Category Archives: Economic Growth

“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President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.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 ››

The City of Man

I am sitting in the San Antonio airport, waiting for my flight back home, reflecting on an excellent Values and Capitalism retreat here and–the subject of this blog–my walk yesterday.  My goal was to walk to a bookstore about two miles from my downtown hotel.  I had mapped it out using Googlemaps and set out for what I thought would be about a 20 minute trip one way.  37 minutes later I realized I had gone too far and had… Continue Reading ››

Trump’s Trumps

A new controversy–well, not really new, just renewed–has now taken the stage regarding President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition.  This one concerns the “flavor” of his cabinet choices, taken collectively.  The media and Democrats are trying to figure out (1) what they tell us about Trump and (2) what the supporter–stakeholders think about the choices.  Those are interesting questions.  I am not sure they can be answered adequately at this point, but let’s at least explore them. First, do the choices made… Continue Reading ››

Saudi America Wins! OPEC Waves the White Flag!

One of the bright spots in the U.S. economy over the last decade was the incredible technology revolution in the energy sector with hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”  The U.S. energy revolution drove the nail through the heart of economic pessimists claiming that we’d hit “peak oil,” and were doomed to run out of cheap fossil fuels. Instead, the fracking revolution happened and the U.S. is now the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world–yes we’re Saudi America!… Continue Reading ››

Trumpian optimism

Like most of my fellow Bereans, I would wish for a different outcome for president.  Yet I awoke on Wednesday with some political hope for the first time in eight years.  Yes, there are significant dangers, and Mr. Trump will likely provide more embarrassment than usual. But perhaps politics will follow the fundamental rule of finance, that risk equals reward. Considering his economics, I have both lauded and condemned Mr. Trump.  On the laudatory side, he rightly has questioned the… Continue Reading ››

Conservatives and Cronyism: Time to Take Action

A really important column appeared November 3, 2016 by Yuval Levin in the National Review Online.  The title was “It’s Time for the Right to Get Serious about Tackling Cronyism,” and that title perfectly captures the thrust of the article.  You can read it here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/441691/conservatism-cronyism-policy-solutions-right.  (Sorry, Bert Wheeler, I still can’t master just “link”).  But note the article was aimed at conservatives (including Republicans), though liberals have plenty to answer for on this front as well.  The subject was… Continue Reading ››

Immigration Policy and the Influence of Immigrants on a Society

Do immigrants import their economic (and political) destiny?  And is there any correlation between a past (in some nation) that is anti-market, undemocratic, untrusting and the present state of the nations to which they have migrated in sufficient numbers?  That first sentence is the title of an article in Evonomics: The Next Evolution of Economics, by Garett Jones of the Mercatus Center.  The questions above have been debated in various ways recently and they probably underlay at least some of… Continue Reading ››

The Great Enrichment and Inequality

I have been reading the third in a trilogy of books by Deidre McCloskey on economic history and economic thought, but each one having a powerful point of application for our economy and our well-being today.  The trilogy is massive, running to about 2,000 pages in three volumes.  This third volume is Bourgeois Equality (University of Chicago, 2016).  As the title implies a big part of the book addresses, directly and indirectly, the issue of inequality or it opposite, equality. … Continue Reading ››