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April 2009

Volume 59, 2009

FEATURES

Recycling Discredited Ideas

APRIL 01, 2009 by PETER LEWIN

The current financial crisis has fueled a frenzied recycling of discredited Keynesian ideas. We are hearing again of the need for "public works," of the need to "stimulate" the economy. The Federal Reserve is frantically inflating the supply of money. We are laying the groundwork for a disaster reminiscent of the 1970s--if not worse.

A Microeconomist's Protest

APRIL 01, 2009 by MARIO RIZZO

The conventional macroeconomic diagnosis and proposed cures ignore many important structural or microeconomic factors.

Too Big to Succeed

APRIL 01, 2009 by LESS ANTMAN

One widely cited culprit for the 2008 financial crisis was a supposed decision by the U.S. government not to regulate a relatively new type of financial instrument known as a credit default swap (CDS). In fact, this so-called "failure to regulate" refers to regulations that prohibited public trading of these instruments, concentrated risk in a small number of large firms, and massively increased the probability of a financial disaster. To add to the irony, one of the government officials most responsible for these interventions, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, recently apologized for having had too much faith in the free market when he should have apologized for not having had enough.

Somalia: Failed State, Economic Success?

APRIL 01, 2009 by BENJAMIN POWELL

By most measures Somalia has improved living standards faster than the average sub-Saharan African country since the government of Siad Barre collapsed in the early 1990s.

T. Boone Pickens is Right About Oil Imports? It Just Ain't So!

APRIL 01, 2009 by E. FRANK STEPHENSON

The $700 billion that Americans spend annually to purchase oil from other countries (according to Pickens) is a price not a transfer. For the $700 billion we send to oil exporters, we get something in return—oil. Our receipt of millions of barrels of oil in exchange for that money is hardly a transfer. We receive a versatile commodity that can be used for everything from making plastics to fueling family vacations. The exporters receive the $700 billion that they can then use to purchase other goods and services.

Madoff Is a Piker

Madoff's Scam Was Small Compared to U.S. Government's Two Ponzi Schemes

APRIL 01, 2009 by JOHN STOSSEL

Where Does Your Vote Really Count?

Your Dollar Votes Always Count in the Free Market

APRIL 01, 2009 by WALTER E. WILLIAMS

Globalization: Extending the Market and Human Well-Being

APRIL 01, 2009 by GENNADY STOLYAROV II

Much of the prosperity of today's world arises from the division of labor. Globalization, by extending the market's scope to the entire world, enables the division of labor to become as developed as the current world population allows. However, to be truly in the interests of consumers and a boon to economic prosperity, globalization needs to occur spontaneously through the workings of the unhampered free market. Government attempts to meddle with this process--even with the sincere intent to facilitate or accelerate it--will only undermine its efficacy at benefiting us all.

On the Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle, Part II

APRIL 01, 2009 by DONALD BOUDREAUX

I'm not sure where recent events—the economy's still-ongoing turmoil—leave my assessment of the Austrian theory. But I am much more inclined now to find in it the empirical oomph that for so many years I thought it lacked.

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Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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