Tomas Salamanca

Profile photo of Tomas Salamanca

Tomas Salamanca is a Canadian Scholar.

  • Blog
    What Else Piketty Says — on Inflation, Canada, and Democracy

    With all the commentary that has greeted the publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, there seems to be little left to say about the book. However, it being a huge book, there’s more in it than has been captured amidst all the focus on the inequalities that Piketty has...

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    The Most Convincing Argument for Natural Rights

    James E. Miller has sparked a debate on this blog about the biggest question in moral philosophy: is there a natural foundation for justice or are notions of right and wrong the product of human contrivance? That is a question whose answer must determine the kind of case  that can be made...

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    Sociologists Spot the Blinders of Macroeconomics

    Sociology is the last place from which one would expect helpful insights into the workings of the Fed.   While at one time the field produced some illuminating work on economic topics — think of Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism or Georg Simmel’s The Philosophy of Money — it...

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    Misunderstanding Machiavelli

    An op-ed page discussion of Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince is the last place to expect another bit...

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    The Limits of Stock Chart Reading

    Any time people are compelled to decipher the future, strange methods and theories are sure to abound....

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    Conrad Black's Faulty Economic History Lesson

    Conrad Black has a capacious knowledge of history, which often makes for an enjoyable read of his regular Saturday column in the National Post. This Saturday, however, Black’s attempt to put the current economic recovery, as sluggish as that has been since 2009, into historical context shows the perils of ignoring a cardinal...

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    The World-View Behind Minimum Wage Advocacy

    It’s at times like these, with minimum wage laws suddenly in vogue again, that one realizes that...

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    Why Christianity Will Never Be at Peace with Free Markets

    More than any recent Christmas season, Christianity’s position regarding free markets is a hot topic of discussion....

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    Greenspan Still Doesn’t Get It

    Until recently, Alan Greenspan’s main argument to exonerate himself of responsibility for the 2007-2009 financial crisis has consisted in the claim that strong Asian demand for US treasury bonds kept interest rates on mortgages unusually low. Though he has not given up on this defense,  he is now emphasizing a different tack,...

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    The Case for Investing in Gold

    The last two years have been disappointing for gold investors and what happened this week to the...

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    Five Years after Lehman — What We Ought to Remember

    Over the last several days,  a multitude of retrospectives have been penned on the 2008 financial crisis, yesterday (September 15) being the 5th anniversary of Lehman Brother’s bankruptcy. The pivotal event in that crisis, however, was not the failure of what was then the 4th largest investment bank in the U.S. It...

  • Blog
    A Labour Day Conversation about Unions

    Lucas: Good morning, Rick. You look to be in something of a hurry. Rick: Yes, I’m off to the Labour Day parade downtown. I’m one of the organizers. Lucas: I never figured you for a union guy. Are the employees at the used book store you run unionized? Rick: No, I only have two...

  • Blog
    Should an Attack be Launched Against Syria?

    With US President Obama now seeking authorization from Congress to attack Syria, the already spirited debate surrounding the advisability of such military action is bound to get even more lively in the coming days. To make sense of all the argumentation and rhetoric, I am once again going to apply an old...

  • Blog
    Is Libertarianism Naive about Foreign Policy?

    Like David Frum, Charles Krauthammer is one of those Republican party sympathizers apprehensive at the way the GOP has assumed a more libertarian hue with the ascent of the Ron Paul wing of the party. This sentiment expressed itself again in his latest column for The Washington Post, carried here in Canada...

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    We Learned an Important Monetary Lesson This Week

    Austrian critics of the Fed’s unprecedented money printing since 2009 have sometimes been taken to task for prophesying a hyperinflationary day of reckoning that is still nowhere near in sight. How can the Fed be pumping too much money into the economy, ask the Paul Krugmans of this world, if the inflation...

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    About Us So-Called “Bubble Mongers”

    Even if at a slower pace than before, house prices in Canada continue to climb. The average house price in Canada now stands at $388,900, up 3.7% over the past year. Looking at more statistically refined barometers, the MLS House Price Index is up 2.3%  year over year, while the Teranet National...

  • Blog
    Debating the Legality of Prostitution

    Later this week, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear arguments in a constitutional challenge of our prostitution laws. As an experiment, I endeavor to answer this question using a method made famous by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica. While Aquinas didn’t use this method to defend classical liberal positions...

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    Laughter at the Central Bank

    Defying the stereotype of the central banker as a serious and staid personality, it turns out those who formulate policy at the Fed have been known to crack a joke or two while on the job.  A forthcoming article in Economic Inquiry examines such interludes of humor that took place at meetings...

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    Debt, Growth, and the Illusions of Social Scientism

    For all the politicians and economists who have been doggedly nonchalant about escalating levels of public debt, this was a good week. Making their week was the revelation that the statistical calculations in an influential paper were off. It is not often that a math error causes such a mix of glee...

  • Blog
    The Misguided Crusade Against Hidden Bank Accounts

     With its latest budget – sorry, “economic action plan” – Canada’s government has taken a morally ominous turn. A provision in the budget proposes to empower the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with the ability to reward individuals who provide information about money stashed abroad in unreported bank accounts. Of course, the government...