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SLIDESHOW: Ghost of Keynes, Lecture 1

November 11, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Check out Bill Anderson’s slideshow for his online course that starts tonight. And as information-rich as this is, Dr. Anderson never just reads from  his slides. He always provides loads more information in his remarks. Come join us!

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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“The Ghost of Keynes” Starts Tonight

November 11, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

8407.KrugmanPrays (1)

There’s still time to sign up for this online course which starts tonight. To get an idea what an enjoyable presenter the instructor Bill Anderson is, here is some impromptu feedback he got in the chat following a webinar he taught on Paul Krugman a while back:

“Thanks very much for this informative session. Somehow I feel I got more value out of this $10 than a few hundred I spent at the local university.”

“Thanks for the course.”

“Outstanding lecture!!!!”

“Great talk. Krugman is Sweden’s gift to the US that just keeps giving and giving…”

“This was fantastic, thanks a lot”

“Great lecture”

“Thank you!”

“Thank you, Bill!”

“Thanks a lot. It’s appreciated.”

“Yes, this was wonderful. You should teach more courses on Mises Academy!”

Also read this short article by Dr. Anderson on the topic of the course.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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40,000 Followers!

November 11, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

twitter

The Mises Institute now has 40,000 followers on Twitter. Help us get to 50,000 by following us for the latest videos, articles, photos, and for news about our scholars and events.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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David Gordon Explains A Priori Economics

November 11, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Leadership with education

To a critic who doesn’t understand it:

Mises intends to be talking, not about some contrived concept of “action,” constructed to make his assertions about action true by stipulation, but rather about actions in the world, as we ordinarily understand them. Precisely his thesis is that we can gain knowledge of actions, understood this way, by thinking. We have a priori knowledge that applies to the world.

What has Brennan to say against this? So far as I can see, he advances no argument. He merely states his own contrasting position. Mises says that we have a priori knowledge of action; and Brennan responds, in effect, “No, we don’t.”

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Cavallo on Machiavelli in New York

November 11, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Associated Scholar Jo Ann Cavallo presented on “State Power and Personal Liberty in The Prince” at the Symposium on Machiavelli: Then and Now, sponsored by The Graduate Center, CUNY, and Hunter College, in November.

On December 7 she will present an expanded version, “On Political Power and Personal Liberty in The Prince and The Discourses,” at the Columbia University conference Liberty and Conflict: Machiavelli on Politics and Power.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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The Economic Costs of E-Verify

November 11, 2013 in Economics

By Alex Nowrasteh

Alex Nowrasteh

An electronic employment verification system (or E-Verify, as it’s known) is widely considered to be an essential component of immigration reform. It shouldn’t be. E-Verify is an expensive and wrongheaded labor market regulation that will force every American employer to ask the federal government for permission to employ workers. To add insult to economic injury, E-Verify is also ineffective at deterring unauthorized immigration.

E-Verify requires employers to feed the identity information of prospective employees into a federal online database that then verifies the information with that stored in the Department of Homeland Security and state DMVs.

If the worker is cleared for employment, as happens upwards of 95 percent of the time, then the worker’s employment is lawful. If there is something suspicious about the worker’s information, E-Verify issues a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC). That gives the worker and his employer some time to contest the decision by identifying and correcting errors in the worker’s identification. During this time, the employer is not legally allowed to fire the employee and must keep him or her on the payroll until the worker’s identity problems are fixed.

E-Verify is supposed to make enforcing immigration law easier, but it imposes an enormous economic cost on Americans while incentivizing black market hiring — it should be scrapped.”

In reality, E-Verify will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of legal American to get a job. According to a recent independent audit of E-Verify conducted by the firm Westat, between 0.7 to 0.3 percent of all TNCs issued are erroneous, meaning they were issued to legal workers. If 150 million American workers were run through E-Verify tomorrow, somewhere between 450,000 and slightly more than 1 million American workers would be notified that if they do not address the problem then they will lose their jobs. Those American would then have to correct any inconsistencies before the government gave them clearance to be employed full time. That hardly seems fair for these legal workers.

Looking more deeply into the data from Westat, it’s clear that E-Verify’s error rates have been improving over the last decade. The TNC rate for American citizens, a subset of legal workers, has fallen from 0.6 percent to 0.2 percent — a commendable improvement. However, the error rate for permanent lawful residents on green cards and visa holders has increased from 1.5 percent to 2 percent. It is now more common …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Introversion Isn't Obama's Problem, His Inability to Tell the Truth Is

November 11, 2013 in Economics

By Gene Healy

Gene Healy

It never fails. Whenever a president’s approval ratings tank, out come the deep think pieces about how the president’s personality flaws explain his political dilemma and ours.

Vanity Fair’s Todd Purdum has the latest entry with a 3,000 word thumbsucker titled “Obama the Loner: The Trouble with the President’s Self-Reliant, Closed-Off Attitude.”

President Obama, it seems, doesn’t enjoy schmoozing, small talk and pressing the flesh. And that, according to Purdum, has something to do with why Americans have soured on his scandal-wracked, power-abusing, blunder-prone presidency.

Obama is a terrible president and that’s got nothing to do with his “penchant for solitude.””

Obama’s “resolute solitude — his isolation and alienation” from other Washington players — is “his greatest weakness,” Purdum argues.

Purdum’s not the first to lay this charge. The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd periodically wails that Obama acts like “President Spock” instead of being our “feeler-in-chief.” And, “he’s an introvert,” says Game Change author John Heilemann, and that’s why he’s in trouble.

It’s a common trope — and as a congenital introvert, I’m sick of it. Obama is a terrible president, but, contra Purdum, that’s got nothing to do with his “penchant for solitude.” Extroverts: You’re not gonna hang this on us!

As Jonathan Rauch explained in his classic 2003 Atlantic article, “Caring for Your Introvert,” introverts are not necessarily antisocial or misanthropic — we’re people who are wired to enjoy solitude and need it to recharge after social interaction.

And, dammit, we’re “among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America.” Introversion, Rauch wrote, is “not a choice. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s an orientation.”

In that light, Purdum’s argument is so incoherent and self-contradictory, it’s hard not to suspect him of rank “lonerphobia.”

Obama’s “go-it-alone approach,” Purdum claims, “insulate[s] him from engagement in the management of his own administration.”

He asks, “were Obama’s aides too afraid to tell him” about tapping Angela Merkel’s cellphone or the problems with healthcare.gov?

Er, probably not, given that, several paragraphs later, Purdum tells us “no one in Washington is afraid of Obama.” (Because he’s not chummy enough?)

Purdum lacks a single convincing example of what victories more backslapping, jawboning and congressional “beer summits” would have delivered to the president.

When you find yourself writing sentences like, “it’s hard to imagine that Obama did not do himself at least some real harm in September by abruptly canceling the annual congressional picnic at the White House,” …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Low Inflation Is Not an Enemy of Prosperity

November 11, 2013 in Economics

By James A. Dorn

James A. Dorn

The notion that inflation is “dangerously low” is gaining ground. Harvard economist Kenneth S. Rogoff holds that “a sustained burst of moderate inflation is not something to worry about,” given the slow pace of recovery. With core inflation well below the Fed’s target of 2%, Rogoff would like to see the target temporarily lifted to 6%.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke tends to agree. In July, he stated: “Low inflation is not good for the economy because very low inflation increases the risks of deflation, which can cause an economy to stagnate.” One should distinguish, however, between deflation due to strong economic growth (relative to the money supply) and deflation due to a sharp decline in the money supply as occurred in 1929–33.

Advising the Fed to increase its inflation target is not a panacea for prosperity; it’s a recipe for stagflation.”

Although CPI inflation remains low, the Fed’s massive expansion of its balance sheet during the last five years, through ultralow interest rates and quantitative easing, has created asset price inflation and a misallocation of credit.

Investors have taken on more borrowing and more risk, while conservative savers have been severely penalized. The Fed has monetized government debt and is now the largest purchaser of net new Treasury debt.

The monetary base (currency in circulation and reserves held at the Fed) has skyrocketed, but that increase has been largely sterilized by the Fed’s policy (begun in 2008) of paying interest on excess reserves.

Fed officials should be more concerned with inflation, not deflation. The asset price bubbles the Fed is now creating cannot be sustained.

When interest rates rise, as they must, the party will end badly. Advising the Fed to increase its inflation target is not a panacea for prosperity; it’s a recipe for stagflation.

Price stability is not an enemy of robust economic growth. During the classical gold standard (1880–1914), the United States experienced low inflation (or even mild deflation) as well as strong economic growth.

Long-run price stability was the norm under the market-driven supply of money, which was limited by the convertibility of dollars into gold.

Today, in contrast, there is no monetary rule and the Fed has wide discretion to create money out of thin air. In theory, the Fed could limit the supply of money and maintain long-run price stability. But as an agent of government, the Fed finances government debt and engages in fiscal policy. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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All Common Core Critics Aren't Extreme

November 11, 2013 in Economics

By Neal McCluskey

Neal McCluskey

If you’re an ardent fan or staunch opponent of the Common Core national curriculum standards, chances are you attended or closely followed the recent statewide hearings in Wisconsin. If you’re an impartial observer reading reports in the politicized aftermath, you might get the impression that all Common Core opponents are either kooks or kook-hired guns. But the reality is the opposite. In fact, education experts from across the political spectrum are taking on — and apart — Common Core.

There is an extremely well-informed opposition to Common Core, and dismissing all Common Core opponents as loony does children no service.”

Unfortunately, the headlines at the end of the hearings had nothing to do with whether Common Core was good for Wisconsin’s children; instead, they were about who covered the expenses of anti-Common Core experts brought in to give their analyses. That could be because some elected Wisconsin officials are spending their time politicizing the debate instead of engaging in honest discussion. Last month, a letter signed by four Democratic state legislators denounced Common Core opponents by associating them with “fringe” groups and “conspiracy theories.”

Such marginalization is not confined to the Badger State. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, arguably Common Core’s greatest champion, also has accused its opponents of employing conspiracy theories. And, in a recent op-ed, Michael J. Petrilli and Michael Brickman of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute characterized Common Core opponents as a “small but vocal minority of conservatives” coupled with a bit of “the far left.” Read: scary fringe types. It’s worth noting that Petrilli testified in favor of Common Core during the state’s hearings.

Of course, some Common Core opponents do say outlandish things, and in Wisconsin’s case, it doesn’t help that the John Birch Society defrayed the costs of anti-Common Core experts brought to testify. But such sideshows pale in comparison to the highly diverse group of Common Core opponents whom advocates absolutely don’t want to talk about: education experts.

It may come as a surprise to some that Common Core is opposed by scholars at several leading think tanks on both the right and left, including the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, the Brookings Institution and my own Cato Institute. My research has shown there is essentially no meaningful evidence that national standards lead to superior educational outcomes.

Hoover Institution senior fellow Eric Hanushek, a well-known education economist and supporter of standards-based reform, …read more

Source: OP-EDS