You are browsing the archive for 2013 October 01.

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John Cochran on the Fed’s Rescue That Wasn’t

October 1, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

6544

Writing in Monday’s Mises Daily,  John Cochran notes:

The “war to save the economy” was unnecessary since it was a crisis wholly the result of previous actions by one of the supposed saviors of the economy.

The financial crisis and the Great Recession were consequences of monetary central planning writ large that twice created bubbles, booms, and subsequent busts by turbocharging first the dot-com-driven productivity growth, and then simultaneously using an easy money and credit policy to impede necessary re-structuring of the economy. Following the dot-com bust, these policies led to an “unfinished recession” while new credit creation began a new round of misdirection of production igniting the housing bubble, general boom, and subsequent bust.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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GovMedia Speak

October 1, 2013 in Economics

By Peter G. Klein

We all know that in GovMedia speak, “spending cut” means reducing the rate of increase in spending, while “shutdown” means reducing the workforce by 40%. From David Henderson we learn that “defund” apparently means “change a few implementation requirements without reducing funding by a penny.” Specifically, the Congresspeople who supposedly want to “defund” Obamacare proposed only to scrap the individual mandate and remove the subsidy for Congresspeople and their staffers.

Remember the old Soviet-era joke, “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us?” This is the state of US political discourse about economic issues. The Republicans pretend to oppose Obamacare, and the Democrats pretend to oppose them. The purported differences are trivial, the “debate” political theater. Only government officials and the Official Media are amused.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Emmy Award for Outstanding Research for "Jesse Owens"

October 1, 2013 in History

October 01, 2013 2:17 p.m.

We have the pleasure to announce that the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE film “Jesse Owens” has won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Research at the 34th annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards.

The most famous athlete of his time, Jesse Owens’ stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Despite the racial slurs he endured, Jesse Owens’ grace and athleticism rallied crowds across the globe. But whenthe four-time Olympic gold medalist returned home, he could not even ride in the front of a bus. The story of the 22-year-old son of a sharecropper who triumphed over adversity to become a hero and world champion, Jesse Owens is also about the elusive, fleeting quality of fame and the way Americans idolize athletes when they suit our purpose, and forget them once they don’t.

“American Experience prides itself on rigorous research for each of our films. Laurens Grant and the whole team at Firelight Media did a terrific job on Jesse Owens, including tracking down several eyewitnesses to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. We are proud that they were recognized with the News and Documentary Emmy Award,” said AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Executive Producer Mark Samels. Jesse Owens premiered in May of 2012 and is streaming for free on our website.

Congrats to all involved!

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Source: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

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Block on Radio

October 1, 2013 in Economics

By Walter Block

Here I discuss inflation China, Mao, WWII, Hong Kong’s Capitalism, Government Shutdown, Stock Market, Obama’s spending, Debt Ceiling, Farming, Welfare, Green Environmentalists, Federal Reserve, Ron Paul, Bailouts, and Unions with Merlin Rothfeld and John O’Donnell on Power Trading Radio!

Walter Block on Power Trading Radio

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Rand Paul Appears on CNN's New Day with Kate Bouldan discussing Government Shut Down- October 1, 2013

October 1, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN INFORMATION – October 1, 2013

October 1, 2013 in Politics & Elections

As of Oct. 1, 2013, due to the government shutdown, my offices are currently operating with limited resources and staff. Please note that phones at my Washington, D.C., office as well as my offices in Kentucky will not be monitored regularly until the shutdown has ended.
Please be assured I am working tirelessly with my colleagues to provide a solution to this current state of affairs.

Thank you and God Bless,

Dr. Rand Paul

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Rothbard Explains the Budget ‘Crisis’

October 1, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

In 1990, Murray Rothbard wrote on the realities of government budget ‘crises’ and how they often seem to end up demanding that the taxpayers “sacrifice” or that the American people join in “fair sharing of the pain.” (Source: Making Economic Sense)

In politics fall, not spring, is the silly season. How many times have we seen the farce: the crises deadline in October, the budget “summit” between the Executive and Congress, and the piteous wails of liberals and centrists that those wonderful, hard-working, dedicated “federal workers” may be “furloughed,” which unfortunately does not mean that they are thrown on the beach to find their way in the productive private sector.

The dread furlough means that for a few days or so, the oppressed taxpaying public gets to keep a bit more of its own money, while the federal workers get a rare chance to apply their dedication without mulcting the taxpayers: an opportunity that these bureaucrats invariably seem to pass up.

Has it occurred to many citizens that, for the few blessed days of federal shutdown, the world does not come to an end? That the stars remain in their courses, and everyone goes about their daily life as before?

I would like to offer a modest proposal, giving us a chance to see precisely how vital to our survival and prosperity is the Leviathan federal government, and how much we are truly willing to pay for its care and feeding. Let us try a great social experiment: for one year, one exhilarating jubilee year, we furlough, without pay, the Internal Revenue Service and the rest of the revenue-gathering functions of the Department of Treasury.

That is, for one year, suspend all federal taxes and float no public debt, either newly incurred or even for payment of existing interest or principal. And then let us see how much the American public is willing to kick into, purely voluntarily, the public till.

We make these voluntary contributions strictly anonymous, so that there will be no incentive for individuals and institutions to collect brownie-points from the feds for current voluntary giving. We allow no carryover of funds or surplus, so that any federal spending for the year–including the piteous importuning of Americans for funds–takes place strictly out of next year’s revenue.

It will then be fascinating to see how much the American public is truly willing to pay, how much it thinks the federal government is really …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Rand Paul Appears on CNN's New Day with Kate Bouldan discussing the Government Shut Down – 10/1/13

October 1, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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US Govt Shutdown? Libertarians May Secretly Applaud

October 1, 2013 in Economics

By Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

world, we leave it closed. Or at least we never bother to reopen counterproductive bureaucracies such as the Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, etc, etc.

In my realistic/optimistic world, the federal Leviathan remains, but we get some sort of delay for parts of Obamacare.

In my realistic/pessimistic world, the media and the left work together to not only protect Obamacare, but they also get additional spending to circumvent the sequester.

What’s the likely outcome of the government shutdown fight?”

For what it’s worth, I think the final outcome will be somewhere between optimism and pessimism. The government will be funded, including Obamacare, but at lest we protect the sequestration, which was the biggest victory for taxpayers this century.

I’d like to be more hopeful, but Republicans are probably too divided to prevail in this battle.

Which is a shame, because when they had more unity during the 1995 shutdown fight, they won a very important victory. Here’s what I wrote about that battle:

“…they succeeded in dramatically reducing the growth of federal spending. They did not get everything they wanted, to be sure, but government spending grew by just 2.9 percent during the first four years of GOP control, helping to turn a $164 billion deficit in 1995 into a $126 billion surplus in 1999. And they enacted a big tax cut in 1997.”

So let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best. But we’re relying on politicians, so prepare for the worst.

Per tradition, let’s try to close with a laugh. I’ve already shared my collection of government shutdown humor (herehere and here), but I did get this amusing image in my inbox yesterday, so there’s something new to laugh — or cry — about.

Now there’s an argument for a shutdown! Imagine, no IRS to make our lives miserable. Though let’s not jump to conclusions. Knowing Obama, he’s probably declared that all IRS bureaucrats are “essential personnel.”

Daniel J. Mitchell is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, the free-market, Washington D.C. think tank. His articles are cross-posted on his blog by agreement.

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Source: OP-EDS

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A Less Free Germany Is Emerging

October 1, 2013 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

The world’s most watched elections occur in America. The world’s most boring election just occurred in Germany. As expected, Chancellor Angela Merkel was effectively re-elected.

The Federal Republic of Germany is the world’s most admired nation and possesses Europe’s largest economy. Berlin’s political and economic stability is the envy the E.U.

Merkel has served as chancellor for eight years. A skilled political infighter, she exudes confidence and competence.

Germans rewarded her Christian Democratic Union, and its sister party, the Christian Social Union, with 41.5 percent, well ahead of the more left-wing Social Democratic Party. However, the CDU/CSU fell five seats short of a parliamentary majority. And her current coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party, failed to receive the 5 percent necessary to be represented in the Bundestag.

The German government seems destined to grow more expensive and intrusive.”

Commentary on the election has focused on Merkel’s triumph. There is little doubt that she will remain chancellor. The only question is the identity of her coalition partner — and what price she will have to pay for that party’s support.

Ironically, policy isn’t likely to change very much. She has steadily pulled her party leftward. Cem Ozdemir, co-chairman of the Green Party complained that the chancellor “becomes Green when it helps her and becomes a Social Democrat when that’s beneficial too.”

Before agreeing to a new grand coalition the SPD undoubtedly would demand more economic intervention more quickly. But the policy endpoints look similar. She “is a leader without any trace of ideological commitment,” said Jan-Werner Mueller of Princeton. Her overriding objective is to stay in power.

Alas, her policies helped wreck the FDP. The Free Democrats were created in 1949 and have served in the Bundestag ever since. In 2009 they made their best showing ever, 14.6 percent. Now, with just 4.8 percent of the vote they are out of the Bundestag.

The Free Democrats are liberals in a classical sense, for free markets and social tolerance. They fit well with the early post-war CDU/CSU, which orchestrated the “economic miracle” which restored German prosperity. However, as the conservatives embraced the welfare and regulatory state, the FDP enjoyed less policy impact.

In 2009 the Free Democrats campaigned for tax cuts and a freer economy. However, instead of claiming the Finance Ministry as the price of its support for Chancellor Merkel, the FDP landed the Foreign Ministry — a prestige posting but unrelated to the …read more

Source: OP-EDS