Issue CCLIII

June 22-27, 2010

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Economics
The Alleged Absence of Depressions Under Totalitarianism (1949):
Ludwig von Mises
June 22, 2010

Many socialist authors emphasize that the recurrence of economic crises and business depressions is a phenomenon inherent in the capitalist mode of production. On the other hand, a socialist system is safe against this evil. In this excerpt from Human Action, the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) addresses this claim.

Inflation Destroys Savings:
Ludwig von Mises
June 22, 2010

In this lecture, delivered at the Foundation for Economic Education in the 1960s, Ludwig von Mises explained that everything that is done by a government against the purchasing power of the monetary unit is done against the middle classes and the working classes of the population. Only these people don't know it. And this is the tragedy. The tragedy is that the unions and all these people are supporting a policy that makes all their savings valueless. And this is the great danger of the whole situation.

Net Neutrality: Unwarranted Intervention:
Fernando Herrera-Gonzalez
June 22, 2010

With the recent sentence on the Comcast affair, it seems that the debate about net-neutrality regulation has paused. Feeling the carpet pulled out from under it, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is struggling to find a new legal ground for its intervention. In the meantime, writes Fernando Herrera-Gonzalez, the stakeholders should reflect on the consequences a lobbying success would bring: the creation of regulations on net neutrality.

The Cairo Garbage Calamity:
Anders Mikkelsen
June 22, 2010

The Sundance Channel recently aired Cairo: Garbage, in the series Cities On Speed. The documentary is about the colossal breakdown of garbage collection in Cairo, one of the biggest cities in the world. Though it fails to answer some key questions, the film does, however, document the failure of the mercantilist state to do something as basic as cleaning up the garbage. While the documentary never states this clearly, it appears to Anders Mikkelsen that the Egyptian government destroyed a traditional and functioning system of private garbage collection and recycling.

A Society of Mutual Benefactors:
Jeffrey A. Tucker
June 22, 2010

At some point today, you will undoubtedly engage in some economic exchange. Use the opportunity to reflect on what a glorious dynamic underlies it. Jeffrey Tucker writes that the understanding of economics leads to a direct appreciation of the contribution of free markets to the well-being of all.

Money vs. Wealth:
Robert P. Murphy
June 27, 2010

When discussing financial matters, people often conflate money with wealth. Although such loose language may be perfectly fine in everyday conversation, it's important to occasionally go over the basics and make sure we are thinking about these issues in the proper way. In this article, Dr. Robert Murphy uses a recent National Public Radio interview in order to reiterate the basic distinction between money and wealth.

Politics
A Few Questions for President Obama:
Paul Driessen
June 27, 2010

President Obama’s June 15 oil spill speech has been roundly criticized, and for good reason. It was long on blame, effusive with green energy promises, but devoid of any substantive plan for cleaning up the mess in the Gulf and ushering in the era of wind and solar utopia. The speech raised far more questions than it answered.
Paul Driessen's column asks some of the tough questions that the President and his allies refuse to raise, much less answer.

It's an Economic War:
Marita Noon
June 27, 2010

Since the beginning of the BP oil spill off the Gulf Coast there has been a lively debate about the actions of BP and the response of the federal government. What has been neglected, according to Marita Noon, is consideration of the oil spill from a strictly economic point of view. We’re all aware that BP has been running a public relations campaign to save its own neck while President Obama and members of Congress have been scrambling to give the impression that they are addressing the problem. What has gone unconsidered is how decisions being made today will affect stockholders, pensioners, and BP’s future ability to pay. 
Ms. Noon builds the case that the federal government should work with oil companies to prevent future environmental mishaps rather than take advantage of the situation to push a job-killing cap-and-trade initiative. The greatest threat is not BP or even the oil spill itself, it’s the economic war that Washington is waging against America ’s oil-dependent economy—and there will be collateral damage in the form of higher unemployment

Is Salted Popcorn About to Become a Federal Offense?:
Tom DeWeese
June 27, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning an assault on salt. The federal government intends to set regulations to limit the use of salt intake by Americans. The regulations would set "legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products." Of course, the excuse is "protection" of the health of the American people. Say the feds, limiting salt would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. Tom DeWeese writes that such claims have no scientific basis.

Cap-and-Tax: A $cam Based on a Scam:
Alan Caruba
June 27, 2010

For Alan Caruba, it is almost beyond comprehension that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT)  introduced the Cap-and-Trade Act for consideration by the Senate. It is being passed off as a “climate bill” with provisions for more oil drilling, but it is an assault on reality, on science, on common sense, and on any future economic growth of the nation.

"At all events, arbitration is more rational, just, and humane than the resort to the sword." 
~ Richard Cobden