Center on Wealth & Poverty

Regulating the Unknown

What is a “hedge fund”? If you have trouble answering the question, you are not alone, because the term is commonly used to describe many types of pooled investments that may have little in common with each other. Despite the lack of agreement about what is meant by the term hedge fund, some politicians, commentators and financial regulators now advocate Read More ›

Collapsing Venezuela

If Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez deliberately intended to sabotage his nation’s economy, he would be hard-pressed to do anything different from what he is now doing to his country. It has been widely reported that Mr. Chavez has been increasingly taking control of the oil, telecommunications and energy sectors, as well as the media. What has not been reported is Read More ›

Tax Thralldom Network

This is a story about an international organization — The Tax Justice Network (TJN) — that advocates higher taxes, yet flies under the false label of “tax justice.” Its odd concept of tax justice includes: Increasing taxes on savings and productive investment, which will destroy jobs and economic opportunity. Demanding that more efficient and less corrupt governments increase their taxes Read More ›

Who Spends Your Money Better?

For charitable and educational spending, do you think you or the government can make a wiser decision on how your money should be spent? The question is important because Congress will soon again debate whether to abolish the estate and gift tax. The advocates for keeping the estate and gift tax are the normal big government types with socialist leanings, Read More ›

Economics Is Not For Actuaries

Would conservatives please forget the Social Security “problem”? As Peter Drucker once wrote in these pages, “Don’t solve problems, pursue opportunities.” When Republicans solve “problems,” they feed their failures, starve their strengths, and fritter away their remaining power in political imbroglios and special interest pork-fests. Nothing good is going to come from political haggling over some hypothetical Social Security crisis Read More ›

A Worthy Presidential Legacy

It is hard to get there if you don’t know where you want to go. Despite the Democrats gaining control of Congress and his own previous mistakes, President Bush still has the opportunity to leave a constructive economic legacy, but to do so he must first clearly define his goals and determine what is realistically doable. Over the last couple Read More ›

Kosovo: Eternally Dependent?

PRISTINA, Kosovo. — This small European nonstate tucked between Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia is a living testament to the inability of the U.N. to solve problems. As some will recall, eight long years ago NATO and the U.N. intervened to stop the war between Serbia and its province of Kosovo, largely inhabited by people of Albanian origin (more than Read More ›

Pandering to Ignorance

If the price of oranges increases, would you expect the quantity sold to rise or fall? I expect most of you reading that question would answer, “sales would fall,” because you were either taught the law of demand or intuitively understand that when prices rise people will spend less (there are a few rare exceptions). Congress is expected to increase Read More ›

Russian Bear Sets a Trap

Have you noticed New York residents do not fear a cutoff of their natural gas supplies because of a potential political or economic dispute with Texas? But envision a scenario where the State of Texas owned all of the natural gas in that state and the distribution network to other states, and where the governor of Texas decided to ignore Read More ›