March 26, 2011

Return to Issue CCLXXXI.                   Proceed to Issue CCLXXXIII.
Recommend this page.                           Submit Items to TRA.

A sample image

The Fed and Inflation
Ron Paul

March 26, 2011
Last week, the subcommittee which Rep. Ron Paul chairs held a hearing on monetary policy and rising prices.  Whether we consider food, gasoline, or clothing, the cost of living is increasing significantly.  True inflation is defined as an increase in the money supply.  All other things being equal, an increase in the money supply leads to a rise in prices.  Inflation’s destructive effects have ruined societies from the Roman Empire to Weimar Germany to modern-day ZimbabweBlame for the most recent round of price increases has been laid at the feet of the Federal Reserve's program of credit expansion for the past three years.

The Floating Dollar as a Threat to Property Rights
Seth Lipsky

March 26, 2011
Consider one of the most important measures of property, the kilogram. It’s a measure of mass or, for non-scientific purposes, weight. According to the papers, a global scramble is under way to define this most basic unit after it was discovered that the standard kilogram—a cylinder of platinum and iridium that is maintained by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures—has been losing mass. The question Seth Lipsky invites you to consider for a moment is what would happen if we just let the kilogram float? This is a question that was posed in an editorial last week in the New York Sun. After all, the editorial said, we let the dollar float.

Set Kids Free to Work
Douglas French

March 26, 2011
Old folks are working, and teenagers are laying around doing nothing.  It was not always this way, writes Douglas French.  Kids used to find a job as soon as they had the desire for two very important things: to get out of the house and to get money in their hands. But minimum-wage laws and myriad other restrictions are keeping young people artificially infantilized and increasingly unemployed.

The Peaceful Resistance
Jeffrey A. Tucker

March 26, 2011
Whenever Jeffrey Tucker is feeling blue about domestic politics — there is plenty about which to despair — something great happens that reminds him of the long-term case for optimism, which is all about the astonishing expansion of the division of labor globally and in ways that weren't even possible just a few years ago. The world has changed to permit ever more people in all corners of the globe to cooperate to their mutual betterment. The very prospect is inspiring people to claim their freedom and use it to make their lives better.

There's No Such Thing as Homemade Ice Cream
Jeffrey A. Tucker

March 26, 2011
In the freezer section of the grocery store, there's Vanilla Bean, French Vanilla, and yet another vanilla flavor called Homemade Vanilla. Jeffrey Tucker thinks, "Now, come on! I'm in the store here, looking at rows and rows of commercial products produced by a vast capitalistic machinery, a cornucopia of frozen goods made by advanced industrial technologies, made from goods and services that require a global division of labor and a sophisticated trading and price system rooted in private property and replete with entrepreneurial risk at every stage of production. There's nothing 'homemade' about anything here, and surely everyone knows that. It's just marketing — not that there's anything wrong with that." But it got Mr. Tucker thinking. What is real homemade ice cream?

Why is Unemployment So High?
Robert P. Murphy

March 26, 2011
Everyone knows that the unemployment situation is very bad, but the official figures (not surprisingly) understate the problem. In this article Dr. Robert Murphy outlines the severity of the stalled labor market, and explains some of the major causes.

The Japanese Currency Intervention
Robert P. Murphy

March 26, 2011
After the catastrophic earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear-reactor scares, the Japanese currency ironically strengthened quite sharply. In response, the Bank of Japan and other major central banks last week launched a coordinated "intervention" into the currency markets in order to intentionally weaken the yen. In this article Dr. Robert Murphy explains why the yen strengthened in the first place, and the problems with the central-bank maneuvers.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Marita Noon

March 26, 2011
Sunday, March 20, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, dodged questions about his support of high gas prices while admitting that they would go up—saying the administration is working to take the “pain out of high gas prices.” A week earlier, the day of Japan’s catastrophic earthquake, President Obama held a press conference on gas prices in which he bragged about “producing more oil and importing less,” claiming to be moving on an energy strategy that pursues “more energy production” and increases access to “secure energy supplies.” These statements would leave us to believe that the administration cares about the “pain” of high energy prices Americans are facing and wants a secure “energy future.” Instead, writes Marita Noon, they are a distraction from the true actions of the administration that block access to America’s energy.

Military Intervention in Libya Unconstitutional
Tenth Amendment Center

March 26, 2011
The recent military action in Libya raises an important question beyond the political debates revolving around national interests and moral obligation. Does the president have the Constitutional authority to unilaterally order U.S. forces into action? This press release by the Tenth Amendment Center argues that he does not.


Nuclear Safety: Reactors That Can't Melt Down
Kelvin Kemm

March 26, 2011
South African nuclear specialist Dr. Kelvin Kemm’s article offers nuclear industry “insider” perspectives on what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi plant during the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami, explains key aspects of nuclear power plant design and construction, and provides background on what could become a next generation nuclear plant design: the pebble bed modular reactor, which he played an important role in developing.

 "Whoever is able to make you absurd is able to make you unjust." 
~ Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire