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Tag Archives: growth

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 6 of the late, great Wesleyan University economic historian Stanley Lebergott’s insightful 1975 book, Wealth and Want (footnote deleted): The first way to increase poverty in the United States follows fairly obviously from that definition [of poverty as material deprivation relative to the norm in society] – namely, to increase the standard of living. Raise the consumption level of the typical American and you create more poverty. When Ford invented the auto he created...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is rightfully unhappy with the Fed. Richard Ebeling reviews Janek Wasserman’s The Marginal Revolutionaries. Steve Horwitz offers his list of top five books that introduce students to Austrian economics. My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan is extremely intelligent and wise. Here’s more on progress from James Pethokoukis (and Steve Davies and Joel Mokyr). Mark Perry shares Katherine Kersten’s critical analysis of the New York Times‘s...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 184 of Deirdre McCloskey’s excellent 2019 book, Why Liberalism Works: How True Liberal Values Produce a Freer, More Equal, Prosperous World for All: A changing economy requires constant diligence and focus by humans, which is more likely evoked by humans owning the capital, labor, and land than by remote central planners. DBx: Yes. Philosophers can debate whether or not change implies open-endedness and, hence, genuine unpredictability and uncertainty. I believe that it...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is realistic about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the politics behind it. A slice: Now there is no doubt that passing USMCA would lift the uncertainty that is plaguing trade and investors today. But that’s a much different argument than saying that USMCA would make the economy stronger. Besides, this uncertainty was entirely produced by Mr. Trump, fueled by his desire to destroy all things free trade in America....

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Reflections on the Fall in the Labor-Force-Participation Rate

In my latest column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I reflect on some possible causes of the fall, in the United States, in the labor-force-participation rate. A slice: Indeed, the very length and timing of the 70-year-long decline in men’s labor-force participation strongly suggests that much of this decline reflects a rise in prosperity rather than in problems. In the decades immediately after WWII ordinary Americans famously became wealthier. The U.S. economy boomed, despite the...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 158 of Deirdre McCloskey’s insight-filled 2019 book, Why Liberalism Works: How True Liberal Values Produce a Freer, More Equal, Prosperous World for All: [Thomas] Piketty downplays the main reason that we are so much better off than our ancestors. The reason is not the character of distribution, but the ingenuity encouraged by letting people run their farms or their factories the way they want, taking the risk of failure and the rewards of success. We all agree that...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy gives good reasons for us Americans to give thanks. A slice: While millions of manufacturing and other “middle-skill” jobs have disappeared, that decline has been more than offset by an increase in the number of high-skilled jobs. In fact, a look at the data reveals that while the middle class has indeed thinned out, it’s because more and more Americans are joining the upper class, a phenomenon that we should applaud. Meanwhile, the...

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Desmond Lachman is rightly not worried that China’s economy poses a threat to that of the United States. (Indeed, I regret the loss of wealth – to the Chinese people as well as to Americans and all who trade with the Chinese – that will result from the failure of China’s economy to continue to grow impressively.) Here’s a slice from Lachman’s essay: Another factor that does not bode well for China’s future economic performance is President Xi’s apparent intention to destroy the...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 155 of Deirdre McCloskey’s 2019 excellent book, Why Liberalism Works: How True Liberal Values Produce a Freer, More Equal, Prosperous World for All: The danger is that each new generation will not realize how good for the poor the Bourgeois Deal has been, and will forget how bad the earlier deals have been – the Bolshevik Deal, for example, in which the government takes over the railways and the electric companies and the newsagents and the newspapers and your employment,...

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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “We’re much wealthier today”

In my September 8th, 2006, column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I did what I often do: push back against the commonplace assertion that middle-class Americans’ living standards hit a peak in the mid-1970s and have ever since remain unchanged. You can read my column beneath the fold. We’re much wealthier today The release late last month of the new Census Bureau report on income and poverty in America has ignited welfare-state champions into a frenzy of anguish over the economic...

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