Posted in Bailouts, Dependency, Economic Issues, Entrepreneurs, Free Society, Free-Market, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Government Stimulus, Job loss, Keynesian Economics, Liberty, Organizational structure, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Uncategorized, Unemployment

Focus on People During Economic Crises, Not Macro-Statistics – Foundation for Economic Education

By Mark Hornshaw

“Economics studies human choice under scarcity. Humans must act in the present to provide for the future. Informed choice relies on market data in the form of prices—specific prices for specific things, as we assess various different means to satisfy our ends—that is what economics is about.

Macro-statistics such as GDP and CPI, whether they are rising or falling in the aggregate, do not help much with this vital task. These statistics are compilations of vast amounts of data to come up with averages across entire countries and time-periods. It’s a dilution of the data, not an enhancement.

“What a country wants to make it richer, is never consumption, but production. Where there is the latter, we may be sure that there is no want of the former,” said John Stuart Mill, citing Say’s law.

In a tune of rapid change and disruption, we need prices to do their job more than ever so the entrepreneurial process can work. High prices show which industries to move more resources into, and low prices show which ones to move resources out of to free them up for more urgent uses. From the point of view of consumers, high prices show us what we should cut back on, and low prices show where we can pick up bargains.

This process takes time. Interfering with this process just locks in shortages and surpluses.
So-called “stimulus,” just thrown at “the economy” to increase “aggregate demand” in the abstract, cannot work, when there are supply constraints in some industries and prohibitions in others.

Government policy should be on mending holes in the social safety net, compensating those it has forced out of business and jobs, and reducing the tax and regulatory burden it places on businesses, workers and consumers as they try to adjust.

These are all microeconomic responses to relieve suffering and remove impediments.”

https://fee.org/articles/focus-on-people-during-economic-crises-not-macro-statistics/

Posted in American Exceptionalism, American Independence, American Presidents, big government, Economic Issues, Free Society, government incompetence, Government Spending, Government Stimulus, Job loss, Leadership, Liberty, Patient Safety, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Rule of Law, Uncategorized, Unemployment

Panic Has Led to Government “Cures” That Are Worse than the Disease, History Shows – Foundation for Economic Education

Smoot-Hawley and the New Deal are hardly the only examples of government actions making a panic worse.

Thomas Sowell recounts several instances in which governments turned small problems into major ones by using blunt force—often price controls—to respond to public panic about rising costs of a given commodity.

One of the more famous examples of this is the gasoline crisis of the 1970s, which started when the federal government took a small problem (temporary high costs of gasoline) and turned it into a big one (a national shortage).

As Sowell explains, however, there was not an actual scarcity of gasoline. There was nearly as much gas sold in 1972 as the previous year (95 percent, to be precise).

Similar examples kind be found throughout history, from the grain shortages in Ancient Rome brought about by Diocletian’s “Edict on Maximum Prices” to the mortgage crisis in 2007.

It is no coincidence that crises—foreign wars, terrorist attacks, and economic depressions—have often resulted in vast encroachments of freedom and even given rise to tyrants (from Napoleon to Lenin and beyond). In his book Crisis and Leviathan, the historian and economist Robert Higgs explains how throughout history, crises have been used to expand the administrative state, often by allowing “temporary” measures to be left in place after a crisis has abated (think federal tax withholding during World War II).

Like an economic panic, pandemics incite mass fear, which can lead to flawed and irrational decision making.

https://fee.org/articles/panic-has-led-to-government-cures-that-are-worse-than-the-disease-history-shows/

Posted in Access to healthcare, Economic Issues, Education, Evidence-based Medicine, Health Insurance, Medicaid, Medical Costs, outcomes, outcomes measurement, Patient Safety, Philosophy, Poverty, Prevention, primary care, Protocols, Uncategorized, Unemployment

Bridging the Gap Between Where the Quality Metric Ends and Real Life Begins—A Trusting Relationship |JAMA NETWORK

Jennifer E. DeVoe, MD, DPhil

JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(2):177-178. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.5132

My teaching session with the medical student at the end of the day included a discussion about patient care decisions and recommendations that go beyond ticking quality boxes and following the latest guidelines. Initially, I felt as if I was rationalizing my delivery of suboptimal care and began to doubt myself. 

However, the quality reports I receive each month do not capture the complexity of many patients’ lives.4 These reports fail to reflect the individualized and shared decisions made between a patient and her physician who have known each other for 15 years; the proprietary quality score calculation formulas do not adjust for the healing power of relationships.5 Amid the mounting evidence that primary care saves lives,6 our health care system does not (yet) have a population health analytics tool that captures and tracks the progress that she and I have made together in more than a decade. When will we create better systems with capabilities to measure the emergency department visits that were prevented, the stable housing that was obtained, the increased resiliency she has built into her life, her feelings of empowerment to be a better parent, the reduction in her self-destructive behaviors, and the trusting relationship we have built over time?

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2757531?guestAccessKey=15c869b5-37d4-42f4-9feb-12bdc314dbe6&utm_source=silverchair&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article_alert-jamainternalmedicine&utm_content=etoc&utm_term=020320&appId=scweb

Posted in Economic Issues, Foreign policy, Free Society, Free-Market, Liberty, Nation-Building, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, Uncategorized, Unemployment

England & Europe: Never Fully Integrated | National Review

A detour into the political history of England with Victor Davis Hanson.

Historically, Britain has looked more upon the seas and the New World than eastward to Europe. In that transatlantic sense, a Canadian or American typically had more in common with an Englander than did a German or Greek.

Over the last 30 years, the British nearly forgot that fact as they merged into the European Union and pledged to adopt European values in a shared trajectory to supposed utopia.

To the degree that England remained somewhat suspicious of EU continentalism by rejecting the euro and not embracing European socialism, the country thrived. But when Britain followed the German example of open borders, reversed the market reforms of Margaret Thatcher, and adopted the pacifism and energy fantasies of the EU, it stagnated.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/09/england-europe-never-fully-integrated/

Posted in Bailouts, Cost of labor, Economic Issues, Federal Reserve, Free-Market, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Government Stimulus, Interest on the Debt, Interest rate manipulation, National Debt, Policy Issues, Tax Policy, U.S. Security, Uncategorized, Unemployment

The Grumpy Economist: Volalitily, now the whole thing

WONK ALERT!

And now for the meaty post of the week! Seriously, this is a fantastic piece by The Grump Economist, John H. Cochrane, senior fellow at The Hoover Institute.

Here’s a sneak preview:

What’s causing the big drop in the stock market, and the bout of enormous volatility we’re seeing at the end of the year?

The biggest worry is that this is The Beginning of The End — a recession is on its way, with a consequent big stock market rout. Is this early 2008 all over again, a signal of the big drop to come?

Maybe. But maybe not. Maybe it’s 2010, 2011, 2016, or the greatest of all, 1987. “The stock market forecast 9 of the last 5 recessions,” Paul Samuelson once said, and rightly. The stock market does fall in recessions, but it also corrects occasionally during expansions. Each of these drops was accompanied by similar bouts of volatility. Each is likely a period in which people worried about a recession or crash to come, but in the end it did not come.

Still, is this at last the time? A few guideposts are handy.

https://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2019/01/volalitily-now-whole-thing.html

Posted in American Presidents, Cost of labor, Crony Capitalism, Dependency, Economic Issues, Education, emotional intelligence, Entitlements, Entrepreneurs, Free Society, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Income Inequality, Influence peddling, Job loss, Liberty, Neo-conservatism, Policy Issues, Poverty, Progressivism, Rule of Law, Uncategorized, Unemployment, Wealth

Watch “Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Eric Weinstein, and Dave Rubin LIVE!” on YouTube

One of the most fascinating discussions I’ve ever heard about socio-economic & socio-political issues.

Proof that honest discussions, which generate better understanding, can happen when we view different opinions as coming from different vantage points rather than as “the opposition.”

Posted in big government, Economic Issues, Government Spending, Job loss, Medicare, News From Washington, Policy Issues, Poverty, Progressivism, Reforming Medicare, Tax Policy, Uncategorized, Unemployment, Wealth, Welfare State

Rich Nations that Enact Big Government Don’t Remain Rich | International Liberty

“United States would be almost as poor as Mexico today if growth was just one-percentage point less every year starting in 1895.

That was just a hypothetical exercise.

There are some very sobering real-world examples. For instance, Nima Sanandaji pointed out this his country of Sweden used to be the world’s 4th-richest nation. But it has slipped in the rankings ever since the welfare state was imposed.

Venezuela is another case study, as Glenn Reynolds noted.

Indeed, according to NationMaster, it was the world’s 4th-richest country, based on per-capita GDP, in 1950.”

…Now? Not so much!

https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/rich-nations-that-enact-big-government-dont-remain-rich/