Category: Limited Government

The F.C.C., Jobs, and Rainbow Stew

“When they find out how to burn water, And the gasoline car is gone. When an airplane flies without any fuel, And the sunlight heats our home. One of these days when the air clears up, And the sun comes shinin’ through. We’ll all be drinkin’ free bubble-up, An’ eatin’ that rainbow stew.”                                                                                Merle […]

Yen Confusion: A Teaching Moment

When I joined the Richmond Fed in 1968 as an international economist, it took 360 yen to purchase 1 dollar. Yesterday, it took fewer than 80. I can’t explain why the immediate reaction to the Japanese tragedy, which will cripple its economy for some time to come and will likely curb Japanese exports more than […]

The 2011 Economic Freedom Index

The good news in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom, compiled by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, is improvement in economic freedom in the 183 countries surveyed. The bad news is that the United States slipped from 7th to 9th place. The average score improved from an index number (100 is best) […]

Restoring American Prosperity: Challenges and Solutions

Below is a copy of my remarks to a group of students this past week-end. The assigned topic was the title above. I don’t have the time, nor the expertise to talk about many of our chronic problems like Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, the need for better immigration policies and inter-city public education. John […]

Oil Spills and Trying Harder

Don’t take this as a defense of BP, but we need to keep reminding ourselves that accidents happen. Accidents not only happen, but “keeping the boot on the neck” of those trying to clean up the mess may not be all that helpful—not to mention the terrible imagery our government is creating with such rhetoric. […]

The Yuan, the Dollar: Repeating the Policy Mistakes of the Great Depression

In several recent speeches, I’ve mentioned that our policy makers seem intent on repeating the policy mistakes of the depression. I mention the clamor for the Fed to withdraw or mop up excess reserves even though bankers feel the need to hold them without significant incentive. Doing that very thing during the depression caused bank […]

Higher Wages through Government Contracts?

“In the end, businesses had to choose between lowering wages and shutting down. Often, they shut down.” Let’s see now. Government spending is out of control. So are budget deficits and debt generation. The taxpayers are in revolt. Tea parties are dominating the political scene. Yet, despite all this, we get an announcement that government […]

The New York Times/CBS Poll and My Advice for the President

The front page of today’s New York Times reports on the results from the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. It is largely about who polls the lowest between President Obama and the Congress, President Obama and the Republicans, and Republicans versus Democrats. It made me wonder whether poll results can go below zero. Here […]

Hard Money Populism

The first and so-far the only person I’ve heard call himself a “hard money populist” was my friend, Wayne Angell. That was several years ago when he was a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and we served together on the FOMC. I wanted to give Wayne credit for the expression […]

Breast Cancer Correctness

I guess what bothers me most is being taken for a fool. Let’s see now, breast cancer kills thirty-somethings and forty-somethings, but it kills more fifty-somethings and up. So, since we are all going to be sharing the cost of detection and treatment more than ever, why don’t you gals below fifty be good  sports […]