The persistence of Hayek

Featured image I was surprised to read what I thought was an exceedingly fair and illuminating review of two new books on Friedrich Hayek in the current (December 7) issue of the New York Review of Books. The review is by the financial historian Edward Chancellor. In “The Naturalist” he takes up Hayek: A Life, 1899–1950, by Bruce Caldwell and Hansjoerg Klausinger, and Liberalism’s Last Man: Hayek in the Age of Political »

Vaclav Klaus, After All

Featured image SALZBURG, Austria, October 19—Back in August of 1990 I attended my first-ever meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society in Munich, West Germany, not far from my current temporary location. I was still a sluggish graduate student at the time, long past when I should have completed my dissertation, but somehow I had contrived to snag a fellowship to attend, and present a paper whose precise topic I don’t now recall, »

Record Number of Voters Prefer GOP On Economy

Featured image This is from Stephen Moore’s excellent Unleash Prosperity Hotline, a daily email that you can subscribe to here. I recommend it: Yesterday’s other big news was this survey result from GALLUP, with a question they have been asking since 1951 with Republicans never scoring higher than right now: “Looking ahead for the next few years, which political party do you think will do a better job of keeping the country »

Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Under 30 Support Sending US Troops to Defend Ukraine

Featured image A CBS News/YouGov poll found that 48% of adults under the age of 30 support sending U.S. troops to defend Ukraine. I’m rather struck by such a high number given that the military is failing to reach recruitment goals among this very demographic. Perhaps they feel it’s a good idea as long as it isn’t them being sent to the front lines. The numbers drop off sharply among older age »

Et Tu, BLS? (With Comment from Steve)

Featured image I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when a federal agency is politicized. Better we should be surprised to find one that isn’t. Now, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (to be fair, the Department of Labor generally) has been enlisted in the Biden/Newsom re-election campaign. ZeroHedge and Kevin Roche have been on this case for a while. Kevin summarizes: For several months I have following, directly in the Bureau of Labor »

Bidenomics for dummies

Featured image President Biden’s minders in the daycare operation at the White House have put out an explanation of Bidenomics. President Biden struggles to read and articulate an incredibly stupid script for the masses who disapprove of his performance. This is Bidenomics for dummies, including Biden himself. How much longer can this go on? The video might have worked on Saturday Night Live way back when it was funny. As always now, »

Target Takes Pride

Featured image Target announced earnings in a call with reporters and acknowledged being hurt by the company’s “Pride” promotions: The retailer said it expected sales to decline again in the current quarter and lowered its profit goal for the full year. Executives said they would still mark Pride Month next year but with a more focused assortment of merchandise. *** “As we navigate an ever-changing operating and social environment, we are applying »

Election 2024: It’s the Economy Stupid

Featured image One of the largest political anomalies of our moment is that our economy is, by the standard general measures, doing okay or maybe slightly better than okay given the impact of our misbegotten COVID policies that killed so many small businesses. But a majority of Americans think it isn’t. Employment and economic output are finally back to the favorable levels reached before COVID, and while inflation is still too high »

Horatio Alger Lives

Featured image I suppose America’s work ethic peaked in the late 19th century and has declined somewhat since then. Still, compared with Europeans, Americans are considered hard-working. Thus the Telegraph headlines: “How hard-working US is getting rich while the UK struggles on benefits.” The world’s biggest economy has pulled ahead of the UK and the rest of Europe on an array of economic measures since the financial crisis of 2008. What began »

Is There an Honest Government Agency?

Featured image Pretty much everyone has figured out that the Department of Justice, the CIA and the FBI are run by partisan hacks who cannot be trusted. But what about the colorless, worker bee federal agencies that just turn out data? Like, say, the Bureau of Labor Statistics? Have they been corrupted by the Democrats, too? ZeroHedge has been covering the Biden Department of Labor’s press releases on payroll jobs. For an »

Down With College

Featured image For the last 50 years or so, public policy in the U.S. has trended toward the view that everyone, more or less, should go to college. This was a sharp departure from the historical norm, when higher education really was higher, and only a small minority obtained four-year degrees. It has become increasingly evident that the payoff for sending most kids to college is minimal, both for them and for »

Why Silicon Valley Bank Failed

Featured image Economist John Phelan offers this succinct explanation of how government policies contributed to the collapse of SVB: On Friday regulators shuttered Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and seized its deposits in the largest U.S. banking failure since the 2008 financial crisis and the second-largest ever. We shouldn’t be surprised. Neither should we relax. To recap: Between June 2006 and December 2008, the Federal Reserve’s target for the federal funds rate was »

Get those lies straight!

Featured image The White House has posted “Remarks by President Biden on Protecting Americans’ Access to Affordable Healthcare.” It makes for painful reading. I can’t afford the loss of brain cells necessary to take something like this in: Folks — and, by the way, you know, you hear ads of “Big-Spendin’ Joe Biden.” In two years, I reduced the debt $1.7 billion [trillion]. (Applause.) $1.7 billion [trillion]. The largest deficit reduction in »

The Price of Bidenflation

Featured image Yesterday the stock markets had their worst day of the year, so far. From today’s Wall Street Journal: Walmart and Home Depot offered cautious outlooks as consumers spend more on food and less on electronics, apparel and home improvements, with inflation and changing habits hitting demand for many goods. All of this is, and has long been, blindingly obvious. The federal government engaged in trillions of dollars in mostly wasteful »

Did Powell Just Throw the Climatistas Under the Bus?

Featured image There are a couple of noteworthy passages in Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech delivered earlier today over in Sweden about central bank independence, such as: [W]e should “stick to our knitting” and not wander off to pursue perceived social benefits that are not tightly linked to our statutory goals and authorities. . . [W]ithout explicit congressional legislation, it would be inappropriate for us to use our monetary policy or supervisory tools »

What’s Happening With the Job Numbers?

Featured image I wrote here about the fact that the federal government seems to have cranked out absurdly optimistic job numbers just in time to give the Democrats a boost in the midterms. But that isn’t the only puzzle in current job data. It turns out that America’s employment situation is a bit of a mystery. I asked my colleague John Phelan to explain what is going on. This is his response. »

Sorry About Those Jobs

Featured image Joe Biden’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over a million jobs were created in the second quarter, a heartening statistic that no doubt helped the Democrats in November. But now, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve says that those million jobs were almost entirely fictitious: The Biden administration vastly overstated its estimate that employers created more than 1 million jobs in the second quarter of this year, claiming historic job growth »