Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Free Market

Are Living Standards Improving?

CD, DVD and SACD player.

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Five years ago Donald Boudreaux, Economics Professor at George Mason University and author of the website Café Hayek, bought a used 1975 Sears catalog on Amazon, and started comparing prices to those current in 2006. His results, at the time, were quite remarkable, and generated much traffic and conversation on the matter. For instance, the lowest-priced electronic calculator in 1975 was $13.88, and with six digits, it allowed one to add, subtract, multiply and divide. When updated for inflation through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website, that would be $56.21 in today’s money. Of course, it’s hard to draw any sort of hard conclusion from a single example. First of all, that calculator is no longer available. Those available today are vastly more powerful and versatile and sell now for just a few dollars.

Here are some others that he found, with updated 2011 prices from Sears.com:

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Super Bowl Ads: Watch for Chrysler

Pentastar Chrysler Dodge

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Tomorrow, millions of Super Bowl fans will most likely ignore the huge investment Chrysler is making in television ads in promoting its new 2011 models. Those ads are part of the vehicle manufacturer’s efforts to revive the company and start making some money.

Despite ending 2010 with a $652 million net loss, Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler’s chief executive officer, was determinedly optimistic, even though the company didn’t meet its net revenue objectives, and had to shut down some of its factories in December, despite providing more than $3,600 in vehicle incentives to move its older models off the showroom floors.

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Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Trim, or Uproot?

Doug Lamborn

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When Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) introduced a bill in the 111th Congress to defund National Public Radio (NPR), two things were working against him: the overwhelming collectivist mindset of that Congress itself, and the fact that NPR hadn’t yet embarrassed itself sufficiently to build public opinion against the agency. In light of NPR’s series of gaffes since then, as well as the more conservative tone of the new 112th Congress, Lamborn has decided to try again.

He observed:

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Prof. Alfred Kahn, Father of Airline Deregulaton, Passes Away

Pan Am 747-121. Most of its parts have been re...

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Professor Alfred Kahn, best known as “the father of airline deregulation,” died last month at age 93. His obituary from Cornell reminded his students and friends of his surprisingly significant influence in rolling back oppressive government regulation of the airline industry in the late ’70s: “He was largely instrumental in garnering the support necessary for the federal legislation that deregulated the airline industry and was the first thorough dismantling of a comprehensive system of government control since 1935.” (Emphasis added.)

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FCC Ruling is Irrelevant

Internet Map. Ninian Smart predicts global com...

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There have been sighs of despair and much hand-wringing coming from observers of the latest attempt by the FCC to intervene in the operations of the Internet. The noisiest came from one of the two commissioners who voted against the ruling, Robert McDowell.

Despite a court ruling earlier this year which limited the FCC’s jurisdiction over the Internet, and Congressional pressure to leave well enough alone, McDowell warned that the FCC’s decision yesterday is “likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices.” He concluded that this decision “may end up marking the beginning of a long winter’s night for Internet freedom.”

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Counting the Costs of Unemployment Insurance

Bismarck ca. 1875.

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As part of the backroom deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for another two years, the GOP gave the progressives an extension of one of their favorite welfare-state building blocks: unemployment insurance—which will undoubtedly add to the long lines of suffering Americans in our country.

Otto von Bismarck, the “Iron Chancellor” of Germany in the 1880s, first introduced the concept of state-mandated unemployment insurance. It was then forcibly introduced in the United States during the Great Depression under the Roosevelt administration and has been expanded regularly ever since. In fact, the proposed extension would be the sixth such expansion since June of 2008.

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The Fed: Defending the Indefensible

Cover of "END THE FED"

Cover of END THE FED

In defending the Federal Reserve against what CNBC considered to be “an unprecedented level of attacks,” former Fed governor Frederic Mishkin said it was because of the Fed’s inability to “articulate a clear message regarding its trillion-dollar monetary policies”:

Monetary policy is never easy. You’re always the whipping boy. The question [now] is the degree. Now you’re getting whipped with a little bit harder lash than usual. But you’ve got to make the tough calls….

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John Allison: Free Market Banker

BB&T

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When asked during an “Online with Terry Jeffrey” interview about how to solve the debt crisis facing the country, former Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) CEO John Allison, was direct:

If you run the numbers…the United States goes bankrupt. It’s a mathematical certainty.

Now countries don’t go bankrupt the way companies do. They don’t file [for] bankruptcy. They usually hyper-inflate. They print a bunch of paper money, or they become Third World economies like Argentina—unless [they] change direction. So, we absolutely have to change direction.

When challenged about how to change direction, Allison was refreshingly candid:

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“The Ben Bernank” and the Emperor’s New Clothes [VIDEO]

William C. Dudley, president of Federal Reserv...

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William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, defended the Fed’s recent announcement to print more money (called Quantitative Easing) to stimulate the moribund economy. Dudley, who is also the vice chairman of the Fed’s FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee), and former chief United States economist for Goldman Sachs, said that the decision to increase the supply of money was only to reduce interest rates further and not to devalue the dollar. He said, “We have no goal of pushing the dollar up or down. Our goal is to ease financial conditions and to stimulate a stronger economic expansion and more rapid employment growth.”

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Roubini v. Rockwell on the Gold Standard

Nouriel Roubini, Turkish economist, professor ...

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New York University economics professor Nouriel Roubini made a name for himself back in 2005 by predicting the Great Recession long before others did. Fortune magazine wrote “In 2005 Roubini said home prices were riding a speculative wave that would soon sink the economy.” The New York Times said he predicted “homeowners defaulting on mortgages, trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unraveling worldwide and the global financial system shuddering to a halt.” In September, 2006 Roubini warned that “the United States was likely to face a once-in-a-lifetime housing bust, an oil shock, sharply declining consumer confidence, and, ultimately, a deep recession.”

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Progressives Emerge Unscathed

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 16:  Sen. Bernie Sanders...

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The hard-core Left represented by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives will survive essentially undamaged in today’s mid-term elections.

Only one member of the CPC lost in the primary election, and only one other member is predicted to lose in today’s election, according to the Cook Political Report. Three other members of the caucus are in races too close to call. The other 77 members of the CPC will keep their seats.

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Bank Failures: 127 Down, 800 to Go

FDIC placard from when the deposit insurance l...

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When Zacks Equity Research announced on Monday the failure of two more banks in the current recession, the silence was deafening. The report blamed the usual suspects: “tumbling home prices, soaring loan defaults, and a high unemployment rate continue to take their toll on such institutions.”

But buried in the report was the much more ominous forecast of the “increasing … possibility of more bank failures.” Zacks said that any bank which makes the FDIC’s problem bank list is essentially doomed. “As of now, only 13 percent of banks on [that list] have actually failed.” The number on that list? 829, up from 775 in the last quarter.

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Wiretapping Your Emails

privacy

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As communications technology has raced ahead of government attempts to tame it, in the name of law enforcement, the Obama administration, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the National Security Agency and other government agencies have been meeting for months to come up with regulations that would allow broadening government powers to intercept, read, and analyze Internet messages, and then prosecute perceived violations of law. Arguments by proponents of further incursions into citizens’ privacy initially sound reasonable: new technology, and private citizens’ use of the Internet for private communications, have exceeded government’s ability to keep up, and consequently its ability to monitor, track and follow people is “going dark,” unless something is done.

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Who is Mike Pence?

Mike Pence, member of the United States House ...

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In an early straw poll, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) was the choice for presidential nominee in 2012 over such conservative luminaries as Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney. Capturing 24 percent of those voting at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit this past weekend in Washington, DC, Pence relegated even Senator Jim DeMint to a barely visible 5 percent.

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Meet Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s New Top Economic Adviser

Official portrait of CEA member Austan Goolsbee.

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Few were surprised when President Obama replaced Christina Romer, chair of his Council of Economic Advisers, with another statist economist, Austan Goolsbee. Goolsbee is the architect of Obama’s failed economic policies and programs, having served as the executive director of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board from the beginning.

A bright student at Yale where he enjoyed membership in the exclusive and elitist Skull and Bones secret society, Goolsbee went on to get his PhD from MIT, and then immediately became a professor at the University of Chicago. With stints at the American Bar Association and the National Bureau of Economic Research, he was named to Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers in March, 2009.

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Why Reich is Wrong

Robert Reich

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When former Labor Secretary Robert Reich offered his solutions for ending the Great Recession in the New York Times, he repeated the same errors expressed in a CNBC debate the week before.

Reich appears to have all the credentials for knowing what he is talking about: degrees from Dartmouth College, Yale Law School, and a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. Having served as a law clerk to the chief judge of the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals and then assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, followed by an appointment by President Jimmy Carter as Director of Policy Planning at the FTC, most would accept his opinions and suggestions for ending the recession as useful and relevant.

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Fed’s Bernanke Running Out of Options

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02:  U.S. Federal Reser...

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When Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on Friday at the Fed’s annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed-watchers from around the world will be hanging on his every word, phrase, and nuance for clues. They’ll be listening to hear that the chairman knows what’s happening in the economy, and that if things get worse, he has a plan.

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Stossel, Greenspan, and Ayn Rand

Cover of "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal"

Cover of Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

When John Stossel of Fox Business Network wrote his recent “Memo to Alan Greenspan” column, he recounted many of Greenspan’s failings while Chairman of the Federal Reserve, including especially Greenspan’s relentless expansion of the money supply and lowering of interest rates that set in motion the housing bubble that burst in 2007.

But Stossel got one part of his memo wrong.

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Railroads, Robber Barons, and Unbridled Capitalism

Steam locomotive O k (O d )

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When Matthew Josephson wrote The Robber Barons in 1934, he tipped his hand as to his personal prejudice against the capitalists of the late 19th century:

Besides the young men who marched to [the Battle of] Bull Run, there were other young men of 1861 whose instinctive sense of history proved to be unerring. Loving not the paths of glory they slunk away quickly, bent upon business of their own. They were warlike enough and pitiless yet never risked their skin: they fought without military rules or codes of honor or any tactics or weapons familiar to men: they were the strange, new mercenary soldiers of economic life.

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Fannie and Freddie De-​​listed From NYSE: Now What?

Fannie Mae headquarters

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When ABC News announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be de-listed by the New York Stock Exchange on July 8, writer Rich Blake said that “these once mighty enterprises will trade alongside stocks on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board, a place where many companies go to die.”

As a eulogy Blake expressed the usual statist paean: “It’s difficult to contemplate how the U.S. mortgage market could function without the nearly $6 trillion in funding they provide to this market and the institutions that comprise it…The housing sector would be in even worse shape if not for those twin…enterprises.”

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.