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Robert Blumen



Articles by Robert Blumen

Recession and Recovery: W.H. Hutt’s View

July 29, 2021

There is a considerable Austrian literature on the unsustainable boom driven by credit expansion. When the boom ends, a depression begins. The depression is a transitional period of reduced production that lasts until entrepreneurs restructure capital and labor into sustainable uses. During the depression, there is unavoidable unemployment of both people and productive assets. The …

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Why Keynes Was Wrong about Unemployment

July 1, 2021

Henry Hazlitt’s second law is the observation that everything in Keynes’s General Theory is either unoriginal or untrue. Keynes’s theory of unemployment equilibrium is the most original aspect of his work.  Original Article: “Why Keynes Was Wrong about Unemployment” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Is Guaranteed Basic Income the Solution to Robots Taking Our Jobs?

June 30, 2021

The automation doomers assume that when jobs are eliminated by automation in one place, that the number of jobs are permanently gone. For this to be true, there would have to be no growth in the need for labor elsewhere. Original Article: “Is Guaranteed Basic Income the Solution to Robots Taking Our Jobs?​” This Audio …

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Wages, Prices, and the Demand for Money: Keynes Got It All Wrong

June 18, 2021

Markets clear. Or so was the accumulated wisdom in the half century before John Maynard Keynes. The British economist proposed a novel theory of economics in 1936 based on the opposite premise: markets don’t clear. While Keynesian theory is quite complex and his book widely regarded as unreadable, in his system, chronic idleness of useful …

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Why Stimulus Does Not Stimulate

June 15, 2021

Congress is hard at work on a stimulus bill. Doubtless their efforts will pay off. Does anyone stop to ask what it is about stimulus that stimulates? And what, exactly, does it stimulate? Start by spending a lot of money that the government does not have, borrow the difference, and the central bank prints the difference …

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Is Guaranteed Basic Income the Solution to Robots Taking Our Jobs?

June 14, 2021

The idea of universal basic income (UBI) is near the peak of the hype cycle. Democrat Andrew Yang made it the flagship issue of his presidential campaign. A small industry of advocates tirelessly push arguments in its favor. I will address two in this piece. The first: the claim of permanent elimination of jobs. The …

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Why Keynes Was Wrong about Unemployment

June 10, 2021

Large-scale unemployment is another name for a surplus in the labor market. Equilibrium is a state which markets will naturally move toward as buyers and sellers look for mutually advantageous exchanges. Firms can always get some value from additional labor, even under pessimistic forecasts of sale prices and quantities. Workers earning zero wages can improve …

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The Origins of Keynesian Economics: How Did It Get So Popular?

June 5, 2021

The British Austrian economist W.H. Hutt was a great critic of Keynes’s economic theories. However, his speculations on why the New Economics revolution happened are even more fascinating. Hutt shows it to be a fundamentally dishonest undertaking. Keynes held a long-standing belief in inflation and public spending. His General Theory was the culmination of his …

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Is Gold Money?

January 27, 2021

A store of value is not necessarily a medium of exchange, and in our current fiat money system, gold is not money. But it has most of the desirable properties of money, and there is much to learn form the process of how it became money in the past. Original Article: “Is Gold Money?” This …

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Is Gold Money?

January 22, 2021

Is gold money? Many would say so, and a web search returns tens of thousands of additional affirmative responses. If you want to start a fight with a gold bug, take the opposite view. But is it so? To answer the question of whether gold is money requires a definition. This one, from Wikipedia, is typical: …

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Yes, QE Creates Wealth Effects

July 31, 2020

According to Keynesians, wealth effects result from money creation, and they have a beneficial impact. The Keynesians are right that wealth effects exist. But they’re wrong about who benefits. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Yes, QE Creates Wealth Effects​”.

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MMT’s Very Odd Definition of “Savings”

July 30, 2020

Modern monetary theory, which is now experiencing its fifteen minutes of fame, contains a number of strange and counterintuitive propositions.1 Proponents claim that these propositions are not an economic theory, only an accounting identity. One of these is that the private sector can save only if the government runs a deficit. Within the self-consistent, tail-chasing world of MMT, …

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Yes, QE Creates Wealth Effects

July 24, 2020

QE (quantitative easing) is the primary means that the Fed uses to cause asset price inflation. “The Ben Bernank,” Fed governor at the time, later chair, in an October 2003 speech endorsed the use of monetary policy to create wealth effects. easier monetary policy not only raises stock prices; as we have seen, it also lowers risk …

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Are Fractional Reserve Bank Deposits Money?

July 3, 2020

It is possible to conceive of a world where fractional reserve banking is understood by both banker and depositor and involves no deception or fraud. But in that world, deposits cease to be money and become complex credit securities. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: …

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Are Fractional Reserve Bank Deposits Money?

June 26, 2020

The issue of fractional versus 100 percent bank reserves has been much debated. One of major disputes is whether fractional reserve banking (FRB) is inherently fraudulent, or whether the mix of cash and other assets to be held against liabilities is a business decision, to be made by banks and customers? This article will show that attempts …

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Inequality is Overstated—and Overrated

June 19, 2020

Measures of wealth inequality overstate actual inequality in terms of the standard of living of wealthy people relative to the rest. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Inequality is Overstated—and Overrated”.

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Inequality is Overstated—and Overrated

June 15, 2020

Whining and complaining about inequality is a growth industry. Thomas Piketty’s book (or perhaps a large virtue-signaling paperweight), about how the rich are getting richer, achieved bestseller status and is now a movie. Understanding the flaws in the wealth inequality argument is increasingly important, because the communist wing of the Democratic Party is now openly advocating …

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We’re All in This Together. But Not in the Way You Think.

May 22, 2020

Some claim “the rich” will be fine—or even better off—after the COVID panic destroys the economy for most of us. But there’s a problem: the wealthy depend heavily on an economy fueled by the production and consumption of all workers and entrepreneurs. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian …

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We’re All in This Together. But Not in the Way You Think.

May 20, 2020

We are all in this together. No, by that I do not mean what Andrew Horney calls “all those cloyingly saccharine, feel-good public service announcements being delivered by famous faces on television and social media platforms, telling us “we’re all in this together.” We are all interdependent through the production of goods and services that constitutes the …

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La Ley de Say y la recesión permanente

February 28, 2014

Lea esto en Español
02/28/2014Robert Blumen[Publicado originalmente el 28 de febrero de 2014]La explicación del panorama económico por parte de los grandes medios de comunicación es algo así: “Cuando hay una recesión, la Fed debería estimular. Sabemos por la historia que la recuperación se produce unos 12-18 meses después del estímulo. Estimulamos, imprimimos un montón de dinero, esperamos 18 meses. Así que la economía se ha recuperado ipso facto. O está a punto de recuperarse, en cualquier momento”.Pero por citar al comediante Richard Pryor, “¿A quién vas a creer? ¿A mí o a tus ojos mentirosos?” Un economista marciano que llegara la Tierra tendría que admitir lo siguiente: la economía de EEUU ha experimentado un crecimiento real cero desde 2000. Eso es lo que llamó la

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