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Inflation, Shortages, and Social Democracy in Venezuela

Опубликовано в Articles in English декабря 02 2013

Matt McCaffrey, Carmen Dorobat

November 29, 2013

The economic turmoil in Venezuela has received increasing international media attention over the past few months. In September, the toilet paper shortage (which followed food shortages and electricity blackouts) resulted in the "temporary occupation" of the Paper Manufacturing Company, as armed troops were sent to ensure the "fair distribution" of available stocks. Similar action occurred a few days ago against electronics stores: President Nicolás Maduro accused electronics vendors of price-gouging, and jailed them with the warning that "this is just the start of what I'm going to do to protect the Venezuelan people."


Gary Galles
November 22, 2013
"We paid our Social Security and Medicare taxes; we earned our benefits." It is that belief among senior citizens that President Obama was pandering to when, in his second inaugural address, he claimed that those programs "strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers."

If Social Security and Medicare both involved people voluntarily financing their own benefits, an argument could be made for seniors' "earned benefits" view. But they have not. They have redistributed tens of trillions of dollars of wealth to themselves from those younger.

Social Security and Medicare have transferred those trillions because they have been partial Ponzi schemes.


Monsanto’s Friends in High Places

Опубликовано в Articles in English ноября 11 2013

Hunter Lewis

Editor's Note: The following is adapted from Hunter Lewis's new book Crony Capitalism in America, now available in the Mises Store.

Many companies hope to send an employee into a government agency to influence regulation. How much better if the employee can actually shape government regulation to promote and sell a specific product! Monsanto seems to have accomplished this — and much more.

Michael Taylor is among a number of people with Monsanto ties who have worked in government in recent years. He worked for the Nixon and Reagan Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s, then became a lawyer representing Monsanto. In 1991, he returned to the FDA as Deputy Commissioner for Policy under George H. W. Bush, and helped secure approval for Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine (cow) growth hormone, despite it being banned in Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.


Inflation Is the Last Thing We Need

Опубликовано в Articles in English ноября 04 2013

Inflation serves the governing class and hurts honest, hardworking people.

Sheldon Richman

One is Harvard economist Kenneth S. Rogoff, quoted in the Times: "Weighed against the political, social and economic risks of continued slow growth after a once-in-a-century financial crisis, a sustained burst of moderate inflation is not something to worry about. It should be embraced." He favors an annual rate of 6 percent.
"I think higher inflation would help," economist Jared Bernstein of the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities added.
The Federal Reserve is another place to find advocates of inflation. This includes President Obama's choice to succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chair, Janet Yellen.
These people are saying, in effect, that you and I have too much purchasing power. Got that?Too much purchasing power.
Raise your hand if you think you have too much purchasing power. Anyone? I didn't think so.


Two Types of Individualism

Опубликовано в Articles in English октября 28 2013

Friedrich A. Hayek

Editor's Note: This selection is from F.A. Hayek's Individualism and Economic Order, now available as an ebook in the Mises Store. In this selection, Hayek contrasts two types of individualism: one that leads to freedom and spontaneous order, and the other that leads to collectivism and controlled economies.

Before I explain what I mean by true individualism, it may be useful if I give some indication of the intellectual tradition to which it belongs. The true individualism which I shall try to defend began its modern development with John Locke, and particularly with Bernard Mandeville and David Hume, and achieved full stature for the first time in the work of Josiah Tucker, Adam Ferguson, and Adam Smith and in that of their great contemporary, Edmund Burke — the man whom Smith described as the only person he ever knew who thought on economic subjects exactly as he did without any previous communication having passed between them.


To Save Europe, Free the Markets

Опубликовано в Articles in English октября 21 2013

Frank Hollenbeck
October 19, 2013

The current European economic strategy is to kick the can down the road. Debt levels in almost all European countries continue to rise and growth seems to be a long forgotten memory. The day of reckoning is around the corner, as Rudi Dornbush once warned, "[t]he crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought, and that's sort of exactly the Mexican story. It took forever and then it took a night."


Обещай на стэнд-бай

Опубликовано в Articles in English октября 21 2013

МВФ и Беларусь могут войти в ту же реку трижды

Ярослав Романчук

12 января 2009 года Международный валютный фонд выделил Беларуси кредит «стэнд-бай» в объёме $2,46 млрд. под 5% почти на 5 лет. Позже Фонд добавил под обещания белорусских властей строить рынок ещё $1 млрд. 4 июня 2011г. Совет Антикризисного фонда ЕврАзЭС выделил правительству РБ кредит $3 млрд. под 4,1% годовых на 10 лет. Белорусские власти особо не утруждали себя изменениями бизнес планов для внешних кредиторов. Набор обещаний был примерно одинаковым: макроэкономическая стабилизация, структурные реформы, ценовая либерализация и создание рыночных институтов, которые бы позволили белорусской экономике развиваться самостоятельно. Сегодня мы видим, что цели и задачи кредитных программ не выполнены. Деньги кредиторов были потрачены впустую, отяготив страну миллиардами долларов внешнего долга.


How Much Longer Will the Dollar be the Reserve Currency?

Опубликовано в Articles in English октября 14 2013

Patrick Barron
October 12, 2013

We use the term "reserve currency" when referring to the common use of the dollar by other countries when settling their international trade accounts. For example, if Canada buys goods from China, it may pay China in US dollars rather than Canadian dollars, and vice versa. However, the foundation from which the term originated no longer exists, and today the dollar is called a "reserve currency" simply because foreign countries hold it in great quantity to facilitate trade.


Ryan McMaken
October 05, 2013

There is a common assumption among politicians that voters want a lot of government services, but don't want to pay for them. It's certainly true that taxpayers don't like paying taxes, and this is demonstrated in the fact that the federal government runs a deficit virtually every single year. If the taxpayers didn't mind paying the full cost of government, the feds would be able to collect enough in revenue to pay the bills. As it is, the political realities of public opposition to taxation drive the feds to resort to deficit spending to cover their costs.


The American Economy is Not a Free-Market Economy

Опубликовано в Articles in English сентября 30 2013

David Gordon

Crony Capitalism in America, 2008-2012. By Hunter Lewis

Those of us who favor the free market must confront a problem. The virtues of the market, and the vices of socialism and interventionism, have been made incontestably clear by Mises, Rothbard, Hazlitt and others. The case for the free market, as these great figures explain it, can readily be grasped and demands no esoteric knowledge. Yet many academics reject the market. They condemn capitalism for leaving many in poverty and for glaring inequalities. How can so many academics fail to grasp what seem to us obvious truths?


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