Instead, they are proposing band-aid solutions that will do little to help most people afford housing but will greatly benefit special interest groups.
According to the news, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Portland, San Francisco-Oakland, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington, DC, among other major u... (more)
This morning, the Washington Post ran an article titled, "How free markets make us fatter, poorer and less happy." Actually, the data suggest the exact opposite: free markets make us healthier, richer and happier.
Free markets make us healthier
First, the authors argue that free markets result in an abundance of temptations, such as cand... (more)
100 percent-reserve banking is being introduced through the backdoor by U.S. regulators who remain queasy about banks runs in a future crisis. Under rules instituted in September 2014 by the Fed and other financial regulators, banks are mandated to hold only high-grade liquid assets against risky large demand deposits in order to cover estimated deposit losses for 30 days. These so-calle... (more)
One piece of Obamacare is already collapsing: The COOPs (cooperative insurers) that the federal government propped up with loans to compete in exchanges. Many are now closing down under pressure from state insurance departments, as they are threatened with insolvency because they charge premiums in the Obamacare exchanges that do not cover costs.
The administration is desperate to stave off the day of reckoning, going so far as to insist the federal loans be categorized as "assets... (more)
Back in 2013, Salon took a quick break from criticizing a caricature of libertarianism to let David Sirota write an embarrassing article praising socialism in what turns out to be a fantastic case study in both the dangers of socialist economics and of course, speaking to soon.
The article was titled “Hugo Chavez’s Economic Miracle” and it was certainly not the only one of its kind to come out at the time. It may seem like twenty-twenty hindsight to criticize such foolishn... (more)