I wrote a story about poor Clarence who retired in 1979, and even poorer Larry who retired last year. I created these characters to challenge the notion of calculating a real interest rate by subtracting inflation. The idea is that the decline of a currency can be measured by the rate of price increases. This price-centric view leads to the concept of purchasing power—the amount of stuff that a dollar can buy. It’s the flip side of prices. When prices rise, purchasing power falls.
Open Letter to Alexis Tsipras
Greece has no future, so long as it clings to the euro. The dollar won’t servce you much better. A drachma will only harm the Greek people. That leaves one other option.
The Great FreedomFest Debate Was Like Watching Tom and Jerry
With apologies to his fans, Jerry is an evil little mouse who constantly pesters Tom the Cat. Tom tries and tries, but cannot seem to overpower someone who is a fraction of his size and strength.
Watching Stephen Moore attempt to debate Paul Krugman was like that.
Interest – Inflation = #REF
The notion of nominal interest paints a misleading picture of losing purchasing power..
They’re Coming to Take Away Your Cash
The stories are all over the Internet. Governments are forcing us into a cashless society. Supposedly the pretext is terrorism, and the real reason is to take more control.
How Could the Fed Protect Us from Economic Waves?
Fed apologists argue that the economy would be even more unstable, if we had no monetary central planner. However, the fact is that it became a lot less stable after the Fed was created.
Are Hedge Funds Worth More Than Kindergartens?
"The top 25 hedge fund managers made more than all the kindergarten teachers in the country," declared President Obama in a discussion of poverty at Georgetown University. Calling them “society’s lottery winners,” he proposed to hike their taxes. Predictably, battle...
Falling Yield, Rising Asset
Our monetary system is failing, but explaining that isn’t easy.
Securities Regulation Harms Businesses
The problems startups have in raising capital caused by securities regulation.
Falling Interest Causes Falling Wages
Monetary policy is actually putting the hurt on labor. Let’s look at why.
A Salvo in the Battle for the Gold Standard
The gold tax is the key to socialized money. We can never have a free market in money if gold is penalized with a tax every time the dollar loses value.
The Swiss Franc Will Collapse
The coming destruction has nothing to do with the quantity of money. It is a story of what happens when interest rates fall into a black hole.
The Most Common Error in Economic Debates
Have you ever been in an argument about whether we should raise taxes and then someone tosses out a real whopper? “The top tax rate for decades after World War II was over 90% and look how the economy boomed!” Or perhaps you read a Paul Krugman column where he said...
The Doctor-Laborer Inversion
The battle over minimum wage is raging. Emotions are running hot. Some cities are setting the bar very high. For example, Seattle is mandating a $15/hour wage. Economically, the issue is very simple. Minimum wage laws do not raise anyone’s wage. This is because it’s...
Why The Founders Didn’t Give Us a Democracy
As the famous story goes, when Ben Franklin left Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia had a question she wanted answered. “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A republic, if...
Fans of Central Banking Have an Achilles Heel
Central planners constantly run into the problem that people are not willing cogs.
Why is the Gold Standard Urgent?
After President Nixon’s gold default in 1971, many people advocated a return to the gold standard. One argument has been repeated: consumer prices are rising. While this is true, it wasn’t compelling in the 1970’s and it certainly doesn’t fire people up today. Rising...
The Wrong Idea About Inflation
I write often about inflation, and often emphasize that it is not about rising prices. It is important that we define our concepts correctly. Inflation is monetary counterfeiting. Here is a quick graph I made to underscore the point that although the quantity of...
Perception vs. Reality at the Fed
Credibility at the Fed is about subtleties and about perceptions, as opposed to reality.
The Death of Goodwill
This is the first piece in what I intend to be a series, on the theme I think of as the Death of Goodwill. There was (and still is) a huge difference between the attitudes of people in America and the attitudes of those in third-world countries. I use the word...
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