Category Archives: Economic Growth

What George Orwell Knew

The mainstream media coverage of the economic impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma has been very good. There is generally an acknowledgment of the individual human pain and suffering that comes from catastrophic natural disasters. The loss of human life is incalculable from an economic perspective. Upwards of 70 people have died because of hurricane Harvey and it is certainly possible that some people in the United States will lose their lives because of hurricane Irma. The human and economic… Continue Reading ››

Deconstructing the “De-growth” Movement

Tom Rogan in the Washington Examiner wrote a very interesting piece on the new expression of an old idea–”degrowth.”  (see http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-far-left-has-an-idiotic-new-craze-reduce-economic-growth/article/2631274).  He leads with these words: “Even the Soviets sought to maximize economic output. But today’s contemporary far-left are far bolder: they believe that economics itself is wrong.”  He writes further, “From their perspective, government shouldn’t simply control the means of economic production (socialism), it should actively work to reduce gross domestic product (GDP).”  Yes, you read that correctly.  The… Continue Reading ››

Boom, boom goes the market, unions get whacked and Elon is still on the dole!

We haven’t really touched on the economy in a while, so I’ll briefly hit some of the latest news and invite your discussion in the comments. First up is the state of the markets.  Many Berean readers know that I’m suspicious of the markets, and have been for years, since valuations by most conventional measures are on the very high side. I have attributed this primarily to the low interest rate policies of the global central banks (not just the… Continue Reading ››

The “Better Deal” is Another Raw Deal

The Democratic Party, recognizing that it has lost touch with many of its former constituents, rolled out its “Better Deal” this week in Virginia.  We have now had Teddy Roosevelt’s “Square Deal,” Franklin Roosevelt’s more famous (or infamous) “New Deal,” Harry Truman’s “Fair Deal,” and now the latest “deal” for the American people.  All of these deals by the way were proposed by Liberal/Progressives, coincidentally or not.  As we should let’s look at this new proposal.  To provide a little… Continue Reading ››

A Tribute to Jane Jacobs and a Christian View of Life in Cities

I realized only this week that last year was the centennial of the birth of Jane Jacobs, who was born in 1916 and died in 2006.  Now some or all of my readers might not recognize the name, but among city planners, architectural scholars, urban historians, urban economists and political scientists of an urban bent, she was (and is) legendary.  So my tribute here also gives me an opportunity to once again write about cities, their successes and failures.  It… Continue Reading ››

Seeing the things unseen–the case of the disappearing retail jobs

Henry Hazlitt said: The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists of tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups. The drumbeat gets louder daily about Amazon crushing retailers, and it is no doubt true.  People love the convenience of a click and two days later, the item is on our doorstep.  So retail jobs are going… Continue Reading ››

Making Cities “Great” Means Making People “Great”

I just returned from a visit with my mother in my (and her) home city, Huntington, West Virginia.  We drove by way of Portsmouth, Ohio.  Both cities are in “flyover country” and both have suffered from the heavy (and likely irreversible) loss of manufacturing jobs.  To give you an idea of the losses, Huntington has dwindled from about 90,000 residents in 1960 to about 45,000 today.  Even accounting for suburban flight, that is a big loss–and the suburbs haven’t grown… Continue Reading ››

“How Do You Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm When They’ve See ‘Gay’ Paris”*

President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.  I will say at the outset that I support this move.  Let’s settle the “legal” issues first.  The agreement was not a treaty, and was not ratified by the Senate.  It might be classified as an executive agreement or as a simple presidential agreement.  The courts have never held an agreement other than a treaty as binding in an attempt to leave that agreement.  That should settle that–unless of course some… Continue Reading ››

President Trump’s Budget: Neither Great nor Terrible

A reader asked me to post something on President Trump’s proposed budget to Congress.  Opinions have varied as to whether this budget is the apocalypse on one end or the second coming on the other, and pretty much every nuance in between.  As with most budgets–though you may not remember the last one, since it has been some time–this one is only a prospective declaration of a vision embodied in numbers.  There is no likelihood it will be adopted as… Continue Reading ››

The Next Step Toward the Brave New World

Wesley Smith wrote a short news item on “The Corner” in National Review Online, and linking a longer article in First Things, in which he mentions that in New Zealand and India, a few rivers have now been granted formal rights, allowing them, through their lawyers, to sue on behalf of themselves.  They were legally declared persons under law.  (See http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/446347/rivers-given-rights.  I saw this coming almost 40 years ago, in a couple of articles in law reviews as well as… Continue Reading ››