How do you know that? Why do you think that? How does that make any sense? I was a highly opinionated child with a lot of crazy ideas. But my Dad was patient. He never told me "that's crazy" or "that's wrong". Instead he usually greeted my pronouncements with some variation of those three … Continue reading Who’s Zoomin’ Who?
People want to understand phenomena. We want explanations for what happens. Journalists, especially TV and radio journalists, want explanations that can be summarized in 1-2 sentences in a sound bite. Randomness is pretty scary. And anything that's too complex to understand easily looks a lot like randomness. So what triggered this little nugget of metaphysical … Continue reading Religion, The Stock Market, and the Search for Meaning
John Stossel is a Fox Business News reporter. Stossel is an unabashed "libertarian" with a strong Austrian orientation on economics who focuses on economic issues. He's made a living out of being indignant and disgusted by "liberals" and "big government" which he sees as the root of all economic problems. He's been quite successful over … Continue reading John Stossel Fails an Education Test and Demonstrates That He’s Economically Illiterate
One of the my major frustrations as a blogger and as a follower of economic news is the way in which misinformation and falsehoods get repeatedly passed around as they were facts. For example, one common meme that we hear a lot is that the government, especially under Obama, has engaged in a massive spending … Continue reading The Federal Government HAS Been Cutting Spending – And That’s A Major Problem
In the whole crazy, unnecessary debate over raising the debt-ceiling law, politicians, reporters, and commentators all spoke as if there were only two ways to reduce the government deficits. Nearly everyone took it as an article of "serious thinking" that to reduce a deficit requires either reducing spending or increasing taxes. But rather than being … Continue reading There Is An Efffective Way to Reduce Government Deficit: Employment. But They Won’t Take That Route.
Yesterday I took a stab at describing what the consequences of a government default might be and I added to it here. There's basically three lessons to take away from those questions. One, nobody knows now exactly what happens, especially in financial markets. Two, it all depends on the specifics of a deal or no deal … Continue reading What Happens If Debt Ceiling Is or Isn’t Raised – How It Plays Out (updated)
Another in the series. See part 1 here. If the politician or reporter says something about "our grand children having to payoff the national debt", it's totally bogus. The speaker is either ignorant, foolish or has a hidden agenda they want you to accept. Sometimes they use phases like "saddle our grandchildren with debt" … Continue reading How to Tell If the Politician or Reporter Is Ignorant, Foolish, or Has a Hidden Agenda – Part 2
The Great Recession of 2007-2009, which has been morphing into a Depression, has been different from most recessions of the post-World War II era. It has been what economists call a "balance-sheet" recession. Normally (at least since World War II), recessions were the result of the central bank (The Fed in the U.S.) raising interest … Continue reading Private Debt vs. Government Debt
One of the reasons my posts have been scarce* lately is because, frankly, I'm frustrated and nearly speechless at the foolish talk and nonsense that currently passes for news about the economy lately. In particular, this year the politicians and reporters in Washington have been focused on the federal government deficits and debt. We are … Continue reading How to Tell If the Politician or Reporter Is Ignorant, Foolish, or Has a Hidden Agenda – Part 1
Normally I try to keep this blog focused on explaining economic issues and concepts. But in the past few days there's a political issue has arisen that's literally very close to home for me and I feel the need to speak out. Last week, Terry Jones and his assistant Warren Sapp of Dove World Outreach … Continue reading Free Speech, Free Worship, Private Property, Facts and Terry Jones