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Connor Mortell

Articles by Connor Mortell

The Economy Needs a Volcker Moment

July 28, 2022

Readers of the Mises Wire are most likely familiar with the Volcker moment. This was when former Fed chair Paul Volcker, in the face of steep price inflation, skyrocketed rates to nearly 20 percent. While critics of the Volcker moment complain that such a move also skyrocketed unemployment to almost 11 percent, it cannot be ignored that the price inflation was finally reined in. Not only did we see the benefit in reduced inflation, but Austrians have an answer regarding the unemployment.
Austrian business cycle theory very simply explains this. While ceteris paribus, this unemployment number looks absolutely devastating, the reality is that it was inevitable. These jobs evaporate with inflation not because there is some mathematically divine connection between

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War Spending Gives MMTers and the Left a Strong Talking Point

July 13, 2022

When conservatives applaud unlimited war spending, they not only harm our economy and body politic, but they give the Left a powerful talking point.

Original Article: “War Spending Gives MMTers and the Left a Strong Talking Point”

Time and time again, prowar spending concedes one of the Left’s most convincing points. As Assal Rad tweeted recently, we will have sent
$54,000,000,000 to Ukraine in less than 4 months.
“How will we pay for it” never seems to apply to wars, just the basic needs of the American people.

To an outside observer, not paying close attention for any number of justifiable reasons, this strikes strongly. The Right regularly challenges that we cannot afford certain things, but if we can afford foreign aid in wars we have no business in,

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Austrian Economists Are Not Surprised by the Shortages

May 30, 2022

While supporters of the Biden administration fault Putin for shortages, Austrian economists know the answer lies in Washington’s monetary and economic mismanagement.
Original Article: “Austrian Economists Are Not Surprised by the Shortages”

In the last few years, it seems as if there has been a hot new story about a different commodity facing some form of shortage every single day. Most recently we have seen a baby formula shortage. However, that is most certainly not the only one we have seen of late. We have seen chicken wing shortages, lumber shortages, medical product shortages—heck, even toilet paper shortages (although I’ll admit that that last one was probably nothing more than goofy panicking). I’d venture a guess that there is not a single person

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Will the Next “Skyscraper Curse” Be Found in the Digital World?

November 16, 2021

The vast majority of Mises Wire readers are already familiar with the Austrian business cycle theory. For those who are not, it is an Austrian perspective on what causes the sudden general cluster of business errors that results in a boom-bust cycle, with the busts being the recessions or depressions that we as a society so dread. Murray Rothbard explains this process in his America’s Great Depression:
In sum, businessmen were misled by bank credit inflation to invest too much in higher-order capital goods, which could only be prosperously sustained through lower time preferences and greater savings and investments; as soon as the inflation permeates to the mass of the people, the old consumption-investment proportion is reestablished, and business investments in

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