All posts by Jeff Haymond

President Obama: There Is No Debt Crisis!

That’s the headline of this report from ABC News.  Today, the U.S. National Debt is $16.7T, whereas our 2012 GDP was $15.6T, or our debt/GDP ratio is 107%.  Economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff  have shown that when debt levels are greater than 90% of GDP (for advanced economies), economic growth slows. EDIT Jun ’13:  There has subsequently been much controversy over a spreadsheet error in R&R’s calculations for the 90% # highlighted above.  Despite this error, the general conclusion… Continue Reading ››

Janet Yellen: Has she ever met an inflation she didn’t like?

Janet Yellen, the current Vice-Chair of the Federal Reserve is rumored to be next in line to replace “Helicopter” Ben Bernanke.  This is troubling because, as a committed Keynesian, she is a big fan of inflation as a way to lesson the pain of unemployment.  Indeed, she is–as many others are–convinced that inflation causes small harms to society in comparison to the evils of unemployment.  While she undoubtedly doesn’t support all levels of inflation, she has a history of calling… Continue Reading ››

Income Inequality: Should it be an issue for Christians?

Steve Horwitz has a great counter to the income inequality debate, see here: HT to Don Boudreaux over at Cafe Hayek. For Christian thinkers, is there a biblical justification for concern over income inequality per se?  I’m not talking about the poor here; simply does the Bible have anything to say in a negative sense about some being very rich because they are very rich, while others are significantly less wealthy?  To be more clear, imagine an America of no… Continue Reading ››

Faulty moral arithmetic–Brooks nails the political economy issue of our time

Arthur Brooks produced yet another masterpiece in today’s WSJ, The key is here: Conservatives are fighting a losing battle of moral arithmetic. They hand an argument with virtually 100% public support—care for the vulnerable—to progressives, and focus instead on materialistic concerns and minority moral viewpoints. The irony is maddening. America’s poor people have been saddled with generations of disastrous progressive policy results, from welfare-induced dependency to failing schools that continue to trap millions of children.” How do conservatives compete with… Continue Reading ››

Bernanke–the best inflation fighter ever?

That’s at least what Mr. Bernanke suggests when challenged by Senator Corker during congressional testimony on Tuesday: Perhaps its true, IF the measure of inflation we should be concerned about is the rate of change of CPI.  But there are at least two ways to criticize this way of thinking, in addition to the serious questions raised by Senator Corker regarding the damage done to fixed income savers in our society.  First, the flawed thinking and theory that suggests the… Continue Reading ››

New Aggregate Demand math from Washington DC: Sequester vs. Fiscal Cliff

As we approach the impending sequestration, Mark Smith highlights the political tales of woe if it goes through (see below).  But there seems to be an inconsistency in the “We’re all Keynesians now” Washington D.C. crowd.  If you recall the fiscal cliff, President Obama proposed increased taxes that would only generate ~$80 Billion of additional revenue per year.  That was “good” for the economy, as it would show the world that we were serious about addressing our fiscal problems.  Now… Continue Reading ››