If you enjoy political train wrecks Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” promises to provide months of finger pointing and who-done-it. The round mound of governance is the presumptive favorite to go mano-a-mano with Hillary, Liz, or Joe come 2016, but his poll numbers are in free fall. At best Christie looks stupid and clumsy. At worst thuggish. […]
Stock indexes are making new highs. With share prices surging the collective mood must be ebullient. After all, stock prices are the collective present value calculations of investors’ guesses as to future earning streams. Future profits and prosperity equal current high stock prices. But this isn’t your ordinary market. While stock prices portray exuberance, at […]
I was actually hoping Mayor Bloomberg would show up. Where was he when you needed him? Phishermen (no need to feminize, the ratio of men to women at a Phish show rivals a Rush concert) seemingly keep glow sticks in one hand and a lighted cigarette in the other, between joints that is. While not […]
For years investing in gold and gold stocks tested the most ardent goldbug’s faith. The great bull market that took the price from $250 to over $1,900 restored their belief in reason. After all, the Fed had gone wild since Nixon closed the gold window in 1971. Fed Chair Ben Bernanke told the world and […]
The market has selected different things as money throughout history. Some of these items have served as money in isolated places for specific periods of time — for instance, cigarettes in prisoner-of-war camps. Cigarettes continue to be a currency in prisons if allowed, but if not, according to Wikipedia, “postage stamps have become a more […]
In his column “Looking Closer” Jeffrey Overstreet writes, “As my colleague Dr. Jeff Keuss observed in a recent lecture, the men of Cormac McCarthy stories almost always end up on their knees, weeping, grasping at the earth as if trying to return to the dust they came from.” McCarthy is the author of No Country […]
Cathy Reisenwitz’s post on slut-shaming as a form of coercion has set off a storm of commentary, most of it negative. Let me come to her defense. “I may find complete ostracism much more oppressive than a small fine,” she writes. “Coercion comes in many forms.” In one sense, what she argues is undeniably true […]
Big Brother, in the guise of Uncle Sam, is watching. And most everyone has resigned themselves to the reality. Technology has made government’s dream come true. The intrusive terror portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984 is finally here. But government surveillance is not new at all. Powerful governments have always wanted to keep tabs on their […]
MaryAnn Johnson says “We’re the Millers” is, “Reason No. 34,075 to legalize drugs: it would eliminate painfully unfunny comedies like this one…” I’m not sure anyone who writes under the byline “flickfilosopher” should be so critical. At 110 minutes, Millers is probably about 20 minutes too long. And some of the comedy and gags, are, […]
Sugar prices continue to get hammered as the sweet stuff piles up in silos. The sugar price has been cut in half over the past two years.This wouldn’t be a big deal except sugar processors borrow from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As we pointed out back in March, quoting the Wall Street Journal, The […]
The speculation about whether the new Fed Chair will be either Janet Yellen or Larry Summers has the financial press all atwitter. The stakes are very high we’re told. The Fed’s influence is greater than ever. Whomever controls the Fed controls the economy and our future. Nonsense. The central bank believes if it creates a […]
It’s hard to know what’s what in the world of finance. Take for instance the Matthew Yglesias piece on Slate.com about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which appeared recently. He writes that the two mortgage giants are starting to generate huge profits and instead of reducing the debt, the money should be paid to “you […]
Federal government employees were polled recently and fewer than 3% want to give up their current health plans and join Obamacare. To be completely fair, 5% aren’t sure, leaving 92% that would rather fight than switch. For the moment, most federal workers will not be forced to change, but Congressman Dave Camp has introduced legislation […]
If you’re wondering what team new Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez will play for, consider the company he keeps. Yesterday morning Nevada Senator Harry Reid introduced Perez at the Nevada State AFL-CIO convention at the Excalibur in Las Vegas. Reid warmed up the crowd with sound bites like calling the Tea Party “modern-day anarchists.” If only! When […]
It was 2:00am and I was sound asleep when the doorbell rang. I thought I had dreamed it. But then it was followed by a knock and another ring. So I got up and went to the door. Standing there were two policemen decked out in all their contemporary regalia: jack boots, bullet-proof vests, heavy […]
LinkedIn’s stock was up 2% in trading after a wonderful announcement today that the networking site will start accepting accounts from people as young as 14 years of age. More and more, young people are trying their desperate best to overcome discriminatory state laws that say they can’t earn money for the work they do. […]
An interview on cryptocurrency on Reason.TV
The real-world operations of the state are not entirely easy to understand, and most people who think about this subject are incredibly confused. I would like to recommend the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” as a fantastic way to understand the relationship between the rulers and the ruled, and how the machinery of […]
The news that New York financial regulators have subpoenaed every leading Bitcoin merchant sounds more alarming than it really is. Of course in an ideal world, one in which, for example, we had free enterprise, such things wouldn’t happen. But as it is, we live in a world in which government presumes oversight over all […]
I enjoyed this round up of summer travels.
I’m thrilled about the news that Jeff Bezos has taken over the Washington Post. It is a surprise, a shock, and clear example of how economics always outsmarts the planners. For years, Bezos was personally ridiculed as a lunatic, a guy who didn’t understand the way things are supposed to work. He kept putting his […]
The especially cruel result of inflation is people must “invest their money into the financial markets, lest its purchasing power evaporate under their noses,” explains Jörg Guido Hülsmann in The Ethics of Money Production. “Thus they become dependent on intermediaries and on the vagaries of stock and bond pricing.” We all look for help with […]
The pursuit of sound money illustrates the effectiveness of democracy and politics, versus the natural order or anarchy. In democracies problems are discussed, factions formed, alliances made. But ultimately, the health of the state and its needs are paramount. In a stateless world the needs of society are predominate. Entrepreneurs supply the needs of civilization. […]
In 1985, Irwin Schiff wrote in what has become a classic book, How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn’t, a pictorial introduction to basic economics. It sells used on Amazon for $100. Schiff is best known for books like The Federal Mafia and How Anyone Can Stop Paying Income Taxes. The government disagrees with […]
For years I’ve looked for a passage from the Austrian tradition that clearly explains the nature of knowledge as a non-scarce good and its high value in pushing social and economic progress. Stephan Kinsella and I have found enough material to provide hints and suggestions, small examples and first thoughts, but never anything that really […]
Talk of freedom was not over in sunny Vancouver after the Agora conference left town last week. Any event with Rick Rule and Doug Casey taking the stage is a good one and it’s priceless if they appear together. Rule’s task was to interview his old friend in a presentation called “Stop Thinking Like a […]
This is the fifth annual Mises celebration in Silicon Valley, and this year features Robert Murphy. It looks outstanding. Last year was certainly that and this year holds great promise too. Click on the image for more information. Oh yes Agora Financial and Laissez Faire Books are co-sponsoring!
I was thrilled to be able to interview Paul Cantor during FreedomFest. We did it in the form of a Google hangout.
Here I discuss what would happen if a country adopted the Bitcoin standard. And we cover the significance of Bitcoin as hard money.