MARKETS

“Bubbles” and the Grand Selection Mechanism of Financial Markets

Whenever accusations of “bubbles” are thrown about, I think of these extraordinary stories and the grand selection mechanism that is financial markets.

The Curse of Automation

“A curse on machines! Every year, their increasing power devotes millions of workmen to pauperism, by depriving them of work, and therefore of wages and bread. A curse on machines!”

The Importance of the Middleman

They would gladly suppress the capitalist, the banker, the speculator, the projector, the merchant, and the trader, accusing them of interposing between production and consumption, to extort from both, without giving either anything in return.

The Loss To The Economy From Public Works

The State opens a road, builds a palace, straightens a street, cuts a canal; and so gives work to certain workmen — this is what is seen: but it deprives certain other workmen of work, and this is what is not seen.

No Better Investment Than Taxes?

It is nonsense to say that the Government officer will spend these hundred sous to the great profit of national labour; the thief would do the same; and so would James B., if he had not been stopped on the road by the extra-legal parasite, nor by the lawful sponger.

Disbanding The Troops

You do not see that to dismiss a hundred thousand soldiers is not to do away with a million of money, but to return it to the tax-payers.

President Donald Trump is a Classic Mercantilist

Trump is a classic mercantilist. A mercantilist favors exporters over importers and the use of government tariffs to promote (or “protect”) less efficient, but politically favored “national champion” companies against their foreign competitors.

The New Deal and Recovery, Part 8: The NRA

The 1933-37 recovery fell far short of reversing the collapse the U.S. economy suffered between 1929 and 1933, and that this disappointing outcome was the result of New Deal policies aimed at boosting wage rates. The resulting higher wage rates prevented the revival of spending from sponsoring a corresponding revival of employment.

The Politics and Economics of Plato, Aristotle, and the Ancient Greeks

In Aristotle, we find a more subtle and sophisticated understanding of some economic themes than in Plato. While Aristotle’s answers were incomplete and often misdirected, as well as incorrect, he at least was among the first to ask the types of questions that centuries later became part of the heart of economic analysis and understanding.

How Labor Unions Can Be Anti-Labor

To anyone who understands the role of the productivity of labor in raising real wages, it should be obvious that the unions’ policy of combating the rise in the productivity of labor renders them in fact a leading enemy of the rise in real wages.

The New Deal and Recovery, Part 5: The Banking Crisis

To understand how the world’s largest economy ended up shutting-down its entire banking system, one must first be aware of a long-standing defect of that system and of how it led, first to the proliferation of small and under-diversified banks, and then to as many bank failures.

The New Deal and Recovery, Part 4: FDR’s Fed

If ever an administration had control over Fed policy, and monetary policy more generally, FDR’s was it. It follows that, if monetary policy did less than it should have to end the Great Depression, the Roosevelt administration must bear a good share of the blame.

 

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