‘Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design.’

Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767)

24 May 2016

On the Record | Donald Trump addresses America’s Debt

Please see my latest post for the Quarterly Review, ‘Donald Trump addresses America’s Debt’:

‘The Open Conspiracy.’ That is what Henry Hazlitt, the renowned New York journalist, called the political effort to ‘monetise the debt’ by inflating the currency so that U.S. government debts incurred to-day will cost less to pay to-morrow; or, as is the case, years into the future — if ever.

But in an interview with CNBC on 5th May, Donald Trump, presumptive Republican presidential candidate, took a swing at the conspiracy by matter-of-factly stating that, as President, he would seek to restructure the payment of U.S. Treasury bonds at lower returns.

Trump then cracked the conspiracy wide open four days later, acknowledging America’s — and all countries with fiat money — dirty little secret: ‘you never have to default because you print the money’.

And, in the process, Trump unleashed yet more political opprobrium upon his head.

Read more…

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My thanks to Dr Leslie Jones of the Quarterly Review; and my appreciation to Professor Steven Kates of RMIT University for guidance on calculating inflation.

04 May 2016

On the Record | Government Greed Axes the Golden Goose

Please see my latest post for the Quarterly Review, ‘Government Greed Axes the Golden Goose’:

President Barack Obama mounted the bully pulpit again last month, to decry the practice of ‘tax inversion’ and those corporations with the effrontery to believe in private property and the profit motive, thus escaping exorbitant tax bills by moving operations out of the United States for the welcoming low-tax jurisdictions of foreign lands.

According to an AP News report:

“Obama called it ‘one of the most insidious tax loopholes out there’ because it shortchanges the country. He said less tax revenue means the government can’t fully spend on schools, transportation networks and other things to keep the economy strong. He said the practice also hurts middle-class Americans because ‘that lost revenue has to be made up somewhere.’”

Oh, dear! Where does one begin to enumerate President Obama’s recurring penchant for economic (and constitutional) illiteracy?

Read more…

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My thanks to Dr Leslie Jones of the Quarterly Review.