Saturday, January 21, 2012

Points of Public Interest

  1. Money, credit and inflation - Sean Corrigan explains the difference between money and credit, highlighting the different nature of banks and individuals in creating credit. An often forgotten aspect of our current monetary system is that individual banks can create credit (which can turn into money) irrespective of Fed or Treasury policy. This unique ability generates the potential for inflationary and deflationary forces in the money supply outside of the federal government’s control.
  2. Death by Wealth Tax - Richard Epstein argues against the proposal for a wealth tax on assets.
  3. Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us - Jonah Lehrer details some failings in medicine stemming from the incorrect, basic “assumption—that understanding a system’s constituent parts means we also understand the causes within the system.” As Lehrer notes, centuries ago David Hume recognized a human desire to view the appearance of causation as an actual fact, rather than “fiction that helps us make sense of facts.” (HT: Russ Roberts)
  4. Debt, Deficits, and Modern Monetary Theory - Bill Mitchell, a founding member of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), outlines the difference between MMT and mainstream economics. These differing conceptions about public debts and very important to the public policy battles in the news today. (HT: Neil Wilson)
  5. Peter Boettke on Austrian Economics - “Austrians want to talk about things like dispersed knowledge, heterogeneity, uncertainty – not just risk, but real uncertainty – and institutions, how institutions arise to allow us to cope with our ignorance and our uncertainty and to ameliorate the frictions that exist in the world.” Peter Boettke discusses contributions of Austrian economics and five books to read on the subject.

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