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Tag Archives: Economy

A Little Rebellion Now And Then Is A Good Thing

September 24, 2012

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I often have cause to drive from Nevada to California on interstate 15 and so have been stopped innumerable times by the California Fruit Border Control, and asked where I am coming from and whether I have any fruit in my car. The ostensible purpose of these checkpoints is to protect California from exotic invasive species. While there are […]

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The Unintended Consequences Of Human Action

September 20, 2012

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With QE3 the Federal Reserve has initiated another massive round of money printing, buying $40 billion worth of mortgage securities while continuing to reinvest its income from the securities  purchased during QE1 and QE2. In addition the Fed has changed the emphasis of its mandate, from targeting price stability to making itself responsible for employment, promising […]

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Eating Fried Chicken Reduces Breast Cancer

August 13, 2012

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Starbucks will give me 10 cents off  my next drink if I bring in a reusable tumbler and save a paper cup.  Their advertising blurb encourages me to think of the effect on the environment if thousands of people traded their paper cups for Starbucks’ reusable mugs.  Retailers are feeling increasingly charitable these days.  The […]

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Platonic Dialogues For Our Times: Part II

June 11, 2012

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Optimistopheles: Pessimisticles, you’re so negative. At the party this evening I’ve told all my tech friends not to talk to you about the economy because you will ruin their festive mood. They all work in Silicon Valley, at cutting edge companies, and are convinced that technology is the solution to most of the world’s problems. […]

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Platonic Dialogues For Our Times: Part I

June 7, 2012

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Inflacionatus: How on earth can you continue to hold on to your deflationary views Deflaticus? The monetary base has exploded, inflation is rising and while the dollar has not fallen over the last 12 months, it has not risen much either, as one would expect during a deflation. Deflaticus: The monetary base may have exploded, […]

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A Meditation On Forgiveness

May 5, 2012

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I upset a very old friend the other day with something I said in an email. When I sent the email I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, but I was mistaken. Re-reading the email I can see exactly why he was upset. I had acted foolishly, rushed the email and used the […]

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Hayek, Candies and Keynes

April 23, 2012

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The debate between Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes over the nature and future of economics, spanned momentous times such as the Great Depression and the age of dictators, and it continues today posthumously in the discussion of how best to nurse back to health a wounded world economy.  Keynes, the optimist, believed that solutions […]

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The Fed: Money Wizard Or Wizard Of Oz

April 20, 2012

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In November, 2010, George Selgin, an economist at the University of Georgia, gave a presentation on the Federal Reserve System, in which he concludes that in virtually every conceivable respect, the economy performed as least as well pre-1913 (the year the Fed was created) than post-World War II, and usually better. He also finds that there […]

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Society At The Edge Of Chaos

April 20, 2012

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We tend to assume that history moves slowly and cyclically. For example, it is commonly thought that empires grow old, over extend themselves and finally collapse and that this will eventually happen to the United States just as it has with every other empire. Similarly, most people believe that global warming will eventually have serious […]

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The Rise And Fall Of Empires

April 20, 2012

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In his eminently readable book, Empires of Trust: How Rome Built – and America Is Building – a New World, historian Thomas Madden, compares the United States with the Roman Republic and argues that what is unique about both states is that they acquired their empire, not by conquest but by a series of alliances […]

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Touching A Sacred Cow

April 20, 2012

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With federal, state and municipal services in retrenchment mode perhaps it’s time to explore some alternatives, even it means challenging some sacred cows. For example, those of us who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, have become virtually inured to the sight of homeless persons on our streets, but how many of us have […]

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The Dishonor Of A Rhodes Scholarship

April 20, 2012

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Rhodes Scholarships are one of the oldest and most prestigious awards worldwide for graduate study at Oxford University. Win a Rhodes Scholarship and you are set for life. The scholarships are funded from the estate of Cecil John Rhodes, who was founder of the De Beers diamond mining company, as well as founder of the […]

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