Month: August 2015

Simple Overview of the Great Depression

Recently I made a blog post where I shared several articles to help dispute characterization sod the free market in history. I figured I’d post a very simplified timeline of the Great Depression. 
step 1 – Andrew Mellon who is the treasury secretary advocates tax and spending cuts under Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge freeing up capital the of colony begins growing

(keep in mind in 1920-1921 there was a deep recession but with very little government intervention the economy was rebounding a year later)​

step 2 – Fed Chairman Ben Strong in the mid 20’s begins to increase the money supply and cut interest rates creating an artificial increase in credit. 

step 3 – companies which are already doing well issue stock then use the money to buy foreign bonds (lending money abroad so they can keep buying stuff from the U.S.) the return on these bonds make the companies look more profitable than they are and traders begin using the credit created by Fed chairman Ben Strong to speculate and the stock prices went up beyond the actual real profitability of these companies. 
Step 4 – eventually in 1929 valuations hit their ceiling and prices begin to fall, this forces margin calls (people having to sell to pay their loans since their stocks are falling) which causes prices to fall even further. The market crashed
Step 5 – the economy finds it hard to recover as Herbert Hoover signs the Smoot Hawley tariff which taxes many foreign goods but many countries then do the same In retaliation, hurting trade further weakening the economy.
step 6 – US policy influenced by economist Irving Fisher (who failed to predict the crash and lost almost everything cause of it) focuses on policies to prevent the fall of asset prices (which were overvalued… Duh) slowing down the ability for economy to discover what the true value of these assets are so they can be sold and the economy can again move forward
Step 7 – Herbert Hoover raises taxes to 62% in 1932
Step 8​ – FDR becomes president raises taxes to the 90s and continues to fight asset price deflation dragging out the liquidation even further
step 9 – While GDP and Umeployment improve during World War II (building tanks and drafting soldiers will do that) It’s not till post WWII tax and spending cuts does private investment and quality of life truly begin to improve

Debunking Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders on Trade and Immigration

The Dark Horse candidates for the republican and democrat primaries (Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders respectively) have both expressed skepticism of Immigration and Trade in regard to U.S. Wages and Wealth. To me the ignorance that this exemplifies results in promoting a xenophobic sentiment with hostility towards globalization that I find well… offensive. So below I’ve collected many articles on the topic of Immigration and Trade the benefits they bring the U.S. Economy to settle this debate.
(For those who havn’t noticed Sanders tone on immigration, read this)
(For the record I support Rand Paul for the republican nomination and in the case he does not get the nomination I support Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party nomination.)
IMMIGRATION
http://www.cato.org/blog/immigrations-real-impact-wages-employment

http://www.hamiltonproject.org/papers/what_immigration_means_for_u.s._employment_and_wages/

http://www.nber.org/papers/w12497

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/06/01/does-immigration-suppress-wages-its-not-so-simple/

http://www.aei.org/publication/how-does-immigration-affect-us-wages-and-jobs/
TRADE
http://reason.com/archives/2015/04/30/globalization-is-good-for-you

https://www.imf.org/EXTERNAL/PUBS/FT/ISSUES11/INDEX.HTM

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/cea_trade_report_final_non-embargoed_v2.pdf

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/rising-trade-deficit-signals-good-times-us-economy

http://blogs.piie.com/trade/?p=211

The Case for Libertarianism and Rand Paul

 The Case for Libertarianism and Rand Paul
By Alex Merced
 Libertarianism has often been straw maned into several false stereo types:
Straw Man:
that we believe the wealthy are purely benevolent beings if allowed to hoard capital will be benevolent private distributors of wealth via the market
Reality: 
Resources are scarce and the market functions as the best way to determine that resources go to where they are most valuable, not perfectly, but better than any central planner. Markets are just allowing individuals to agree to voluntarily exchange goods and services with each other. In so much your wealth is created by providing value in the market you deserve it. Although libertarians take much offense to ill gotten wealth via use of government policy to grant individuals monopolies, unfair market power, and artificial barriers to entry to competition. Central planners can never have enough information to truly appreciate the complex interplay of individuals demands to better allocate resources than each individual pursuing their own interest via trade. (An individuals interest is not always only profit as also often part of the libertarian straw man)
Straw Man: That libertarian are isolationist that don’t want to engage with the world.
Reality: Libertarians are the antithesis of isolationist as we want to forge global relationships of peace rooted in trade and travel between nations. Libertarians reject the current status quo of foreign policy based on intimidation and bribery that often leads to war and the death of many who had no role in the decisions that lead to their death.
Straw Man: that libertarians are libertines that will let anything go anytime.
Reality: Libertarianism has a very well defined, constantly debated and refined ethic. Libertarians as a political movement come from a diverse realm of moral codes united by a view of where moral debates should be had is in the social/cultural sphere not via government edict. Government, if it has a role, is to only prevent and persecute violent aggressions between individuals (battery, murder, rape) and their property (theft, fraud). Too broad government involvement is not only improper but also leads to less efficiency of the justice system, over incarceration, resulting in a huge financial burden on society which are resources that could be better used in many places.
In so much that Libertarians are those that for the most part as a political movement want to reduce the size and scope of government Rand Paul is best libertarian hope as a plausible presidential candidate in 2016.
 Yes, there is Gary Johnson who will likely be running on the Libertarian Party ticket and will get my vote if Rand Paul doesn’t win the GOP primaries. Whether you care about elections or not it seems to me a valuable exercise to continue supporting Paul actively.
While Paul has done a concerning level of trying to position himself more favorably to a conservative Audience almost obscuring his underlying libertarianism. I do feel that if libertarians were to give Rand Paul another shot he may still have a chance to surprise us and show at least a fraction of his fathers conviction (which Rand Paul has shown at many times as a Senator).
At the end of the day the promotion of libertarian arguments and values will always be my end goal. Some roads will be more productive than others by at this point I still feel a value in the Rand Paul campaign.
 In the end it’s not even about whether political power is the best conduit for change but rather the social dynamic of elections. During national elections you have a national audience that is more willing to listen than at any other time, particularly to candidates. To me these are not opportunities to waste. While Rand may not be promoting a strong libertarian message like his father, people who see him may be often made to think twice and read up more on libertarianism. Sure beats letting everyone listen to Santorum and Cruz for the whole primary season.
 
(This endorsement encourages you not to donate money necessarily to the Rand Paul campaign or SuperPAC run by Jesse Benton but to the other two Rand Paul superPACs run by Matt Kibbe – Concerned VoterS for America and Ed Crane – Purple Pac which are more focused on promoting a libertarian message in promoting Rand Paul)