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Home / Tag Archives: Debt and Deficits (page 5)

Tag Archives: Debt and Deficits

Can Anyone Tell Me…

… why we should take seriously politicians who think that concocting increases in nominal spending power will keep the economy secure in the face of (1) government lockdowns that forcibly prevent a great deal of production from taking place, and (2) government- and media-stirred popular derangement that further dampens actual productive activity? We are “governed” – a more appropriate term is “lorded over” – by people who, if we judge them by their publicly spoken words, are imbeciles....

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Jane Shaw Stroup draws lessons from history about today’s renewed use of antitrust. Judge Ralph Winter has died. Bruce Yandle wonders why student-loan debt is treated differently that other debts. A slice: If debt is to be forgiven for named individuals, even by the federal government, it will have to be funded by some other named or unnamed individuals. Put another way, the books have to be balanced. Debt forgiven by one party will be debt transferred to another party. After all, the...

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On this Thanksgiving Day I’m thankful to awaken to news that the United States Supreme Court, by a vote of 5 to 4, has at least temporarily prohibited New York State from imposing, in the name of combatting Covid-19, certain restrictions on religious services. “Why Is All COVID-19 News Bad News?” Bruce Sacerdote, Ranjan Sehgal & Molly Cook document the enormous negative bias, in the U.S., of Covid coverage. (I applaud my colleague Tyler Cowen for sharing a link to this paper on his...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is not optimistic that divided government in the United States will keep spending sufficiently restrained. A slice: This debt explosion happened even though, during the 16 years under Bush and then Obama, Republicans enjoyed more congressional majorities than Democrats. But the Obama administration and congressional Democrats have been just as complicit. And the Democratic agenda has arguably never been more fiscally radical — more...

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Matt Ridley gives six reasons why he believes the new Covid-19 lockdown of the U.K. to be “a deadly mistake.” A slice: Covid is not a very dangerous disease for most people. The death rate is probably around 0.2 per cent of those infected, and most who die are elderly and suffering from other medical conditions. The mortality of those in hospital with Covid has almost halved for the over 80s since the start of the epidemic as treatment has improved. Lockdowns are lethal. They cause more...

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The great Bob Chitester is the subject of this week’s “Weekend Interview” in the Wall Street Journal. A slice: Mr. Chitester says his “absolute favorite” moment in the series [“Free To Choose,” which Chitester brilliantly conceived and produced] is at the end of episode five, “Created Equal.” Friedman is at Monticello, talking about the challenge of judging Thomas Jefferson, a man who wrote one of history’s greatest documents for liberty even as he owned slaves. “Milton concluded the...

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George Will explains that America has already been injected with a large dose of socialism, and the dosage of this poison is increasing. A slice: Wading waist-deep into political policies, the Fed is adopting, Eberstadt says, “the role of managing and even micromanaging the American economy through credit allocation, potentially lending vast sums not only to financial institutions but also directly to firms it judges suitable for government support. The Fed already dominates the markets...

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George Will urges that today’s economically and historically uninformed antitrust wolves be kept, despite their rabid howling, in their den. A slice: Warning against “monopoly fatalism,” the Cato Institute’s Ryan Bourne says: Time was, the A&P grocery chain was the entrenched “Amazon of its day,” with almost 15,000 stores by 1935. Seen one recently? Between 1976 and 1978, the government worried that IBM might have a monopoly on the “office typewriter industry.” A November 2007 Forbes...

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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Foreign aid”

In my column for the December 15th, 2010, edition of the I tried yet again to bust a common myth about trade deficits. You can read this column beneath the fold. Foreign aid Suppose Toyota sells a $20,000 car to an American and then immediately uses that $20,000 to buy software from Microsoft. Because the value of additional U.S. imports (a car) equals the value of additional U.S. exports (software), there’s no change in the U.S. trade deficit. Now tweak the example just a bit. Toyota...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy warns again of our so-called “leaders'” fiscal incontinence. A slice: Yet nobody in Washington seems to care about this disease of chronic profligacy, and COVID-19 has only made things worse. As economist John Cochrane of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution rightly notes, the pandemic response “resembles a sequence of million-dollar bets by non-socially distanced drunks at a secretly reopened bar: I’ll spend a trillion dollars!...

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