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Mark W. Hendrickson

    Tue, January 23, 2018

    President Trump's First Year Economic Record

    In an article written 10 days after President Donald Trump’s election victory, I commented on the drop in the price of gold, which was mirrored by a spike in the dollar index. I surmised that the ...

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    Wed, November 22, 2017

    Thanksgiving Day Thoughts

    Thanksgiving Day is the traditional American holiday when we are given the opportunity to pause from our normal routines and take time to count our blessings.

    It ...

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    Wed, September 20, 2017

    Records Levels of Debt: Who Cares?

    Editor’s note: This article first appeared at

    Do you remember the band Chicago’s 1970 single, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” I ...

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    Tue, August 01, 2017

    The Summer of Love 50 Years Later

    For the baby-boomer generation (or at least the counterculture segment within it) the summer of 1967 became known as The Summer of Love.

    Actually, most of us ...

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    Wed, June 07, 2017

    A Universal Basic Income?

    Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg's Commencement speech at Harvard made a big splash. It was a warm-hearted, encouraging, interesting address, enriched by some endearing personal ...

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    Wed, March 22, 2017

    Medicine That Hurts

    The Republican-proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) that the House of Representatives is expected to vote on this Thursday has been called a bill that everybody dislikes for one reason or ...

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    Mon, February 13, 2017

    Obama's Historically Weak Economic Performance

    On January 27, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of only 1.9 percent for the fourth quarter and that the overall rate of growth for 2016 was a feeble 1.6 ...

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    Wed, January 18, 2017

    Obama's Parting Economic Shots

    President Barack Obama's executive actions during the two and a half months of his lame duck, post-election time in office provide the perfect exclamation point to his entire presidency. His ...

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    Thu, November 17, 2016

    What is Gold Saying About Trump?

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    Amidst the larger drama of the election last Tuesday, the financial markets staged their own little drama. ...

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    Tue, October 04, 2016

    Sports Legends Lost

    With the recent passing of Arnold Palmer, yet another all-time great sports icon has left us in 2016. How ironic that three athletes, each of whom was the face of his sport in the 1960s–Arnold ...

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    Wed, September 28, 2016

    Hillary Clinton's Estate Tax Proposal

    "Hillary Clinton Proposes 65% Top Rate for Estate Tax" blared a headline in The Wall Street Journal. Since the current top statutory tax rate on estates is 40 percent, Clinton's proposal is ...

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    Thu, September 01, 2016

    Fed Seeks to Postpone Default

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    I have been writing for years that our government is essentially broke and the federal debt will never be ...

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    Tue, May 17, 2016

    Obama's Potty Overreach

    I can't believe that I'm writing an article about using the bathroom. But then, I can't believe that at a time when our country is faced with immense challenges such as international Islamist ...

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    Tue, December 22, 2015

    Good Grief Charlie Brown!

    You may have heard about the Kentucky school district that ordered its administrators to scrub any religious references from its various Christmas productions. ...

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    Tue, October 13, 2015

    Feeling Good About America

    Don't you love it when something heartwarming happens to you unexpectedly? That happened to me on October 1. My friend Ron invited me to go with him to Cleveland to see the game that night between ...

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    Wed, September 23, 2015

    Remembering Yogi Berra

    The word "icon" is overused these days, but it surely applies to Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra, who passed away yesterday at age 90. His playing career was iconic, and he ...

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    Mon, August 10, 2015

    The 'Not Enough Jobs' Scenario

    Once again, a scholar with impressive credentials is broadcasting the gloomy notion that Americans face a job-poor future. The insufficient-jobs scenario appeared in George Mason University economist ...

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    Tue, July 28, 2015

    Is Obama to Blame for Weak Economic Growth?

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    A political science colleague sent me an article documenting President Obama's dismal economic record, and ...

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    Mon, April 27, 2015

    Negative Interest Rates?

    I have to admit that initially I was uninterested, even close-minded, about the negative yield being offered on a growing share of European sovereign debt. "It must be a short-term ...

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    Thu, March 05, 2015

    Remembering M. Stanton Evans

    Journalist M. Stanton Evans passed away at the age of 80 on March 3. Calling him "journalist," while accurate, isn't quite adequate. Yes, he became the youngest editor of a major ...

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    Mon, March 02, 2015

    The FCC vs. Internet Freedom

    Earlier this month, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that its five commissioners will conduct a vote on February 26 to decide whether to grant itself the authority to ...

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    Wed, January 28, 2015

    Remembering James B. Edwards

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at The American Spectator.

    On the morning after Christmas, James B. ...

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    Wed, January 14, 2015

    Assessing Capital in the Twenty-First Century

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    French economist Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century was the most talked about treatise ...

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    Tue, November 18, 2014

    Saudi Arabia Vs. Keystone Pipeline

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    Wow, I had barely recommended repealing the laws that restrict U.S. oil exports as part of an overall ...

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    Wed, October 15, 2014

    A Free Market Economist's Take on 'The Roosevelts'

    By now, you've probably seen or heard about Ken Burns' 14-hour documentary on the three most famous Roosevelts: Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor. I have to confess that I almost didn't watch ...

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    Thu, September 18, 2014

    NLRB's Contribution to Obama's Anti-Business Crusade

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    Having written earlier this summer about the whack-a-mole regulatory state running wild under the ...

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    Fri, June 13, 2014

    Hats off to Fathers Who Are Men

    This isn't going to be one of those sentimental Father's Day articles, even though that is what I would prefer. This article will have a bit of an edge to it. Please excuse my bluntness, but ...

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    Thu, May 22, 2014

    The Ultimate Sacrafice

    Last year on Memorial Day, my wife, daughter and I were touring Cambridge, England. We took a bus ride three miles out of the city to the U.S. military cemetery there—one of 25 American burial ...

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    Mon, May 05, 2014

    Teacher Appreciation Week

    Last fall I described the apparently miraculous way in which I located the one person in the world I was searching for–my seventh and eighth grade English teacher, Mr. Ted Walters, the man who ...

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    Sun, April 20, 2014

    The Magesty of the Risen Savior

    At Eastertime, Christians rejoice and give praise for the resurrection of mankind's Savior.

    Words often fall short of communicating the full magnificence of the ...

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    Tue, April 08, 2014

    The Politics of St. Paul

    In Romans 13:1-7 the apostle Paul writes: "[A ruler] is the minister of God to thee for good" (v. 3); "Wherefore ye must needs be subject..." (v. 5); " ye tribute ...

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    Thu, March 27, 2014

    God ~Jesus, Politics ~Government

    Is God a Democrat? A Republican? Was Jesus a conservative, liberal, socialist, or libertarian? Those are jarring questions. Yet, because faith informs one's values and values inform one's political ...

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    Mon, January 13, 2014

    100 Years of the Federal Reserve

    Mon, December 23, 2013

    Powerful Christmas Lesson

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    The entire country pauses on Dec. 25, as Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, known to ...

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    Mon, December 02, 2013

    A Miracle or Coincidence?

    Editor's Note: This article first appeared at

    Every now and then, something unforeseen and special happens–something that logic or reason would ...

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    Tue, November 12, 2013

    Unseen Scars

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    In economics, the first lesson I teach my pupils is the lesson of things that are seen and things that are ...

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    Fri, November 01, 2013

    Burglarizing JP Morgan Chase ~Slapping Down Prudential

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    If there is one truth that became apparent during the financial panic five years ago, it is that Big ...

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    Fri, October 18, 2013

    Average is Overrated

    Editor's note: This article first appeared at

    Years ago, I thought that if I ever attempted to write a novel, I would describe a future dystopia in ...

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    Mon, April 29, 2013

    Happy Birthday James Monroe

    Recently, I had the pleasure of reading one of Harlow Giles Unger's thorough biographies of key figures in the era of America's founding. In reading "The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a ...

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    Tue, April 02, 2013

    Republicans Need to Grow Up on Taxes

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    Republicans are flailing about these days, trying to rebrand themselves before the next election cycle. A certain ...

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    Sun, March 17, 2013

    Medicare: Did You Really Pay for That?

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    Last summer, Barack Obama riled a lot of [4]entrepreneurs when he got carried
    away at a ...

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    Mon, March 04, 2013

    Pentagon Budget as Political Football

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    The Pentagon's budget occupies center stage in the sequestration drama. Defense spending comprises approximately 18 ...

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    Fri, February 22, 2013

    The Spendaholics' Offensive

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    A primary meme of the Democratic Party in 2013 is that the federal government
    doesn't ...

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    Tue, February 12, 2013

    Erasing Reagan: The Illiberal War on Truth

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    The prospect of four more years of Barack Obama in the White House has caused several conservative voices (among ...

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    Wed, January 09, 2013

    Economic Outlook for 2013

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    I recently indulged in some wistful, year-end nostalgia, but now that 2013 is underway, let's turn our attention to ...

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    Wed, January 02, 2013

    A Nostaligic Look at New Year's in the 1950s

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    New Year's observances blend recollections of the past, celebrations in the present, and anticipation of the future. ...

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    Fri, December 21, 2012

    Christmas Thoughts 2012

    The gentle spirit of Christmas brings a sense of fresh promise and renewal every year. The remembrances and commemorations of the birth of an innocent baby have a softening effect. Christmas provides ...

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    Tue, December 11, 2012

    Compromise or Gridlock?

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    As soon as the elections were over, a wave of commentaries extolling the virtues of compromise appeared in the ...

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    Thu, November 29, 2012

    Long Live the Twinkie !

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    Can the Twinkie and other famous Hostess brands be saved? I hope so, and I'll offer my own two cents' on one ...

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    Sat, November 24, 2012

    Blasted Twinkie Killers

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    Drat! I'm bummed–saddened by the news that the Hostess company, home of the

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    Fri, November 09, 2012

    An Open Letter to Mitt Romney

    Editor's note: A version of this piece first appeared at

    Dear Mitt,

    I have awakened on November 7 to learn that your bid for the presidency was unsuccessful. In ...

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    Mon, October 08, 2012

    Politically Incorrect Billionaire

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    Two news items about "the rich" recently popped up online within a couple of hours of each other.

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    Fri, August 10, 2012

    Obama's Popularity with Younger Voters

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    According to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, Americans under the age of 30 favor

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    Fri, June 29, 2012

    Euro is a Frankenstein Currency

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    What do Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the architects of the euro currency have in common? Answer: They both ...

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    Tue, May 22, 2012

    Me and Mitt: A Personal Glimpse

    Editor's note: A longer version of this article first appeared at

    What interesting timing. I had recently planned a column on my observations
    about ...

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    Fri, May 11, 2012

    Reflections on the French Election

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    The election of Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande to the presidency of France epitomizes the sorry state ...

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    Thu, May 10, 2012

    Yo Yo Economics

    Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared at

    President Obama recently referred to free-market economics as "you're-on-your-own economics." It's a ...

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    Mon, March 19, 2012

    Election Year Politics of Energy

    Realizing that his popularity may decline as the price of gasoline rises, President Obama is barnstorming the country, emphatically insisting that drilling for more oil isn't the cure for high gas ...

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    Fri, March 09, 2012

    People Say the Darndest Things

    Those of you past a certain age may remember the old Art Linkletter show "Kids Say the Darndest [sic] Things." The one I still remember was when Linkletter asked a little boy if he ...

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    Fri, February 24, 2012

    A Whiff of Privatization

    Three decades ago, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher implemented a policy called "privatization" to rejuvenate the moribund economy of the United Kingdom.

    Like the United States ...

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    Thu, January 26, 2012

    The Tax Rate Scandal

    When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney casually estimated that his
    effective tax rate is around 15 percent, progressives immediately pounced on
    the issue. To this ideological ...

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    Thu, January 12, 2012

    Sports, Concussions ~Contemporary American Culture

    If you follow professional sports, and especially if you are a football or
    hockey fan, you undoubtedly are aware of the rash of concussions that have
    rendered players unfit to play. Now ...

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    Thu, December 22, 2011

    The Five Best Christmas Movies

    Let's have a happy debate: What are the five best Christmas movies of all time? Obviously, tastes differ and change over time. Here are my five favorites, the ones I am willing to watch every ...

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    Mon, December 19, 2011

    Barry and the Babe

    Barry Bonds' Dec. 16 sentencing for obstruction of justice is an anticlimactic addendum to a sterling, though marred, baseball career.

    Without a doubt, Bonds was a great hitter who ...

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    Fri, December 02, 2011

    When Clarence Thomas Came for a Visit

    On Tuesday, November 15, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas visited Grove City College. I had a choice to make–whether to meet him or attend to the tons of work I had to finish before ...

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    Wed, November 16, 2011

    Green Boondoggles

    A barrage of news headlines on the [2]Solyndra scandal continue to remind us
    that President Obama made green jobs one of his administration's priorities.
    Those headlines also reveal this ...

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    Fri, November 11, 2011

    Veterans: What Is Seen and Not Seen

    In economics, the first lesson I teach my pupils is the lesson of things that are seen and things that are not seen. Actions have some effects that are readily apparent and others are ...

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    Mon, October 31, 2011

    Looking Ahead to 2012, 2013, 2014

    Whoever takes the oath of office as President of the United States in January of 2013 will inherit an economy facing multiple challenges:

    Undoubtedly, still-escalating federal spending ...

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    Wed, October 12, 2011

    We've Been ZIRPed

    It isn't easy to earn interest income these days. Interest rates on government T-bills, banks' savings accounts, and certificates of deposit are microscopic. You can blame our government and central ...

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    Wed, September 28, 2011

    The Boys of October

    "The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball."
    –Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones), Field of Dreams

    For over 100 years, baseball has ...

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    Wed, September 21, 2011

    Greece on the Brink

    The Greek government is in a gigantic financial hole and is teetering on the brink of defaulting on its debt. It has been able to limp along since last year only with bailouts from outside of Greece. ...

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    Tue, September 13, 2011

    Greece, Germany and the Fate of the Euro

    It has been over a year since I have written about the fragile condition of the European Union's financial system. The financial crisis of a possible Greek default has been papered over since then, ...

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    Fri, August 19, 2011

    Gold's Meteoric Rise

    The price of gold has gone on a tear this summer, from slightly under $1500 per ounce to well over $1800 per ounce, and it looks like it wants to go higher. What gives?

    Well, if you ...

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    Fri, August 12, 2011

    Deal or No Big Deal?

    As the August 2 deadline for a debt-ceiling deal drew near, many expected a big deal that would significantly change the direction of federal fiscal policy. After weeks of tumultuous negotiations, ...

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    Fri, July 29, 2011

    USA on the Brink

    Some have called August 2 "Financial D-Day." That is the date, according to
    Treasury Secretary Geithner, by which either Congress raises the debt ceiling
    or some government ...

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    Mon, July 18, 2011

    Solutions for the 'Tax Gap'

    In 2010, there was a "tax gap"–i.e., the difference between federal taxes owed and those actually paid–of $410—$500 billion.

    Some of the gap stems from ...

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    Tue, July 12, 2011

    The Limits to Bernanke's Power

    As chairman of our country's central bank, the Federal Reserve Board, Ben Bernanke is expected to put the economy on a sound footing and foster strong economic growth. Unfortunately, Bernanke faces ...

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    Wed, June 29, 2011

    Jefferson Vs. Hamilton: The Continuing Contest

    This Fourth of July marks 235 years since the Declaration of Independence was published. In this immortal document, the Spirit of '76 was given its fullest, most eloquent expression. The Declaration ...

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    Mon, June 27, 2011

    My Congressman's Tough Job

    Being a congressman can be a great job. It can be attractive for someone who relishes the ersatz virtue of playing Santa Claus with other people's money, who finds a year-round routine of ...

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    Fri, June 17, 2011

    Thanks, Pop!

    Father's Day is a poignant occasion for me, as for many. I never knew my biological father, who died in an accident. Mom and I lived near Detroit with her oldest sister and her husband, who were ...

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    Thu, June 09, 2011

    Swindling America's Youth

    We older Americans have saddled our youth with a mind-boggling public debt–over $20 trillion already spent ($14.3 trillion of "official" national debt plus various off-budget ...

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    Wed, June 01, 2011

    High Stakes Showdown Over Medicare

    The trustees of the Medicare system recently reported that the program will go broke in the year 2024–five years sooner than was projected just last year.

    The millions of Americans ...

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    Tue, May 24, 2011

    The Global Energy Superpower

    Saudi Arabia has long been the dominant producer of petroleum on the planet. Nature endowed the Arabian Peninsula with gigantic deposits of this vital source of energy. Many of us have lamented the ...

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    Mon, May 09, 2011

    Inflation, Food, Fuel ~the Fed

    As Americans increasingly feel the pinch of higher prices for food and fuel, the Federal Reserve's QE2 policy of creating more money has been called into question. Asked if the Fed bore some ...

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    Mon, May 02, 2011

    Millionaires in America

    Recently, CNN's posted an article bearing the title, "U.S.
    Millionaires Population Expanded by 8 Percent in 2010." According to the
    article, there are now approximately ...

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    Tue, April 19, 2011

    Christian Conservatives and Randians

    According to a 1991 Book of the Month Club / Library of Congress survey that asked what book had most influenced their lives, the two top picks by respondents were the Bible and Ayn Rand's Atlas ...

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    Fri, April 15, 2011

    How Radical is the Ryan Plan?

    Question for those of you concerned about the size of federal debts and deficits: Would you endorse a plan which would add another five or six trillion dollars to the federal debt over the ...

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    Fri, March 25, 2011

    Imperfect Justice in Snyder v. Phelps

    On March 2, the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case Snyder v. Phelps that illustrates the difficulty of balancing competing claims to rights and justice in our judicial system.

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    Mon, March 14, 2011

    Budget Tightening in PA and Across the Nation

    Pennsylvania's new governor, Tom Corbett, has submitted his first annual budget to the state legislature. It includes proposals for spending cuts and no new taxes. In some ways, the budget is a model ...

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    Fri, March 04, 2011

    Who Objects to Free Speech?

    Free speech has always been one of our most cherished rights. It has come under attack repeatedly by those who find it to be an inconvenient and unwanted obstacle to the attainment of their political ...

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    Mon, February 28, 2011

    Debt Ceiling Dance

    Once again it's time to talk about raising the statutory limit on the U.S. government's debt–the so-called "debt ceiling." Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has estimated that Uncle ...

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    Tue, February 22, 2011

    Wisconsin Unions vs. Governor Walker

    Editor's note: A version of this article was first published by the Christian Science Monitor.

    It is hard to overstate what is at stake in the dramatic showdown between Wisconsin's ...

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    Tue, February 08, 2011

    Honoring Reagan's Memory in the Most Honorable Way

    It is fitting that we are pausing to remember President Ronald Wilson Reagan on
    the centennial anniversary of his birth this February, a month that also
    includes Presidents' Day. There ...

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    Tue, February 01, 2011

    Economics of the State of the Union

    The news from Egypt has thrust President Obama's State of the Union off the front pages. While that news is critical, so is further analysis of the State of the Union, especially from an economic ...

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    Thu, January 27, 2011

    The New-Old Barack Obama

    The 2012 presidential campaign has begun. Not being a political junkie, it gives me no pleasure to report this phenomenon. And no further proof of this assertion is needed than Barack Obama's ...

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    Wed, January 19, 2011

    Hu's in Town: Time to Talk Money

    China's President Hu Jintao is visiting the United States this week. This means we can count on two things: 1) a proliferation of Hu/who jokes (think: Abbott and Costello, "Who's on ...

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    Thu, January 13, 2011

    On Reading Aloud in Congress

    Opening the 112th Congress by having a succession of representatives read the Constitution aloud on the floor of the House was a worthwhile exercise, despite heated criticism to the contrary.

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    Wed, December 22, 2010

    The Tea Party's Uphill Challenge

    The Tea Party movement and its millions of supporters have high hopes that the recent elections will rein in runaway government. While I endorse this objective, accomplishing it will be far more ...

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    Thu, December 09, 2010

    Honroring Bill of Rights Day

    December 15 is Bill of Rights Day. This year is the 219th anniversary of the adoption of the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution–the Bill of Rights.

    Few ...

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    Wed, November 24, 2010

    A Thanksgiving Lesson

    Every fall in my Econ 101 course, during the last class period before we part for Thanksgiving, I share a lesson from early American history. It is particularly timely, because it deals with ...

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    Fri, November 19, 2010

    Dead Man Walking

    Editor's Note: A version of this article first appeared in American Thinker.

    To Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, deflation is regarded as Public Enemy Number One.

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, November 11, 2010

    Thank You for Your Service

    We Americans tend to look forward to the various holidays on the calendar. Sometimes we pause to ponder the meaning of these commemorative days; often we do not. Perhaps in your own experience you ...

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    Thu, November 04, 2010

    Tough Times Ahead

    Now that the elections are over, attention is turning to the economy.

    The stock market rose steadily from the end of August up to the elections. Since the stock market tends to be ...

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    Thu, October 28, 2010

    Dangerous Election Year Demagoguery on Trade

    As is customary in the days leading up to an election, the campaign rhetoric is getting heated. Here in western Pennsylvania, Democrats have gained points in the polls by adopting an ...

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    Wed, October 20, 2010


    You've probably seen the headlines about major banks suspending foreclosure proceedings to reclaim houses from borrowers who have defaulted on their mortgages. This has the potential to be hugely ...

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    Fri, August 20, 2010

    Understanding Austerity

    Editor's Note: A longer version of this article first appeared in American Thinker.

    A couple of years ago, the terms "too big to fail" and ...

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    Mon, August 09, 2010

    Global Warming: The Big Picture

    "Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes the Global Warming Scam" By Brian Sussman | WND Books (April 22, 2010) | 240 pp. | List Price: $25.95

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, August 09, 2010

    Rethinking The Corporate Income Tax

    It is hard to find anything positive to say about the corporate income (i.e., profits) tax. Economists across the ideological spectrum agree that the corporate profits tax is woefully inefficient: ...

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    Mon, August 02, 2010

    Geithner Vs. Bush Tax Cuts

    I'm now convinced that the Obama administration is placing its political agenda above policies that would contribute to the economic recovery that millions of Americans so desperately need. That ...

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    Fri, July 23, 2010

    Lessons from History: How Obamanomics May Play Out

    The grand lesson of the 20th century is that Big Government retards economic progress.

    The evidence of this lesson goes beyond the socialist countries and their ...

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    Thu, July 15, 2010

    Three Neglected Ecoomic Lessons from American History

    In most, if not all, states, pupils must pass a course in American history to receive a high-school diploma. Unfortunately, when it comes to our country's economic history, most students are poorly ...

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    Wed, July 07, 2010

    Libertarianism vs. American Sovereignty

    Recently, Bill O'Reilly interviewed John Stossel about the dangerous situation along Arizona's porous border with Mexico. Stossel is probably my favorite reporter. I admire the way he demolishes ...

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    Tue, June 29, 2010

    Economic Information Worth Knowing

    It's easy to be overwhelmed by the bewildering array of economic data, statistics, charts, and graphs floating around. Often, we economists can't see the forest for the trees. It's hard to figure out ...

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    Fri, June 25, 2010

    Exchange Rate Mythology

    If you read the financial press or listen to what politicians say, you have probably heard many times how important it is for the Chinese renminbi (yuan) to strengthen against the dollar. Indeed, it ...

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    Wed, June 23, 2010

    Columbia Presidential Election: Not 'Too Close to Call'

    The just-completed Colombian presidential election took place in two stages.
    The first round took place on May 30. There were multiple candidates. Since
    nobody received an outright ...

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    Mon, June 14, 2010

    Reservations About a Balanced Budget Amendment

    Calling for a balanced budget amendment has been a staple campaign issue for conservative Republicans for years. Undeniably, our nation is beset by fearful fiscal woes. However, a balanced budget ...

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    Thu, June 03, 2010

    America Needs Union Competition

    I agree with President Obama that we need more labor unions. However, I disagree with his approach.

    Full disclosure: I have been a dues-payer to both the United ...

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    Wed, May 26, 2010

    Reflections on the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

    The explosion that sank British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling vessel/platform in the Gulf of Mexico in April was an unmitigated disaster. The accident killed 11 workers and has caused ...

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    Mon, May 24, 2010

    Tragedy in Amish Country

    I first met Levi almost 20 years ago. He was about 12. We had just purchased our land from his parents, Jake and Nancy. Being old-order Amish, Jake and Nancy needed a ride to the attorney's office, ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, May 17, 2010

    The Great Greek Bail-Out

    The sovereign debt crisis–centered on Greece for the moment, but bound to spread to other heavily indebted national governments–has taken an ominous turn.

    The European Central ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, May 12, 2010

    Good Cop, Bad Cop

    Economic error knows no partisan bounds. Republican Herbert Hoover and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt both adopted foolish, harmful policies during the Great Depression. Republican George W. Bush's ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, May 04, 2010

    Financial Intrigue in Greece: Should We Care?

    The intertwined worlds of government and finance are swirling with drama not
    seen since the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008. The epicenter of the current
    crisis is Greece. The Aegean ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, April 29, 2010

    Financial Reform: The Problem of Leverage

    Trying to keep up with all the changes in U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd's (D-Conn.) financial reform bill has been a daunting task. Two weeks ago, it was described in the press as "the 1100-page ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, April 13, 2010

    The VAT-Man Cometh?

    Editor's note: This is one of many articles from The Center for Vision ~Values dealing with the topic of our April 15-16 conference on "The Progressives." Click here for information.

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, April 08, 2010

    The Social Justice Fallacy

    Editor's note: This is one of many articles from The Center for Vision ~Values dealing with the topic of our April 15-16 conference on "The Progressives."

    Many ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, March 05, 2010

    The Governing Elite vs. The Rest of Us

    The truly revolutionary American idea of government as the servant of the people may be fading away. Many of today's so-called "civil servants" are a protected, privileged class. While ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, February 12, 2010

    Econoclasts: A Book Review

    "Econoclasts: The Rebels Who Sparked the Supply-Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity" By Brian Domitrovic | ISI Books (August 2009) | 368 pp. | List Price: $27.95

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, January 19, 2010

    A Moment of Illumination

    We've all had those sudden epiphanies where the proverbial light bulb clicks on and understanding comes into clear focus. I had one of those moments over the Christmas holiday season. In this case, ...

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    Thu, January 14, 2010

    Obama's Anti-Jobs Policy

    High and/or rising unemployment is always a political liability for a president, and so Barack Obama has taken the offensive in trying to persuade the American people that his team can get Americans ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, December 23, 2009

    Combating Recessions:

    The search for the right macroeconomic policy

    What should governments do to combat recessions? In the United States, before the Great Depression of the 1930s, the answer was "very little."
    Of course, the federal government was ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, December 17, 2009

    Jefferson's Warnings About Money and Banks

    In 1962, President John F. Kennedy hosted a dinner for 49 Nobel laureates. The occasion provided the opportunity for JFK to display his keen wit in the memorable quote, "I think this is the most ...

    [View Full Article]

    Sun, December 13, 2009

    The Theory of Moral Sentiments:

    Adam Smith's Timely and Timeless Classic

    2009 marks the 250th anniversary of the publication of Adam Smiths masterful
    treatise on ethics, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith, primarily known today for his hugely influential 1776 work ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, December 07, 2009

    Government Intervention and High Prices

    What kind of prices do you prefer to pay when you go shopping–high or low? Unless you're trying to show off for someone by spending a bundle, I'd bet that you prefer low prices. I've never met ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, November 16, 2009

    The Coming of Caesar

    We have a problem. This could be "the big one"–bigger than coping with the Ahmadinejads, Kims, and Chavezes of the world and bigger than our current economic woes. Our republic, our ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, November 12, 2009

    Psyching Out the Stock Market

    There's something about stocks that turns us upside down. For example, normally when something goes on sale, we tend to buy more of it; yet, when stock prices fall, many investors want to buy ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, November 04, 2009

    Sex, Life and Death

    Two summers ago, while passing through an airport, I caught a TV news
    story: double homicide in Ohio. The victims were a young woman and the nine-month-old fetus she was carrying. The murderer ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, October 28, 2009

    Cap and Trade Update

    On Sept. 30, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) unveiled their proposal for cap-and-trade (C&T) legislation. The Senate bill calls for a 20 percent reduction of U.S. CO2 emissions by ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, October 19, 2009

    Gold, Geopolitics, and the Carry Trade

    The price of gold has recently spurted to a new all-time high in terms of U.S. dollars. I'm neither an expert nor a market timer, but let me offer a few perspectives on this event.

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, October 12, 2009

    Honduras and the United States

    As this is being written, Manuel Zelaya, the ousted and exiled ex-president of Honduras, is holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, having been smuggled there on Sept. ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, September 28, 2009

    The G-20 Meeting is Over (Thanks Goodness!)

    Count me among the cynics when it comes to G-7, G-8, and now G-20 meetings. They seem to involve little more than photo ops and platforms for politicians to bore us with platitudinous ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, September 21, 2009

    Truth and Politics

    Many of us are cynical about promises made by politicians. "Campaign promises are made to be broken" is a venerable truism of American politics. There are "truth-in-advertising" ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, September 09, 2009

    Monetary Madness

    China, Russia, et al. are talking about shifting their monetary reserves out of U.S. dollars. Gold has hit $1000 per ounce, even though wholesale and retail prices exhibit a deflationary bias. The ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, August 18, 2009

    A Trillion Here, A Trillion There

    About 50 years ago, Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-IL) uttered his famous quip, "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, August 04, 2009

    The Next Great Depression, Updated

    "There is nothing inevitable about another depression. We have a simple choice: We can repeat the errors of the past or we can avoid them."

    Those were my words, Feb. 8, 2008. ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, July 17, 2009

    Remembering July 20, 1969

    For those of you above a certain age, do you remember where you were on July 20, 1969? I certainly do. Just as many of us will never forget where we were when we learned about 9/11 or heard President ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, July 16, 2009

    The Nuts and Bolts of Cap and Trade

    The purpose of cap and trade (C&T) legislation is to reduce Americans' consumption of fossil fuels–coal, oil, and natural gas–and to speed up the transition to alternate forms of energy, ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, July 09, 2009

    Upheaval in Honduras: A Defining Moment for the Obama Presidency

    Quick, what's the capital of Honduras? Probably fewer than 10 percent of Americans could answer that question prior to the recent news that Honduran President Mel Zelaya was sent packing to Costa ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, July 02, 2009

    No Laughing Matter

    Who won the Cold War? That's a no-brainer. The United States prevailed while the Soviet Union collapsed, and the People's Republic of China dumped Marxism; capitalism (free markets and private ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, June 16, 2009

    Detroit: A Glimpse into America's Future

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if, like Ebenezer Scrooge, we could have a preview of the future so that we could change our course if necessary? This can happen in real life. Such a dispensation was ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, June 15, 2009

    Team Obama's Auto Coup

    In assessing Team Obama's semi-nationalization of the auto industry, a slight alteration of the famous verse by Elizabeth Barrett Browning encapsulates my reaction: "How do I [not] love thee? ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, June 08, 2009

    Opening Pandora's Box: Classifying CO2 as a 'Pollutant'

    A few days before "Earth Day" (which happens to be the same day as Lenin's Birthday), America's ideological greens and reds received a present they have been desiring for many moons: The ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, May 28, 2009

    The U.S. Constitution:

    Living, Breathing Document or Dead Letter?

    In the concluding paragraph of my article about President-elect Obama's constitutional philosophy, I opined: "Our Constitution has been terminal for a long time." President Obama's ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, May 26, 2009

    A Closer Look at the IPCC

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is widely regarded in the media as the ultimate authority on climate change. Created by two divisions of the United Nations, and recipient of the ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, May 15, 2009

    Economic Strangulation

    The "greens" must be thrilled with the new Obama/Pelosi/Reid (OPR) troika in charge of the federal government. Three times already, the troika has blocked the development of domestic oil ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, May 06, 2009

    Obama's Two Achilles' Heels

    In my recent article "Checkmate," I made the case that President Obama's grand strategy has outfoxed the opposition, dooming us all to a massive increase in the scope and power of Uncle ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, April 30, 2009


    Some people I know react with incredulity when they hear television commentators remark on President Barack Obama's brilliance. "How can he say that?" they expostulate. "He doesn't ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, April 27, 2009

    FDR: Then and Today

    Economic historian Burton Folsom's "New Deal or Raw Deal?" is a truly important book. Thoroughly researched, well organized and fluently written, this reader-friendly study of President ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, April 03, 2009

    Two Americas?

    One of the favorite refrains of the class-warfare left has long been to lament what it perceives as a division in America between economic haves and have-nots. From the standpoint of egalitarian, ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, March 31, 2009

    In Praise of Capitalist Exploitation

    For well over a century, socialists, progressives, and even many Christians have railed against the capitalist exploitation of workers. They denounce capitalists–whether the Carnegies and ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, March 30, 2009

    More Bailouts, More Fed

    In the last week, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve each announced a major policy initiative for the stated purpose of reversing our economic woes. Don't hold your breath.

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, March 19, 2009

    Anger at AIG

    A raw nerve was struck this week. Reports that employees of the insurance giant AIG–the recipient of four federal bailouts totaling more than $170 billion–were now receiving $165 million ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, March 13, 2009

    The Ghost of John Maynard Keynes

    The Ghost of John Maynard Keynes
    By Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson

    The British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) turns out to have been something of a ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, March 06, 2009

    Into the Fiscal Abyss

    The U.S. Treasury recently released its "2008 Financial Report of the United States Government." In case you had any doubts, our government's finances are in a terrible mess. According to ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, March 02, 2009

    Three Books for the Current Crisis

    When my friend Paul Kengor, the executive director of The Center for Vision ~Values here at Grove City College, asked me what three books I would recommend to students if they wanted to broaden their ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, February 19, 2009

    Tough Times for Wise Virgins

    The biblical parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:1-12) is particularly relevant today. As you may recall, the five wise virgins behaved responsibly and prudently, making sure they had enough lamp ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, February 11, 2009

    Team Obama: Ready to Rock 'n Roll

    Ready for some political and economic rock and roll? It's happening. In 2008, Americans were rocked by the beginnings of a deflationary credit collapse and Uncle Sam's extraordinary ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, February 03, 2009

    Love That Economic Pain

    What would you think if you heard a prominent physician being interviewed and the topic of discussion was the breakout of a serious epidemic, and then the physician started enthusing about how great ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, January 20, 2009

    Assessing the Presidency of George W. Bush

    George W. Bush had the misfortune to become president when two long-term trends that predated his presidency reached historical tipping points: First, decades of militant Islamic ferment culminated ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, January 15, 2009

    'Only Government Can . . . . ?'

    Parsing Obama's speech on the economy

    Last Thursday, President-elect Barack Obama delivered a major speech on the economy. I didn't know if it had that legendary tingling effect on its listeners, but reading the text in black and white, ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, December 29, 2008

    Lessons from the Oil Market

    The longer I study economic phenomena, the more I learn two truths. The first truth is how little I know. This is very humbling. There is just too much information out there for any one human being ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, December 18, 2008

    The Problem with Monotheism

    When an author argues that there is no God, that's his personal business–something between him and the Creator. But when an author, in addition to denying God, asserts that monotheism is a net ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, December 09, 2008

    Dancing with Fred or Frankenstein:

    Free Markets, Socialism, and the Bailout

    Washington's $700 billion bailout plan is making a lot of people unhappy. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 has come ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, November 26, 2008

    The Big Three: Assigning Blame ~An Alternative to a Bail-out

    I've already explained the problematical economics and ethics of a federal bailout for the Big Three (see "A Bailout for Detroit"). The demise of the pillar of metro Detroit's economy ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, November 26, 2008

    Thanksgiving Thoughts 2008:

    The challenge of affluence

    Throughout recorded history, most human beings have been poor. Poverty has been the norm and affluence the exception. Given a choice, most of us would rather be affluent than poor, but in this year ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, November 17, 2008

    The End Game

    If you wanted to turn the United States of America into a socialist country, what strategy would you adopt? Joseph Stalin, the world's top communist from 1924 to 1953, is reputed to have advocated ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, November 14, 2008

    The Threat Within

    Human nature has a blind spot. We often detect external flaws faster than internal ones–seeing the speck in our neighbor's eye sooner than the beam in our own, to use the biblical metaphor.

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, November 06, 2008

    Obama, FDR, the Constitution, and Rights

    Earlier this year, in "The Next Great Depression," I noted several parallels between the political economy of the early 1930s and today. Another intriguing parallel between then and now is ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, October 23, 2008

    Hatred and Politics

    Politics in America is a contact sport. Passions flare and the rhetoric can get heated and nasty. Political parties stoke these fires, playing on people's fears as a key fund-raising tactic.

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, October 15, 2008

    The Dominant Campaign Question

    What issue(s) dominated the presidential campaign two months ago–foreign policy, taxes, health care? That seems like ancient history now. The one question that everyone wants Barack Obama and ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, October 01, 2008

    Thoughts on the Bailout

    The biggest bailout plan (so far) will continue to be revised in an attempt to win approval of a congressional majority. The goal of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 is to put the ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, September 25, 2008

    Blaming the Free Market

    It's finger-pointing time, folks. Whose fault is the ongoing financial crack-up that has hurt, angered, and frightened so many people? There is plenty of blame to go around, and the American people ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, September 23, 2008

    Economic Nonsense

    It saddens me when I see a member of my profession go over to "the dark side," that is, to politics. Politics replaces voluntary action with compulsion, private contract with coercion. ...

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, September 16, 2008

    Another One Bites the Dust

    September 15, 2008. Lehman Brothers, the giant Wall Street firm, declares bankruptcy. Merrill Lynch, the most famous stock brokerage company in the country, avoids the risk of eventually suffering a ...

    [View Full Article]

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