Category Archives: Economic Growth

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 ››

Dueling Economic Proposals: Will They Sway Anyone?

I have so far avoided taking any position on the two main candidates for president.  For my colleague Mark Smith, don’t worry, I will.  I intend to continue the path of avoidance in this blog.  Today I would like to examine and evaluate each candidate’s economic program.  I say nothing about their personal morality, or personality, or anything except economic program as articulated formally.  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both now laid out their plans.  I will look first… Continue Reading ››

Globalism versus Globalization

President Obama has shown his true colors again.  In a speech to a group of ambassadors gathered at the White House (July 15) he said this: “I think we have to step back [from the Nice attack] and reflect on what we are doing to eliminate this kind of chronic violence. It’s been a difficult several weeks in the United States.  But the divide … is between people who recognize the common humanity of all people and are willing to build [international]… Continue Reading ››

Stock Markets hit record highs, yet earnings are crushed…what’s up with this? And will it make Donald Trump the president?

Stock markets hit record highs this week, and yet most people aren’t excited about it.  Google “the most hated bull market in history” and you’ll find many reasons for pessimism–we just don’t trust this market.  In normal times, this would indicate we are still healthy, as legendary investor Sir John Templeton once said: “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria.” Yet we’re in anything but normal times.  I often tell people… Continue Reading ››