New Sound Money Caucus Launched On Capitol Hill

By JP Cortez – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

As the federal government continues to bailout the economy and markets by creating trillions of unbacked pieces of paper and electronic digits, a handful of Congressmen hope to shine a new spotlight on the devastating effects of this runaway financial profligacy.

Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH) recently announced the creation of the Congressional Sound Money Caucus. According to Congressman Davidson’s office, the caucus exists to promote sound fiscal and monetary policy in the United States with the goal of preserving the purchasing power of the U.S. Federal Reserve Note.

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The New Deal Is A Bad Old Deal

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

So far, the current economic situation, together with the response by major governments, compares with the run-in to the depression of the 1930s. Yet to come in the repetitious credit cycle is the collapse in financial asset values and a banking crisis.

When the scale of the banking crisis is known the scale of monetary inflation involved will become more obvious. But in the politics of it, Trump is being set up as the equivalent of Herbert Hoover, and presumably Joe Biden, if he is well advised, will soon campaign as a latter-day Roosevelt. In Britain, Boris Johnson has already called for a modern “new deal”, and in his “Hundred Days” his Chancellor is delivering it.

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GDP-B Doesn’t Cut It Either

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

GDP is hyped-up to be an all-important measure of economic activity. It does not measure economic activity, instead recording meaningless money-totals spent in unsound currency over a given period. A bad statistic such as GDP is wide open to official manipulation, and there is always a desire to enhance it. GDP-B, which includes an estimated consumer surplus, appears to conform with this desire. If it is successfully introduced, GDP would be substantially increased, making governments look good, and reducing their debt to GDP ratios. However, it is no more than a statistical cheat.

Gross Domestic Product-B attempts to capture the added value of things we don’t pay for, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google and other digital services free to the user. B stands for benefits; the benefits consumers receive from free and subsidised services. It was devised by Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at MIT, and is a work-in-progress. He points out that according to the US Bureau of Economic Affairs, the information sector in GDP statistics has been stuck at between four and five per cent of GDP for the last twenty-five years. Yet, the importance of this mainly digital sector now dominates both work and leisure activities, benefits not recorded in GDP.

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Saving Venezuela

   By Bob Shapiro

Venezuela used to be a relatively rich country. Today, it has a nominal GDP around $100 Billion, a population around 32 million, a labor force of 14 million, and unemployment over 30%. GDP fell last year by 14%, and inflation is so high that official statistic are meaningless. 87% of the population is described as living below the poverty line.

Through the many recent years of socialism in Venezuela, the government has racked up deficits and debt that defy reality. With recent low oil prices, and government mismanagement of the industry, revenues have fallen so much that, if the Central Bank didn’t print money with wild abandon, the government would have had to declare bankruptcy long ago.

Image result for venezuela

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What Killed Economic Growth?

By Jeffrey Tucker – Re-Blogged From FEE: The Foundation for Economic Education

Debating why the economy is so sluggish is an American pastime. It fills the op-eds, burns up the blogosphere, consumes the TV pundits, and dominates the political debates.

It’s a hugely important question because many people are seriously frustrated about the problem. The recent popularity of political cranks and crazies from the left and right — backed by crowds embracing nativist and redistributionist nostrums — testify to that.

Sometimes it’s good to look at the big picture. The Economic Freedom of the World report does this with incredible expertise. If you believe in gathering data, and looking just at what the evidence shows and drawing conclusions, you will appreciate this report. It sticks to just what we know and what we can measure. The editors of the report have been doing this since 1996, so the persistence of the appearance of cause and effect is undeniable.

The report seeks measures of five key indicators of economic freedom: security of property rights, soundness of money, size of government, freedom to trade globally, and the extent of regulation. All their measures are transparent and heavily scrutinized by experts on an ongoing basis. If you question how a certain measure was arrived at, you are free to do so. It’s all there, even the fantastically detailed data sets, free for the download.

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