"Government help to business is just as disastrous as government persecution. ... The only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off." -- Ayn Rand
Congress has just approved an economically bloated $2.2 trillion spending relief bill, an amount more substantial than the GDP of all but a handful of ...Read more
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone should read Robert Higgs' economic classic "Crisis and Leviathan." The critical warning of this masterpiece is that government always uses a crisis -- from the Civil War to the Great Depression to World War II -- to expand power, not only during the emergency but also afterward. Emergencies tend ...Read more
It was just a little over 10 years ago, at the height of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said one of the dumbest things in modern times. The best way to stimulate the economy, she declared, was with "unemployment insurance and food stamps." Right. Paying people not to work will get more people to work.
Now here ...Read more
The Democratic presidential field is down to two old, white males, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Though they are said to represent two polar-opposite wings of the party, on one issue, they are in complete agreement. They both have solemnly pledged to destroy millions of blue-collar jobs across Middle America's oil ...Read more
Why in the world is the federal government, 20 years into the 21st century, continuing to pour tens of billions of tax dollars into little-used mass transit rail projects? In a digital age with increasingly popular and affordable door-to-door ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft, universal use of cars by all income groups and the revolution ...Read more
The U.S. Energy Information Administration just announced some spectacular news that should be banner headlines across the country: The price of natural gas has fallen to its lowest February level in 20 years. The data shows that natural gas prices fell to $1.77 per million British thermal units. In inflation-adjusted terms, the price of gas has...Read more
There's an old saying about baseball and life that no one ever had a 1.000 batting average. It turns out that's not exactly true. At least when it comes to the Trump economy, anti-Trumpers defied the near-impossible statistical odds and somehow have batted 1.000 on their predictions. They managed to get it wrong every time.
A chorus line of ...Read more
President Donald Trump's new budget confirms that without corrective action, trillion-dollar deficits will be with us for years and perhaps decades to come. Trump's budget plan has many smart and urgent spending reforms. But will Congress ignore them once again?
Alas, probably, but the longer we wait, the shorter the debt bomb fuse. But step ...Read more
President Donald Trump rightly touts the economy-wide savings from his deregulation initiatives. But one federal agency didn't get the memo. Some members of the Surface Transportation Board, which has oversight over the nation's network of freight railroads, wants to resurrect price controls on the industry.
It is a truly awful idea, and to ...Read more
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, President Donald Trump again talked positively about negative interest rates. That's not a very good idea considering negative interest rates are a warning signal of deflation, which can be as bad for an economy as runaway inflation.
But Trump was right to herald this era of low ...Read more
Almost all of us know (because President Trump boasts of it in nearly every speech) that our 3.5% unemployment rate has reached a 50-year low. But this official decline in joblessness doesn't tell the entire story of the improvement in the job market in the United States. And it doesn't fully capture the change in direction between what happened...Read more
Over the holidays, I read Elton John's biography, "Me." He writes about his friendship with Freddie Mercury, the ultratalented lead singer of the rock group Queen. Mercury tragically died of AIDS at the age of 45 in 1991. Mercury was one of the last people to die of the disease in Britain during the epidemic years. John writes sadly and almost ...Read more