Category

Economics

Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality

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Macro mystical Abstract blue color marble texture background. Acrylic color in water and oil.

A Rorschach Epidemic

The coronavirus has swallowed up everything. Its microscopic image — a grey mothball with small red crowns emanating from its core — is found in every newspaper, website, and television program around the world. Though the virus remains mysterious, it has revealed much about us. In a matter of weeks, it has become a global Rorschach test, exposing an infinite range of human preoccupations. The virus itself is a simple machine, neither dead nor alive, but it has inspired an endless stream of broadcasts, editorials, tweets, and multitrillion-dollar policy responses. Read More ›
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Masks and Scarves and Overdraft Protection with Arnold Kling

This week I sought out Arnold Kling to learn more about some of his innovative ideas to deal with the health, economic and social fallout from the Covid-19 crisis. Arnold, who blogs at arnoldkling.com/blog, author of “Specialization and Trade” and “The Three Languages of Politics” and with a PhD in Economics from MIT is one of America’s more original and penetrating thinkers. Read More ›
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The Charging Bull of Wall Street by @bantersnaps via Unsplash

Growth Without Virtue

The coronavirus has stopped our society in its tracks. Businesses are closed, daily routines are on hold, and families are huddled together indoors. With the headlines screaming catastrophe — death, depression, and despair — the partisans have retreated to their familiar corners. The socialist Left is hoping to permanently expand the domain of the state, and the libertarian Right is hoping to engineer a quick bailout and return to the “free market.” Read More ›
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Coronavirus Exposes How West Coast Progressives Failed the Homeless

The coronavirus has changed almost every facet of American life. It has disrupted work routines, sent children home from school, and stress-tested the global supply chain. Medical researchers have warned for weeks that the new coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, is particularly dangerous to seniors and those with underlying health conditions. But in West Coast cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, public authorities are quickly discovering another potential tinderbox for infection: homeless encampments. Read More ›
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Plot Twist

Homelessness has been circumscribed around a set of premises acceptable to progressive opinion. The homeless were thrown onto the streets, we’re told, because of rising rents, heartless landlords, and a lack of economic opportunity. But new data are undermining this narrative. Read More ›
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Bill Walton and Steve Moore on the Trump Economy

Last week I interviewed economist Steve Moore at a conference with conservative leaders. While the capital markets sell-off and bad coronavirus news had not yet had hit galeforce levels, as it has this week, they were looming. I’m posting this to remind us that even in the face of fierce headwinds, the United States has entered this troubling time riding Read More ›

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Seattle Is Socialism’s Laboratory, and It’s Not Pretty

Democratic socialists are in the middle of a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. Led by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and the “squad” of newly elected congresswomen, the hard-left coalition has laid out an ambitious agenda to transform the United States into a democratic socialist nation and Seattle has effectively become the nation’s laboratory for socialist policies. Read More ›
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Discovery Research Fellow Gale Pooley: Are We Doomed to Run Out of Resources?

Are humans using up Earth’s scarce resources too quickly, posing an existential threat to humanity itself, as the chief villain in the popular movies “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame” believed? No, says Discovery Research Fellow Gale Pooley, an economist and associate professor of business management at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, who more fully explained his answer Monday, Sept. 9th at a luncheon on Maui sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Pooley recently co-authored with Cato Institute senior policy analyst Marian L. Tupy a study, “The Simon Abundance Index: A New Way to Measure Availability of Resources,” showing that Earth’s resources are actually becoming more plentiful. Read More ›
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Discovery Institute Research Fellow Gale Pooley Launches “The Simon Project”

Are we running out of resources? Many scholars, including Thomas Malthus and Paul Ehrlich, believed that population growth would result in the exhaustion of resources and a global catastrophe. University of Maryland economist Julian Simon rejected their ideas. In his 1981 book The Ultimate Resource, Simon argued that humans were intelligent beings, capable of innovating their way out of shortages through greater efficiency, increased supply, and the development of substitutes. In 1980, Simon and Ehrlich bet on the future price of $1,000 worth of five metals (copper, chromium, nickel, tin and tungsten). If the aggregate price of the five metals rose above $1,000, Simon would pay the inflation-adjusted difference to Ehrlich. If it fell below $1,000, Ehrlich would pay Simon. In spite of a population increase of 873 million over those 10 years, the five metals declined in price by an average of 57.6 percent. In 1990, Ehrlich mailed Simon a check for $576.07 (read more). The Simon Project aims to continue to explore the relationship between population growth and resource availability using four new concepts: Time Price, Price Elasticity of Population, the Simon Abundance Framework and Simon Abundance Index. Read More ›
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The Simon Abundance Index

Are we running out of resources? That’s been a hotly debated question since the publication of Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb in 1968. The Stanford University biologist warned that population growth would result in the exhaustion of resources and a global catastrophe. University of Maryland economist and Cato Institute’s Senior Fellow Julian Simon, in contrast, argued that humans would Read More ›