Keynesian Economics and the Fallacy of Boosting Growth by Destroying Wealth | International Liberty

Yet Keynesian economics has “perplexing durability,” probably because the theory tells politicians that their vice of profligacy is actually a virtue.

Jeff Jacoby explains why this is poisonous economic analysis.

Could anything be more absurd? The shattering losses caused by hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires, and other calamities are grievous misfortunes that obviously leave society poorer. Vast sums of money may be spent afterward to repair and rebuild, but society will still be poorer from the damage caused by the storm or other disaster. Every dollar spent on cleanup and reconstruction is a dollar that could have been spent to enlarge the nation’s reservoir of material assets. Instead, it has to be spent replacing what was lost. …No, hurricanes are not good for the economy. Neither are floods, earthquakes, or massacres. When windows are shattered, all of humanity is left materially worse off. There is no financial “glint of silver lining.” To claim otherwise is delusional.

Source: Keynesian Economics and the Fallacy of Boosting Growth by Destroying Wealth | International Liberty

Time for Republicans to Pull the Plug on Border-Adjustable Tax Scheme | International Liberty

“We already know that the flat tax is the gold standard of tax reform. And we already know the various ways of moving the tax code in that direction.

My advice is that Republicans abandon the border-adjustable provision and focus on lowering tax rates, reducing double taxation, and cutting back on loopholes. Such ideas are economically sounder and politically safer.”

As part of an otherwise very good tax reform plan, House Republicans have proposed to modify the corporate income tax so that it becomes a “destination-based cash-flow tax.” For those n…

Source: Time for Republicans to Pull the Plug on Border-Adjustable Tax Scheme | International Liberty

Will Trumponomics Mean More Freedom and Prosperity? | International Liberty

danmitchel

Dan Mitchell

I was sitting directly under a television in a Caribbean airport yesterday when Trump got inaugurated, so I inadvertently heard his speech.

The bad news is that Trump didn’t say much about liberty or the Constitution. And, unlike Reagan, he certainly didn’t have much to say about shrinking the size and scope of Washington.

On the other hand, he excoriated Washington insiders for lining their pockets at the expense of the overall nation. And if he’s serious about curtailing sleaze in DC, the only solution is smaller government.

But is that what Trump really believes? Does he intend to move policy in the right direction?

Well, as I’ve already confessed, I don’t know what to expect. The biggest wild card, at least for fiscal policy, is whether he’ll be serious about the problem of government spending. Especially entitlements.

Source: Will Trumponomics Mean More Freedom and Prosperity? | International Liberty

Venezuela and Santa Claus vs Thomas Sowell and the Little Red Hen | International Liberty

In the short run, though, the Venezuelan government gets to play Santa Claus. At least for 2016.

But it won’t have that option in 2017. And because the nation’s kleptocratic government is running out of victims, it’s just a matter of time before the system collapses, at which point the government either gives up power or launches a brutal crackdown.

Hopefully the former.

Though it would remain to be seen whether the leftist thugs who currently hold power are able to escape the country with all the loot they’ve stolen, or whether they get the Ceausescu treatment.

They deserve the latter.

Earlier this year, I borrowed from Dante’s Inferno and created the Five Circles of Statist Hell. At the time, I suggested that Venezuela was on the cusp of moving from the third circle (̶…

Source: Venezuela and Santa Claus vs Thomas Sowell and the Little Red Hen | International Liberty

Does “Wagner’s Law” Mean Libertarians Should Acquiesce to Big Government? | International Liberty

Back in October, Will Wilkinson of the Niskanen Center wrote a very interesting – albeit depressing – article about the potential futility of trying to reduce the size of government. He starts with the observation that government tends to get bigger as nations get richer.

“Wagner’s Law” says that as an economy’s per capita output grows larger over time, government spending consumes a larger share of that output. …Wagner’s Law names a real, observed, robust empirical pattern. …It’s mainly the positive relationship between rising demand for welfare services/transfers and rising GDP per capita that drives Wagner’s Law.

I’ve also written about Wagner’s Law, mostly to debunk the silly leftist interpretation that bigger government causes more wealth (in other words, they get the causality backwards), but also to point out that other policies matter and that some big-government nations have wisely mitigated the harmful economic impact of excessive spending and taxation by having very pro-market policies in areas such as trade and regulation.

In any event, Will includes a chart showing that there certainly has been a lot more redistribution spending in the United States over the past 70 years, so it certainly is true that the political process has produced results consistent with Wagner’s Law. As America has become richer, voters and politicians have figured out how to redistribute ever-larger amounts of money.

There’s a lot of speculation in Washington about what a Trump Administration will do on government spending. Based on his rhetoric it’s hard to know whether he’ll be a big-spendin…

Source: Does “Wagner’s Law” Mean Libertarians Should Acquiesce to Big Government? | International Liberty

Is Anybody Shocked that Higher Minimum Wage Mandates Are Resulting in Fewer Jobs? | International Liberty

While economists are famous for their disagreements (and their incompetent forecasts), there is universal consensus in the profession that demand curves slope downward. That may be meaningless

jargon to non-economists, but it simply means that people buy less of something when it becomes more expensive.

And this is why it makes no senseto impose minimum wage requirements, or to increase mandated wages where such laws already exist.

If you don’t understand this, just do a thought experiment and imagine what would happen if the minimum wage was $100 per hour. The answer is terrible unemployment, of course, which means it’s a very bad idea.

So why, then, is it okay to throw a “modest” number of people into the unemployment line with a “small” increase in the minimum wage?

Source: Is Anybody Shocked that Higher Minimum Wage Mandates Are Resulting in Fewer Jobs? | International Liberty

Nine Key Takeaways from Brexit | International Liberty

What an amazing vote. The people of the United Kingdom defied the supposed experts, rejected a fear-based campaign by advocates of the status quo, and declared their independence from the European …

Source: Nine Key Takeaways from Brexit | International Liberty

Data Debunks Notion that more Spending Is Key to Better Education or Lower Crime Rates – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary – Page full

danmitchel

Dan Mitchell

For both moral reasons and economic reasons, we should have small government.

But even a curmudgeonly libertarian like me also thinks it’s important to have effective and efficient government.

Fortunately, there’s no contradiction between these views. Indeed, academic researchers have found that nations with smaller government also have more efficient government. With Singapore being a very powerful example.

via Data Debunks Notion that more Spending Is Key to Better Education or Lower Crime Rates – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary – Page full.