March 6, 2010

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Hooray for Starbucks:
Chuck Baldwin
March 6, 2010
The major news media were replete with reports over the weekend that the coffee company, Starbucks, "has no problem with customers packing heat while placing their orders." That Starbucks would not want to alienate millions of gun owners (many of whom lawfully carry concealed weapons for personal protection) makes perfectly good sense to Dr. Chuck Baldwin. He is sure the statement by Starbucks has little to do with guns and everything to do with business. But the fact is, there are tens of thousands of lawfully armed citizens who carry either concealed or open guns and who have been peacefully doing business with thousands of companies around the country for years.

This Time is Different!:
Charles N. Steele
March 6, 2010
Here's a fascinating piece on housing prices in China from today's New York Times.  The explosion in China's real estate markets has some talking "bubble," but of course this situation is quite different from, say the United States experience of recent past.  Why?  Dr. Charles Steele supposes he should have saved the above for April 1.  A bubble is a bubble.  This time is not different.

Interview With Yuri N. Maltsev:
Ludwig von Mises Institute
March 6, 2010
Yuri N. Maltsev received his MA in history and social sciences at Moscow State University and his PhD in economics at the Institute for Labor Research in Moscow. Some of his major achievements include consulting on Central and Eastern European economic, trade and political issues, as well as appearing on national television and radio programs. He currently is a professor of economics at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In this interview with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Dr. Maltsev discusses the manner in which he discovered Austrian economics and how it has shaped his life and work.

Inventories Don't Kill Growth -- People Kill Growth:
Robert P. Murphy
March 6, 2010
The most destructive ideas in academia are those that are technically defensible but nonetheless encourage erroneous intuitions. In economic science, a prime example of such a destructive idea is GDP accounting, writes Dr. Robert Murphy. As the recent punditry on the "inventory blip" of the fourth-quarter growth figures perfectly illustrates, the mainstream macro framework leads us into absolute absurdity.

Krugman Fails to "Get It" on Japan:
William L. Anderson
March 6, 2010
One of Dr. William Anderson's pet peeves with Paul Krugman is his constant rewriting of history, a rewriting that just happens to coincide with left-wing political talking points. Thus, Krugman takes issue with a paper by Alberto F. Alesina and Silvia Ardagna in which the authors claim that tax cuts, as opposed to increases in government spending, provide a better "stimulus" for a moribund economy. Of course, the issue at hand ultimately is not "stimulus" at all; it is the presence of malinvestments, which must be liquidated in order for the economy to recover.

The Correct Theory of Probability (1975):
Murray N. Rothbard
March 6, 2010
Ludwig von Mises's brother, Richard, was a distinguished mathematician, philosopher, and aeronautical engineer. While, in contrast to Ludwig, Richard was an ardent positivist, he made a distinguished contribution to probability theory that has important implications for a sound approach to the social sciences. In this brief article from 1975, Murray Rothbard discusses some essential elements of Richard von Mises's ideas on probability.

Two Cheers for Credit Cards:
Robert P. Murphy
March 6, 2010
Dr. Robert Murphy gets it when people complain about credit-card companies. Yet in the present article he wants to describe some of the benefits of these seductive tools of a modern financial economy. Although many critics would argue that credit cards show the flaws of capitalism, they also showcase its strengths.

The Simple Man:
Rodney Rawlings
March 6, 2010
This is a song using a different arrangement of the melody of Rodney Rawlings's YouTube video "Comet." It praises the mindset of an individual who remains steadfast, principled, and cognizant of basic truths about reality despite the chaos and confusion of the world around him. 

Federal Government Stimulus, One Year Later:
Ron Paul
March 6, 2010
Last week marked the one year anniversary of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, or the stimulus bill, passing into law.  While the debate over its success has been focused on whether or not it is stimulating the economy and on various questionable uses of funds, in Rep. Ron Paul's estimation this legislation is accomplishing exactly what it was intended to accomplish – grow the federal government. 

Bizarre Spending Habits:
Ron Paul
March 6, 2010

Last week Rep. Ron Paul had the opportunity to bring up spending and transparency in two important hearings.  On Wednesday he questioned Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on some highly questionable uses of funds at the Federal Reserve, and on Thursday he asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about exorbitant spending at the State Department. It is extremely important to continue bringing these issues up, especially in light of our difficult economic times, when so many are out of work, writes Rep. Paul.

"There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity." 
~ Douglas MacArthur