Minimum Wage: A Common Rhetorical Trick

Under the title “Target increases minimum wage to $10 an hour,” Reuters reports that Target is increasing its “minimum wage:” Discount retailer Target Corp has started raising employee wages to a minimum of $10 an hour, its second hike in a year, pressured by a competitive job market and labor groups calling for higher wages…

Investing and “the Economy” as Such

“The economy is doing well” or “the economy has reached a stand-still” or many other myriad ways to refer to “the economy” should always be taken as a metaphor. And yet, quite obviously, this is not actually the way that the mainstream economic thinking works. For them, the economy is treated as an entity independent…

Austrians and Empirical Evidence

I was asked today by a friend the following: [C]an you explain to me the canard about how Austrians don’t believe empirical evidence or statistics factor into the study of economics? Is this true? It is often argued that Austrians work on presupposed axioms which may or may not have empirical evidence for it, and…

The Big Short

For most people, the events of 2008 and 2009 are shrouded in mystery. Millions lost their homes and jobs, banks went out of business or were absorbed by other financial institutions, and there was constant political tension about what the proper response by the government should be. The Big Short is the film adaption of…

A Review of Austrian School for Investors

As interest in the Austrian School continues to expand in our day, people are going to increasingly consider the practical relevance of this highly philosophical school of economic thought. After all, for better or for worse, we live in the “practical age.” People are less interested in theory and more interested in “whether it works.”…

The Swiss 100% Reserve Plan

The Telegraph reported last week that “Switzerland will hold a referendum to decide whether to ban commercial banks from creating money.” The article continued to say: The campaign… is designed to limit financial speculation by requiring private banks to hold 100pc reserves against their deposits. “Banks won’t be able to create money for themselves any…

Fear the Boom, not the Bust

According to most financial commentators, the economy has a cyclical nature about it such that there are times where everything is booming and business is expanding and there are times when everything turns upside down and the economy “contracts.” As such, it is the times of boom when we ought to be enjoying ourselves and,…

Money: A Taxonomy

What is money? Most people have only a vague idea. It has something to do with the green pieces of paper in one’s wallet; but then again such paper is rarely used in our digital age. The intention of the present article is to give an overview of the different financial instruments that people often…

Fictitious Economic Models

In compliment to my own recent thoughts on government macro-level statistics, David Stockman refers to them in his recent column as follows: The hard core reality, however, is that the very foundations of the Keynesian full employment model cannot be measured, specified, validated or achieved. For all practical purposes there is no such thing in…

General Stock Market Index Performance is a Result of the Fed

The way that most people think about the stock market’s rising and falling is usually at odds with the economic reality. This is not entirely their fault; there is an academic consensus at play which reinforces the confusion, this consensus, of course, being the Keynesian paradigm. When the financial media talks about the stock market,…

Is the Fed Evil “Because it is Private?”

Critics of the Fed –especially these days when Fed criticism is mildly trendy– will often complain that it is such a corrupt and dangerous institution “because it is private.” The implied solution, of course, is to bring the central bank’s activities to Congressional control; because then the control of the most powerful central bank in the…