How the Minimum Wage Helped Wreck Puerto Rico’s Economy

Apr 25th, 2016 * RECOMMENDED READINGS, Business, Economics, Labor, Minimum Wage Laws, Money Bill B. May 1 min read

Jack Salmon writes:  Puerto Rico is in crisis and drowning in debt. Now it looks like the island’s Development Bank, set up to raise living standards in the territory, will collapse. Congress is rushing to provide some help, but it also needs to consider the effects of federal regulations on the island. Foremost among these is the federal minimum wage.  


Helicopter Money to the Rescue

Frank Hollenbeck writes:  Following the unconventional monetary policy of negative interest rates, central banks are now considering an even more desperate measure: “helicopter money.” Milton Friedman is credited with this idea: Let us suppose now that one day a helicopter flies over this community and drops an additional $1,000 in bills from the sky, which is, of course, hastily collected by members of the community….


Why the Minimum Wage Is Bad at Reducing Poverty

Chris Edwards says:   It’s Badly Targeted and Hurts as Much as It Helps California and New York have approved bills to increase their state minimum wages over time to $15 an hour. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders favor raising the federal minimum wage. But such mandated increases do more harm than good, and they hurt the exact groups of people that policymakers say…


Piketty Is Wrong: Markets Don’t Concentrate Wealth

Dec 12th, 2015 * RECOMMENDED READINGS, Economics, Money, Social Issues Bill B. May 1 min read

Louis Rouanet writes:  The old Marxist apocalyptical fear of ever-rising inequality in capitalist societies is growing. The capitalist elite, it is said, benefit from a dynamic of infinite accumulation of wealth and will be able soon to buy everything and everybody, including the government. This fear of unlimited accumulation of wealth by a few was the main theme of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First…


“Capitalism” Is the Wrong Word

Dec 10th, 2015 * RECOMMENDED READINGS, Business, Economics, Free Enterprise, Labor, Liberty, Money Bill B. May 1 min read

Steven Horwitz says:  We Shouldn’t Use a Term Coined by the System’s Enemies Wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply invent new terms to replace the words that seem to cause more heat than light? For example, I have written before of my qualms about using the word capitalism to describe the free-market economy. The word was coined by capitalism’s enemies to describe the…


How Money Disappears in a Fractional-Reserve Money System

Dec 2nd, 2015 * RECOMMENDED READINGS, Economics, Money Bill B. May 1 min read

Frank Shostak says:  How Money Disappears in a Fractional-Reserve Money System Most experts are of the view that the massive monetary pumping by the US central bank during the 2008 financial crisis saved the US and the world from another Great Depression. On this the Federal Reserve Chairman at the time Ben Bernanke is considered the man that saved the world. Bernanke in turn attributes…


The Problem With “Rules-Based” Monetary Policy

Nov 30th, 2015 * RECOMMENDED READINGS, Economics, Money Bill B. May 1 min read

Tommy Behnke says:  The phrase “rules-based monetary policy” has frequented conservative circles a lot lately. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz expressed his deep passion for implementing a monetary policy rule in a handful of presidential debates this year, including both October’s and November’s debates. House Republicans have introduced bills that would require the Federal Reserve to follow a “rule.” Even the conservative intellectual class has…