Central Planning Vs. Economics

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We have spilled barrels of electronic ink, making the point that central banks are wreaking havoc. They hurt the poor, the middle class, and the rich. They hurt the wage earners, the business owners, the investors (aka the “rentiers”), and the pensioners. They have variously inflicted rising interest rates, too-high rates, falling rates, and too-low rates. They have imposed perverse incentives to destroy capital and consume wealth.

Those discussions focused on the specific injuries, their causes and effects. An analogy is studying the damage done to the body if it is cut by a sharp blade, bludgeoned by a blunt instrument, burned by a hot flame, or poisoned by a toxic chemical. One can study these things in excruciating detail, without considering one thing.

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Post-Brexit Planning

Brexit will be done by the end of next month, when trade negotiations with the EU will begin. Importantly, Britain’s negotiating position has strengthened immeasurably, and the new government is not afraid to use it.

This Conservative government has a greater sense of political and economic direction than Britain has seen in a long time. Unbeknown to the public, not only will the establishment that obstructed Brexit be side-lined, but a slimmed-down post-Brexit cabinet through a network of special advisers lead by Dominic Cummings will revolutionise central government, reducing bureaucracy and refocusing resources on public service objectives instead of wasted on process.

But there is a dichotomy. While both the government and the new intake of MPs lean towards free markets, Cummings and Johnson will increase government intervention to secure their electoral advantage for the future, and to ensure a planned outcome in a world which in following decades will be dominated by new large Asian economies.

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The Monetary Lessons From Germany

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From GoldMoney

Germany suffered two currency collapses in the last century, in 1920-23 and1945-48. The architect of the recovery from the former, Hjalmar Schacht, chose to cooperate with the Nazi successors to the Weimar Republic, and failed. In that of the second, Ludwig Erhard remained true to his free market credentials and succeeded. While they were in different circumstances, comparisons between the two events might give some guidance to politicians faced with similar destructions of their state currencies, which is a growing possibility.

Introduction

Let us assume the next credit crisis is on its way. Given enhanced levels of government debt, it is likely to be more serious than the last one in 2008. Let us also note that it is happening despite the supposed stimulus of low and negative interest rates, when we would expect them to be at their maximum in the credit cycle, and that some $17 trillion of bonds are negative yielding, an unnatural distortion of markets. Let us further assume that McKinsey in their annual banking survey of 2019 are correct when they effectively say that 60% of the world’s banks are consuming their capital before a credit crisis. Add to this a developing recession in Germany that will almost certainly lead to both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank having to be rescued by the German government. And note the IMF recently warned that $19 trillion in corporate debt is a systemic timebomb, and that collateralised loan obligations and direct exposure to junk held by the US commercial banks is approximately equal to the sum of their equity.

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Socialism Is Bad for the Environment

By Shawn Regan – Re-Blogged From National Review

And markets are much better

As the Soviet Union began to collapse, the socialist economist Robert Heilbroner admitted that central planning had failed economically but said we needed “to rethink the meaning of socialism.” Now it was the thing that had to emerge if humanity was to cope with “the one transcendent challenge that faces it within a thinkable timespan.” Heilbroner considered this one thing to be “the ecological burden that economic growth is placing on the environment.” Markets may be better at allocating resources, Heilbroner thought, but only socialism could avoid ecological disaster.

A metalworking plant in Chelyabinsk, USSR, 1991 (Peter Turnley/Contributor/Getty Images)

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In Defence Of Free Markets

Why is it that no one defends free markets, and socialism, despite all the evidence of its failures, comes back again and again? Unsurprisingly, the answer lies in politics, which have always led to a boom-bust cycle of collective behaviour. Furthering our understanding of this phenomenon is timely because the old advanced economies, burdened by a combination of existing and future debt, appear to be on the verge of an unhappily coordinated bust. But that does not automatically return us to the free markets some of us long for.

Cycles of collective behaviour

Throughout history there have been few long-lasting periods of truly free markets. Contemporary exceptions are confined to some small island states, forced to be entrepreneurial by their size and position vis-à-vis the larger nations with which they trade. The governments of these islands know that the state itself is not suited to entrepreneurship. Only by the state guarding the freedom of island markets and the sanctity of property rights can entrepreneurs serve the people in these communities and create wealth for all.

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BERNIE: ‘You’re Damn Right’ Health Insurance Companies Should Be Eliminated

[Not much doubt – the UGLY face of Socialism in the Democratic party. -Bob]

By Lionel Parrott – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

‘You are not going to be able…to have cost-effective, universal health care unless you change the system…’

(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Democratic senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) isn’t backing down from his call to eliminate health insurance companies, according to an article from The Hill.

After the Republican National Committee (RNC) tweeted Tuesday that the Vermont senator had called for eliminating health insurance companies, Sanders proudly tweeted back: “You’re damn right.”

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Central Planning Is More than Just Friction

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

It is easy to think of government interference into the economy like a kind of friction. If producers and traders were fully free, then they could improve our quality of life—with new technologies, better products, and lower prices—at a rate of X. But the more that the government does, the more it burdens them. So instead of X rate of progress, we get the same end result but 10% slower or 20% slower.

Some would go so far as to say, “The free market finds ways to work even through government restrictions, taxes, and regulations.” We won’t address cardboard straws emerging where plastic straws are banned. Or gangs selling illegal drugs on the black market, when they are prohibited by law.

As usual, we want to talk about the most important kind of government intervention. And it happens to be the one kind of government intervention that is accepted by nearly everyone. The intervention supported by the otherwise-free-marketers.

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