Issue CCXCIII

August 14, 2011

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Economics
End This Agony
Robert P. Murphy

August 14, 2011

In the wake of the stock-market plunge and S&P downgrade, economic pundits of all stripes are rushing to explain events. But as so often happens in economics, "believing is seeing." Keynesians, monetarists, and Austrians can all look at the slow-motion train wreck and feel vindicated by the data. But the champion Keynesian, Paul Krugman, has been running victory laps for a long time now, claiming that he has been right while the free-market folks have been dead wrong. His column late last week beautifully illustrates that the facts can always be molded to fit a preconceived narrative. Dr. Robert P. Murphy addresses Krugman's errors and defends the Austrian perspective.

Why is the Stock Market Plunging?
Robert P. Murphy

August 14, 2011

Investors the world over are still reeling from the August 3, 2011, massive plunge in the US equity markets, in which the major indices all gave up more than 4 percent. It was the worst day for the US stock market since December 2008.
Dr. Robert Murphy writes that none of this should surprise those conversant with Austrian economics. The "fundamentals" of the economy have been and remain awful because the federal government and Federal Reserve are consistently doing the wrong things. The apparent recovery, fueled by Bernanke's sheer money creation, has been bogus all along.

The Higher-Education Bubble Has Popped
Douglas French

August 14, 2011

A college degree once looked to be the path to prosperity. In an article for TechCrunch, Sarah Lacy writes, "Like the housing bubble, the education bubble is about security and insurance against the future. Both whisper a seductive promise into the ears of worried Americans: Do this and you will be safe."
But the jobs that made higher education pay off during the inflationary boom, kicked into high gear by Nixon waving goodbye to the last shreds of a gold standard, came primarily from government and finance. Now that demand for workers in those areas is declining, Douglas French writes that the higher-education bubble has burst. 

Politics
In Defense of Internet Anonymity
Wendy McElroy

August 14, 2011

Wendy McElroy believes the benefits of online anonymity substantially outweigh its peripheral disadvantages. The disagreement on this subject could make for an interesting debate were it not for the fact that anything our society identifies as "bad" immediately becomes targeted by crusaders who cry "there oughta be a law!" The bad behavior ascribed to anonymity is wide-ranging and spans from common rudeness to the rape of children by online predators. Thus, those who oppose online anonymity often blur the line between boorish behavior and criminal acts in order in order to fortify their call for prohibition.

Coming Soon: The Federal Department of Standardized Minds
Neal McCluskey

August 14, 2011

The story of federal intervention in education is one of abject failure. Coming in large supply only since President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” Washington’s educational undertakings first resulted in billions of misspent dollars, then billions of misspent dollars coupled with increasingly rigid “accountability” rules. The result of both phases has been squandered funds and academic stagnation. But, writes Neal McCluskey, rather than accepting the lesson that centralized control of education is doomed to failure, inside-the-Beltway educationists are doubling down, pushing for a single national curriculum.

The Militarization of Compassion
Peter J. Boettke

August 14, 2011

The language of disaster and recovery efforts is one of centralization—a military effort is presumed to be required to tackle the urgent problem. But the militarization of compassion is not very effective in achieving improvement. Dr. Peter Boettke suggests that decentralized action is far more effective.

The Debt-Limit Fiasco
Charles N. Steele

August 14, 2011

In the final hour, Congress managed to strike a compromise and raised the debt limit at the last minute.  What are we to make of this entire episode? Dr. Charles Steele offers his thoughts regarding what he considers an entirely avoidable political mess.

Day of Reckoning
Llewelyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

August 14, 2011

The trigger that apparently caused the market meltdown was the ever-so-slight suggestion from Standard & Poor's that the US government's fiscal health might not be all it's cracked up to be. This was not a case of the little boy noting the emperor has no clothes. It is more like the little boy suggesting that the emperor's clothes, while beautiful, might have been more carefully tailored to suit the imperial dignity. Hysteria followed, and the entire Obama cult called for the kid to be stoned. 
But, writes Lew Rockwell, the downgrading of a government's debt from AAA to AA+ can only have triggered a market avalanche if the truth is in fact much worse, and most everyone knows it.

Super Congress: A Gift to K Street
Ron Paul

August 14, 2011

Rep. Ron Paul contends that the Super Congress created by the recent debt ceiling increase deal is a typical example of something nefarious attached to a bigger bill that is rushed through Congress without giving Members ample opportunity to consider the full ramifications.  This commission may turn into an early Christmas present for the well-heeled lobbyists of K Street.  This is because the commission presents a huge opportunity for lobbying firms to sneak their clients' pet projects and issues into whatever legislation is created by the commission. The fact that automatic cuts to defense are named if the committee deadlocks simply signals to the military-industrial complex to bring its A-game to the lobbying effort.

Videos
Ron Paul's 2nd Place in Iowa Ames Straw Poll, Subtle Media Deception, and Why Ron Paul Needs to Win
G. Stolyarov II

August 14, 2011


Mr. Stolyarov discusses Rep. Ron Paul's remarkable 2nd-place finish in the Iowa Ames Straw Poll of August 13, 2011 - which is a threefold improvement on a percentage basis from Dr. Paul's performance in the 2007 Ames Straw Poll.  Some "mainstream" media outlets, especially the Murdoch-affiliated ones, have attempted to ignore this result, but hopefully the American people are smarter than that. Furthermore, Mr. Stolyarov addresses the prescience of Dr. Paul's predictions regarding the sorry condition of the United States today. Given the economic, political, and human calamities perpetrated by today's establishment, it is imperative that Ron Paul win this time.

 "Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven't had capitalism." 
~ Ron Paul