Issue CCCI

October 11, 2011

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Economics
Inflationists in Wolves' Clothing
Robert P. Murphy

October 11, 2011

For some time now Dr. Robert Murphy have been warning his Austrian readers of the inflationist threat coming, not from the Keynesian camp, but from otherwise free-market Chicago School economists. Some of the leaders in this "quasi-monetarist" or "market-monetarist" school are Scott Sumner, Bill Woolsey, David Beckworth, and Lars Christensen. Their basic position is that we are in a severe economic slump because Ben Bernanke has been too tight with monetary policy the past three years.Even though their conclusion strikes Dr. Murphy as absurd, these quasi-monetarists are serious thinkers and it would be a big task to comprehensively critique their position. Yet despite their sophisticated calls for the Fed to "target NGDP growth," shape expectations, and so forth, in practice their message is being distilled by the secondhanders into calls for unadulterated handouts of paper money. As this article shows, Dr. Murphy does not have to engage in caricature; pundits like Matt Yglesias and Martin Wolf are openly calling for helicopter drops of money as a solution to our economic woes.

Lucas Is (Mostly) Clueless
William L. Anderson

October 11, 2011

For the most part, Austrians have been doing theoretical battle with the Keynesians over the causes of why the current depression occurred and why it continues. Yet while Keynesians are both under attack and on the attack (read Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong and other Keynesians), nonetheless, the Chicago School also finds itself on the defensive — and correctly so. The Wall Street Journal recently featured an interview of 1995 Nobel Prize winner Robert Lucas of "rational expectations" fame by Holman W. Jenkins Jr. — and if the interview reveals what they are thinking in the ivy towers of Hyde Park, then Dr. William Anderson writes that maybe "salt and fresh water" have been mixed to create an unsuitable brine that not only tastes bad but also is downright economically poisonous. One thing is for sure: neither the "salt water" nor "fresh water" economists understand what is happening to the economy.

History
Cartier vs. Champlain: A Tale of Two Bridges
Bradley Doucet

October 11, 2011

As Montreal bridges, the Jacques Cartier far outshines the Champlain. Most obviously, the Jacques Cartier was opened to traffic in 1930 and is still in good shape 80 years later. The Champlain was opened to traffic in 1962 and is falling apart only 50 years down the road. Bradley Doucet writes that their histories—and today’s proposals for rebuilding the Champlain—are a sad indictment of how some things have changed for the worse in Canada over the last hundred years.

Boom and Depression in Ancient Rome (1939)
H. J. Haskell

October 11, 2011

This excerpt from H. J. Haskell's The New Deal in Rome draws parallels between the policy-fueled economic expansions and contractions of the age of Augustus and the 1930s New Deal under Franklin Roosevelt. Irrespective of the historical setting, the immutable laws of economics hold up. 

Film Analysis
An American Romance: King Vidor's Epic Film of Immigration and the American Dream
Edward W. Younkins

October 11, 2011

King Vidor’s epic 1944 film, An American Romance, chronicles a Czech immigrant’s rise from humble beginnings to a position of wealth and power. Dr. Edward Younkins presents an analysis of this inspiring film, portraying American capitalism as a system of unbounded opportunity.

Politics
The Heinous Precedent of the Awlaki Assassination
G. Stolyarov II

October 11, 2011

The assassination of American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan by the United States Central Intelligence Agency constitutes a dramatic escalation of the powers of the US federal government. Now it no longer simply presumes to have the authority to kill any of its own citizens – the very persons whom it was created to protect – while they are abroad; it has actually exercised this authority. In this article, Mr. Stolyarov focuses on an area of the debate on this subject that has been neglected so far – namely, the question of who might be next.

Elizabeth Warren's Blank Check
Robert P. Murphy

October 11, 2011

Recently a video of Elizabeth Warren has gone viral, garnering more than half a million views in the first ten days. After lambasting the policies of the Bush administration, Warren goes on to critique the claim that rich people have a right to the income from their activities. Warren argues that it is only fair that the rich give back to the community (in the form of higher taxes), since they benefit from the government investments that made their financial success possible.
Dr. Robert Murphy writes that Warren's argument is wrong both on principle and in practical application. It's important to spell out exactly why she's wrong, because her viewpoint is gaining traction among the progressive Left.

Our Children Are at Risk
Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

October 11, 2011

Some prominent and well-meaning liberal evangelicals are targeting House Republicans with radio spots that claim the congressmen want to “delay” and “disarm” Environmental Protection Agency regulations that the Evangelical Environmental Network asserts would safeguard the health and neurological development of unborn children, by reducing mercury emissions from power plants
There is no scientific or health basis for these claims. Moreover, the activists express panic over speculative or imagined risks to American children, even as they condemn legions of Third World children to death from real diseases that the simplest of modern technologies and living standards would prevent. Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., and his colleagues cannot let these EEN claims go unchallenged.

A Fatal Self-Absorption: The Tea Party and American Exceptionalism
Fred Reed

October 11, 2011

Fred Reed thinks that if he were to speechify to a conclave of Tea Partyers, “America is the free-est...the most democratic...the best-educated and most dynamic country the world has ever known, an example to all mankind,” the assembled would hoot and hooroar and applaud in dizzy exaltation. But, according to Mr. Reed, this attitude of American exceptionalism is unquestioningly accepted by many today without regard for the facts of our time.

Videos
Steve Jobs on Death: A Critique
G. Stolyarov II

October 11, 2011

Mr. Stolyarov critiques the remarks Steve Jobs made regarding the desirability of death. Jobs's own recent tragic death underscores the horrible and irreparable harms that death brings to humans. Mr. Stolyarov argues against the idea that death is somehow teleologically beneficial; Jobs's statements on that matter detract from an otherwise inspiring speech.

References
- Steve Jobs's 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford University
- Mr. Stolyarov's "Eliminating Death" video series
- Mr. Stolyarov's "Running from Death" broadcasts

 "I'm convinced that you never have to give up liberties to be safe. I think you're less safe when you give up your liberties." 
~ Ron Paul