Category: Economic TheoryThe analysis published under this category are as follows.
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
Politicians and economists get many things wrong, but right now, the one thing that really gets up my… let’s keep this clean and just say, nose… is how clueless they are about “trickle-down economics.”
Republicans believe it. (They just don’t realize how long it takes and that it isn’t happening yet from the information revolution.)
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Paul-Martin Foss writes: If you thought negative interest rates were as bad as it could get with central banks, you might be in for a surprise. Central banks have been so spectacularly unsuccessful with their accommodative monetary policies that they are discussing pulling out all the stops to get the results they want. They fail to realize that the reason prices aren’t rising is because they really want and need to fall. Bad debts weren’t liquidated during the last financial crisis, the debtors were merely bailed out. Overpriced assets weren’t allowed to be reduced in price. Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into the economy to attempt to paper over the recession. Market forces want to drive prices down, while central banks attempt to prop them up. So what to do when central banks aren’t getting their way?Read full article... Read full article...
Monday, March 21, 2016
In 1958, economist William Phillips claimed there was a historical inverse relationship between the rate of unemployment and the corresponding rate of inflation. His conclusion was that full employment (whatever that means) was inflationary. He illustrated his claim through a chart referred to as the Phillips Curve.Read full article... Read full article...
Monday, March 07, 2016
Georgi Vuldzhev writes: The political circus of the 2016 presidential election has revived and reinvigorated popular belief in age-old protectionist fallacies. Currently both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, are both in favor of expanding protectionist trade policy, with both of them arguing that free trade “destroys” jobs and hurts domestic workers and producers by exposing them to foreign competition. Both candidates espouse an utterly misguided zero-sum view of economics, in which one side to an exchange wins only when the other side loses. Both men are, of course, completely wrong.Read full article... Read full article...
Thursday, February 04, 2016
TPP is Economic Warfare, Trade Can Make Everyone Worse Off / Governments are Stupid / Economics / Economic Theory
Professor Yoram Baumun’s comedic retake of the Principles of Economics appropriately translates “Trade can make everyone better off” to “Trade can make everyone worse off.” Moreover, he translates “Market are usually a good way to organize economic activity” to “Governments are Stupid”.Read full article... Read full article...
Monday, December 14, 2015
According to popular thinking, not every increase in the supply of money will have an effect on economic activity. For instance, if an increase in supply is matched by a corresponding increase in the demand for money, we are told, then there won’t be any effect on the economy. The increase in the supply of money is neutralized, so to speak, by an increase in the demand for money, or the willingness to hold a greater amount of money than before.
What do we mean by demand for money? And how does this demand differ from demand for goods and services?Read full article... Read full article...
Friday, November 27, 2015
Michael J. McKay writes: The other day I was having coffee with a new friend, a retired businessman who had customized luxury cars in California. I mentioned I had recently retired from owning an investment firm and had studied economics for many years, especially Austrian economics.
Like so many people, he said, “I really don't understand economics and always have been confused by it.”Read full article... Read full article...
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Roger Bootle once wrote:
The whole of economic life is a mixture of creative and distributive activities. Some of what we ‘‘earn’’ derives from what is created out of nothing and adds to the total available for all to enjoy. But some of it merely takes what would otherwise be available to others and therefore comes at their expense.
Successful societies maximise the creative and minimise the distributive. Societies where everyone can achieve gains only at the expense of others are by definition impoverished. They are also usually intensely violent….
Much of what goes on in financial markets belongs at the distributive end. The gains to one party reflect the losses to another, and the fees and charges racked up are paid by Joe Public, since even if he is not directly involved in the deals, he is indirectly through costs and charges for goods and services.
The genius of the great speculative investors is to see what others do not, or to see it earlier. This is a skill. But so is the ability to stand on tip toe, balancing on one leg, while holding a pot of tea above your head, without spillage. But I am not convinced of the social worth of such a skill.
This distinction between creative and distributive goes some way to explain why the financial sector has become so big in relation to gross domestic product – and why those working in it get paid so much.Read full article... Read full article...
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Jonathan Newman writes: With the recent successes and announcements of sci-fi movies and TV shows like The Martian, Interstellar, and new incarnations of Star Trek and Star Wars, no one can deny that we crave futurism and stretching our imagination on what advanced technology can accomplish. Many look to the example of these fictional worlds as an indication of what life might be like when technology can provide for all of our basic needs, a condition some call “post-scarcity.”Read full article... Read full article...
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Following the 2001 dot-com crisis, interest rates were lowered to 1% and then slowly raised to 5% over a 4-year period. This timid policy still created a massive bubble in housing that finally bust in 2008. Instead of learning from the past, we doubled down on this same failed policy. Interest rates were then lowered to 0% and have been held there with little political will to raise them one iota.
We are now on the eve of another major financial crisis, yet economists (except Austrians) still don’t really understand the role played by interest rates in a capitalist economy. To avoid repeating economic mistakes of the past, we must understand the faulty logic that led us to these errors.Read full article... Read full article...
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Since 2008, central banks have rushed to lower interest rates to spur growth. This has induced mal-investments in almost all asset classes. For example, with oil prices below $50 a barrel and trending lower, the shale oil industry is in serious trouble as is the banking industry that lent it over $1 trillion.
Of course, economists and faulty economic theory are 100% responsible for what is to come. The professional economist today is like the doctor of the past whose prescription to bleed the patient was considered state-of-the-art medicine; the cure, of course, being much worse than the disease.Read full article... Read full article...
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
“Measurement theory shows that strong assumptions are required for certain statistics to provide meaningful information about reality. Measurement theory encourages people to think about the meaning of their data. It encourages critical assessment of the assumptions behind the analysis.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Per L. Bylund writes: What we have seen over the course of the last eighty years is a systematic dismantling of the contribution of economics to our understanding of the social world. Whatever the cause, modern economics is now not much more than formal modeling using mathematics dressed up in economics-sounding lingo. In this sense, economics is dead as a science, assuming it was ever alive. Economics in mathematical form cannot fulfill its promises and neither the scientific literature nor advanced education in the subject provide insights that are applicable to or useful in everyday life, business, or policy.Read full article... Read full article...
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
“Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?”
– Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune
“Economies naturally grow. People innovate as they go through life. They also look around at what others are doing and adopt better practices or tools. They invest, accumulating financial, human and physical capital.Read full article... Read full article...
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
“They just use your mind and they never give you credit. It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it.”– Dolly Parton, “Working 9 to 5”
Almost everyone wants to be more productive. I include myself in that group – there are lots of ways I could be more productive. When I have conversations with people I think are very productive, they almost always tell me they wish they were more productive. What more could anyone expect from them?Read full article... Read full article...