Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Archive for the category “Economizing”

A Dangerous Monopoly

It’s a fact that everyone wants the products they buy to be safe to consume or use. So what is the safest route–the free-market system or a government-run program? Professor Howard Baetjer, of Towson University, explains that under the free-market system, competition among certification firms allows the process to work as it should and prevents under- or over-testing. And the firms have no monopoly. On the other hand, government holds a monopoly on safety standards that may result in over- or under-testing of products. “A monopoly government agency faces no check on this kind of caution,” says Baetjer. “If an agency rejects a product that’s safe, or takes years for additional tests, the manufacturer cannot turn to another certifier. No other certifiers are permitted.” Listen to the rest of Professor Baetjer’s case for a free-market system.

Our Future in Peril

Spending in our country has always spiked to exorbitant levels during wars, but settled in peacetime. But after dropping following World War II, spending has spiraled out of control. Political pundits are forcasting the destruction of our society, or worse yet, another depression. “We are going broke, and the response of our politicians is not to cut anything, it’s to double down on idiotic policies that will increase our debt,” consumer and investigative reporter John Stossel says. Stossel points out the culprits threatening our future, then focuses on the forces that have made life better in this edition of Liberty Pen.

Wealth in Knowledge

Not surprisingly, the most essential factor in creating wealth is not money but knowledge. While the deduction is a simple one, there are some additional factors in the overall equation. Economist George Gilder, co-founder of the Discovery Institute, says, “Here’s how it works. More freedom, more knowledge, more innovation. And more innovation leads to dynamic economic growth. Less freedom, less knowledge, less innovation … less economic growth.” Listen in, Gilder lays out more facts in this edition of Prager University.

Capitalism is Best

Since President Obama took up residence in the White House, the debate began in earnest: socialism versus capitalism. While the national consensus is Obama leans toward more government and socialism, the majority of the country opines that good old-fashioned entrepreneurship and capitalism is the way to go. Georgetown University associate professor of philosophy Jason Brennan says in his new book, “Why Not Capitalism,” that the notion holding the most appeal with academics is that while socialism is unworkable in practice, it is still the best way to society in theory. “Such thinking neglects the fact that even in utopia, people will have significantly different visions of life well lived.” Join Brennan as he explains his vision to Reason TV’s Rob Montz.

The Money Game

Once upon a time the value of money was linked to how much gold or silver the U.S. had squirred away. Today, the determining factor is how much of it is in circulation. In this edition of TED-Ed, Doug Levinson explains who makes the decision about how much money to print and how it affects the economy at large.

A Taxing Migration

As heavier tax burdens across country put the squeeze on hard-working Americans, many of them are voting with their feet and taking their wallets, according to Travis L. Brown, author of How Money Walks. Brown tells John Stossel of Liberty Pen, “We’re looking at the movement of Americans and their income, measured by the Internal Revenue Service data files since 1992 to 2010. ” Brown says majority of the migration is to no income tax states, such as Texas, Nevada and Florida, while heavier-taxed states like California and New York are in a financial tailspin.

The Best is Yet to Come

Bryan Caplan, professor of economics at George Mason University, says there’s no need for so much gloom and doom when it comes to the state of the world. “Human beings dwell on problems, failures and tragedies, and take solutions, successes and  triumphs for granted,” says Caplan,who refers to the phenomenon as pessimistic bias. But with all of the amazing economic gains in the last 100 years, Caplan says the big picture is still very sunny. In this edition of  “Econ Chronicles” on Learn Liberty, Caplan explains.

Debt Sunami Looming

It’s difficult to fathom America’s $17 trillion debt. Almost surreal at times. But make no mistake, reckless spending coupled with careless economic policies have emptied our coffers. Can we recover? Prager University invited Cato Institute senior fellow Michael Tanner to offer his perspective on the crisis and a plan for solvency.

Wage Increase Kills Jobs

The federally mandated mininum wage hike to $10.10 isn’t scheduled until 2015, and already the consequences are devastating. “Why doesn’t he (President Obama) make it take effect immediately? Well, because he doesn’t want the layoffs to happen before the midterm elections,” says financial commentator Peter Schiff. But the effects of the potential raise is already making a dent in employment on military bases. Schiff says anybody running a restaurant on a military base will be mandated to pay their employees the new minimum wage, regardless of the consequences. So what’s happening? “All these restaurants are closing … closing now in advance of 2015,” Schiff says. “They’re not renewing their contracts.” In this edition of The Peter Schiff Show, Schiff explains how raising the minimum wage for all Americans is a job killer.

Reforming Our Tax Code

Virtual President Bill Whittle tackles the always-sticky issue of taxes in this segment of the Bill Whittle Channel. He examines our currently flawed, sometimes corrupt system, and what we can do to make the tax code more efficient and more fair for the sake of generating more revenue.


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