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Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken

Ryan W. McMaken is the editor of Mises Daily and The Austrian. He has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014.

Articles by Ryan McMaken

Why Government Can’t Measure Your Happiness

3 days ago

When a parent leaves the work force to focus on parenting, this shows up in government stats as lower employment and less consumer spending — suggesting a less productive economy. But that’s not what’s going on at all. Original Article: Why the Government Can’t Measure Income, Happiness, or Well-Being.

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August Money-Supply Growth Rate Falls to 12-Year Low

4 days ago

The money supply growth rate fell in August, dropping to a 150-month low.  To find a lower growth rate, we need to go back to August 2007, when the rate was 1.59 percent. During August, year-over-year growth in the money supply was at 1.87 percent. That down from July’s rate of 2.19 percent, and was …

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Why the Government Can’t Measure Income, Happiness, or Well-Being

5 days ago

One of the central problems of aggregate measures of national income and well-being is the fact so much of it relies on incomes, wealth, production, and consumption measured in terms of dollars. This means only activities that can be tracked, counted, and ranked based on dollar values and production totals will be among those activities …

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Why They Keep Trying to Blame Capitalists for Slavery

9 days ago

The resurgent claim that the modern economy was built on slavery is yet another attempt to attack capitalism while also claiming “we are all to blame” for slavery. The slave owners of old tried a very similar tactic. Original Article: Why They Keep Trying to Blame Capitalists for Slavery.

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“Libertarian” Is Just Another Word for (Classical) Liberal

10 days ago

The term “liberalism” is a victim of what historian Ralph Raico has called “conceptual mayhem.” From its original use to describe the ideology of private property and freedom for individuals, the term eventually came to describe ideologies of an entirely different sort. By the mid-twentieth century, “liberal” was being used to describe a wide variety …

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How the World Views Libertarianism

12 days ago

Ask ten libertarians for a definition of libertarianism, and one is likely to receive about ten different answers. Indeed, libertarians have something of a reputation for internecine battles over who the “real” libertarians are. Most of the world, however, couldn’t possibly care less about these battles over how to correctly slice and dice the different …

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The Trillion-Dollar Military Still Isn’t Enough for the War Party

12 days ago

Since the end of the Cold War in 1990, US defense spending has increased 182 percent in nominal terms, and 44 percent in inflation-adjusted terms. In inflation-adjusted terms, defense spending is now about equal with the all-time peak reached in 2011, and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget estimates that defense spending will …

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July Money-Supply Growth Rate Climbs to Six-Month High

23 days ago

The money supply growth rate rose in July, climbing to a six-month high, but remaining well below the growth rates typically seen during 2017 and 2018. In July, year-over-year growth in the money supply was at 2.19 percent. That was up slightly from June’s rate of 1.98 percent, but was well down from July 2018’s …

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Why They Keep Trying to Blame Capitalists for Slavery

26 days ago

In recent months, several national media outlets and public figures have begun pushing the idea that modern capitalism is built on the foundation of slavery. Last week, while linking to a New Your Times article on the topic, Bernie Sanders claimed “America’s rise relied on treating Black people as literal property. “Meanwhile, a recent Vox …

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When State Governors Tried To Take Back Control of the National Guard

August 19, 2019

A West Virginia state lawmaker plans to re-introduce a bill next session that would require Congress declare war or call forth the state militia before the West Virginia National Guard could be released from state control and sent into combat. Currently, as The Intelligencer (of Wheeling) puts it: “the authority to activate the Guard rests …

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If Deficits Are This Huge Now, What Happens When the Recession Hits?

August 16, 2019

The Treasury Department released new budget deficit numbers this week, and with two months still to go in the fiscal year, 2019’s budget deficit is the highest its been since the US was still being flooded with fiscal stimulus dollars back in 2012. As of July 2019, the year-to-date budget deficit was 866 billion dollars. …

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Why Joe Biden Is Winning the Gun-Control Debate

August 15, 2019

There are two fundamental arguments most commonly made against gun control. The Anti-Crime Argument The first one is based on the idea that persons have a fundamental right to self-defense against ordinary criminals. That is, in a world where criminals have access to either legal or illegal weapons, ordinary people ought to be able to …

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The Dangers of Defamation Laws

August 14, 2019

Centuries ago, those who believed themselves to be harmed by “slanderous” words may have had to take matters into their own hands, perhaps through dueling, or even through just a drunken fist fight with one’s accuser down at the local tavern. Sometimes, these confrontations led to either intentional or accidental death. Over time, however, courts …

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Abolish the Federal Death Penalty

August 13, 2019

After almost twenty years without an execution, the Federal penal system has decided to proceed with a number of executions. NPR reported last month: U.S. Attorney General William Barr has instructed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to change the federal execution protocol to include capital punishment, the Justice Department said. Barr also asked the prisons …

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Lacking Self-Awareness, the Mexican Government Is Now Complaining about US Crime

August 5, 2019

The Mexican government, which has contributed heavily to Mexico having one of the world’s worst homicide rates, has announced it may seek legal action against the United States “for failing to protect its citizens after this weekend’s mass shooting in the border city of El Paso.” In a statement yesterday, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard stated …

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Media Focus on Mass Shootings Shows Disconnect from Actual Crime Trends

August 3, 2019

Following last weekend’s Gilroy, California shooting during which three victims died, media outlets have begun to suggest again that murder is a growing reality in the lives of Americans. For example, the Associated Press ran an article titled “U.S. already has nearly 20 mass killings in 2019,” suggesting the threat of dying in a shooting …

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Baltimore’s Homicide Rate Is Ten Times Larger than the US Rate

August 2, 2019

Donald Trump in recent days has repeatedly attacked the city of Baltimore for its very low quality of life, denouncing it as “rodent-infested” and noting it has a very, very high homicide rate. It’s difficult to find reliable stats on Baltimore’s rodent population per capita, but we can consult the FBI crime data on Baltimore’s …

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The Fed Rate Cut Shows the Fed Is Either Clueless or Lying. Or Both.

August 1, 2019

Yesterday, the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee lowered the target federal funds rate by 25 basis points, dropping it to 2.5 percent. The Fed had last changed its target rate in December of 2018, when it raised the rate from 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent. It now looks like 2.5 percent is the highest the …

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Capitalism Isn’t the Reason We’re Unhappy

July 26, 2019

Many critics of capitalism have given up trying to claim capitalism makes people poorer. Faced with so many obvious gains in the standard of living, and in reducing poverty worldwide, markets have won the economic debate over whether or not capitalism is the path to material riches. But the doctrinaire anti-capitalists have other strategies. They’ve …

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Capitalism Isn’t Making Us “Keep Up with the Joneses”

July 25, 2019

Anti-capitalists long ago lost the argument about whether or not capitalism is the most effective way to increase standards of living. Thanks to the spread of a largely-capitalistic marketplace, global poverty rates have fallen precipitously, life expectancy has risen, and standards of living continue to rise. The greatest gains have been in the so-called “developing …

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Bernie Sanders Shows Us How a Minimum Wage Hike Hurts Workers

July 23, 2019

The Washington Post reported last week that some workers on the Bernie Sanders campaign for calling for a wage increase to a the equivalent of 15 dollars per hour. This, of course, is the hourly rate which Sanders has long pushed for in legislation and on the campaign trail. But that’s more than what many …

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June Money-Supply Growth Falls to Third-Lowest Growth Rate Since 2007

July 23, 2019

Money supply growth fell in June, falling back near March’s growth level, which was at a 12-year (145-month) low. June growth rate was higher than only two other months during this 12-year period: March 2019 and April 2019. In June, year-over-year growth in the money supply was at 1.98 percent. That was up slightly from …

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Money-Supply Growth Remained Sluggish in May

June 26, 2019

Money supply growth inched up in May, rising slightly above March’s and April’s growth levels. But overall growth levels remain quite low compared to growth rates experienced from 2009 to 2016. March’s growth rate, for examples, was at a 12-year (145-month) low. In May, year-over-year growth in the money supply was at 2.21 percent. That …

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Why Are Progressives so Bad at Governing?

June 20, 2019

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Paul Krugman declared that the Bush administration failed in its response to the flooding of New Orleans because the administration consisted of people, according to Krugman, who didn’t “believe in government.” One cannot say that about progressives who truly believe in government, and believe in unlimited government at that. …

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Bernie and Ocasio-Cortez Declare War on the Poor

June 19, 2019

By slapping new regulations on high-interest credit cards, Bernie and Ocasio-Cortez will just prevent high-risk borrowers from getting loans. Original Article: “Bernie and Ocasio-Cortez Declare War on the Poor With Anti-Credit-Card Law”.

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Homelessness and the Failure of Urban Renewal

June 19, 2019

Homelessness today is often blamed on both “gentrification” and “neoliberalism.” When these terms are used in the context of urban housing, it is usually implied that too much market freedom makes housing unaffordable to large swaths of the population. Thus, we are told capitalism is the primary culprit we now find in many large cities …

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Iran: America’s Latest Drive for War

June 19, 2019

This week, two oil tankers exploded in the Persian Gulf, reportedly as a result of a limpet mine attack. Neither tanker flew a US flag. One was Panama-flagged, and the other was Marshall Islands-flagged. No one was killed. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately accused the Iranian regime of being responsible for the attack. Pompeo …

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