• Blog
    Harper to Target Political Party Subsidies

    Very promising news — the Prime Minister has today announced his intention to campaign for the elimination of subsidies to political parties whenever the next election is held. Why this is a good idea is explained in a previous blog. Currently, each of the parties receives approximately $2 per year for each...

  • Articles
    The Meaning of Quantitative Easing

    I begin by describing quantitative easing in technical terms. I go on to describe what it means...

  • Blog
    Portugal, the Euro, and Canada

    The big news in the financial markets today is that Portugal’s €1.25 billion auction of 10 year bonds went well, being oversubscribed at about a 2.6 to 1 ratio. The Iberian country’s Prime Minister, Jose Socrates, declared the auction a success and reiterated that, “Portugal does not need a bailout”. Only time...

  • Articles
    The First New Dealer

    Americans who grew up before World War II remember Herbert Clark Hoover as the most reviled man...

  • Articles
    Civilization is Not Doomed

    The constitutional system that began at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth...

  • Blog
    Hussman on Mises and Illusory Prosperity

    One of the more astute financial market analysts out there, John P. Hussman of Hussman Funds, has published a research update that relies heavily on Ludwig von Mises. Hussman argues that the current economic recovery lacks a firm basis because it’s largely based on the infusion of mass liquidity: If one looks...

  • Blog
    Conscription Makes War More Likely

    From the classical liberal/libertarian perspective, conscription is a highly problematic institution. For one thing, it is connected with war, which the 17th-18th century Enlightenment thinkers rightly saw as being mostly a wealth destroying mode of grand larceny and empire building rationalized by the glorification of the martial virtues and the pursuit of glory. Secondly, conscription infringes upon an individual’s...

  • Articles
    The Ethics of U.S. Monetary Policy in Response to the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009

    In the ninety-eight years since its founding, the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) has never been so daring,...

  • Blog
    Why Subsidizing Political Parties is Wrong

    Back in November 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper inadvertently set off a constitutional crisis by proposing to abolish Canada’s system of subsidizing political parties.  After a sequence of events that saw Parliament prorogued, Harper dropped the plan to eliminate the subsidies. It’s too bad that he did. Though not for the reason that the National...

  • Blog
    Where should the BoC be setting interest rates?

    Canada’s bankruptcy chief has joined the rising chorus of those warning  about the excess debt load of Canadian households. James Callon, who heads the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada, concedes that bankruptcies are down somewhat over the last year. Yet he cautioned that,  “the number of consumer insolvencies filed in Canada was still...

  • Articles
    Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth: Chapter 3

    3. Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth Are we really dealing with the necessary consequences of common...

  • Blog
    A Further Note on Canadian CEO Pay

    The story that Canada’s 100 highest paid CEO’s earn 155 times as much as the average worker has got legs. On Tuesday, the Toronto Star carried an editorial invoking CEO pay to support a hike in capital gains taxes for stock options.  The same day, Kelly McParland in the National Post sought...

  • Articles
    The Stateless Society

    An Examination of Alternatives If the Twentieth Century proved anything, it is that the single greatest danger...

  • Blog
    Social Science for Austrians, Vol. 2

    In this my second installment of recently published social science research of potential interest to Austrians, let me alert you to three papers (HT: Kevin Lewis at National Affairs). The first, “Dynamic Scoring, Tax Evasion, and the Shadow Economy” suggests that taxes significantly affect the level of tax evasion.  So powerful is...

  • Articles
    Chaos Theory

    It is fitting that chaos theory got its start in the humble but frustrating field of meteorology....

  • Blog
    Quantititative Easing Explained in a Cartoon

    At the Forbes magazine website, there’s a great article by the always insightful Amity Schlaes alerting us to a cartoon that explains quantitative easing in everyday language. This cartoon (see below) has been viewed almost 4 million times. Its success raises the question why so many people appeal to an animation video...