You are browsing the archive for 2013 April 07.

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Letter to the Wall Street Journal

April 7, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

Romain Hatchuel summarizes life in socialist France very well (“What’s French for ‘Economic Nonsense‘?,” op-ed, March 29).

I wrote this letter to the editor in response to the article.

In “What’s French for ‘Economic Nonsense’” (March 29th) Romain Hatchuel laments France’s economic predicament of bloated government spending, very high national debt, and widespread economic privilege and protectionism. He sees little hope for solutions by the people or the elites. The same situation afflicts most of the major economies of the world.

However, there is a “French solution.” The great 19th century French economist and statesman, Frederic Bastiat, wrote extensively about the nature of public policy. He showed the free market was the true source of equality, harmony, and prosperity. Government was the source of privilege, protectionism, and disharmony. He is said to have defined the “state as the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” We could all learn a lesson from this great Frenchman.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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The First Modern Economic Theorist

April 7, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

Here is the story of the Irish Austrian economist, Richard Cantillon.

Bryan MacMahon on the life and mysterious death of Irish economist Richard Cantillon, who became one of the wealthiest men of the 18th century

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Japan: Fallen Giant?

April 7, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

For years we have been told that Japan is a fallen giant that was crippled by the stock market crash of 1989 and has yet to recover. The new Japanese political leadership has used this story to argue for higher inflation targets that would double the money supply and national debt to get Japan out of its malaise. This article from the New York Times makes the case that Japan is doing fine, possibly better than the US, and that the Japanese use this story of malaise to their benefit in things like trade negotiations. It seems that a good part of the confusion is based on faulty calculations of GDP.

This notion first surfaced on Mises.org in a Daily Article.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE