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Tag Archives: central planning

GDP Begets More GDP (Positive Feedback), Report 30 June

Last week, we discussed the fundamental flaw in GDP. GDP is a perfect tool for central planning tools. But for measuring the economy, not so much. This is because it looks only at cash revenues. It does not look at the balance sheet. It does not take into account capital consumption or debt accumulation. Any Keynesian fool can add to GDP by borrowing to spend. But that is not economic growth. Borrowing to Consume Today,...

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What Gets Measures Gets Improved, Report 23 June

Let’s start with Frederic Bastiat’s 170-year old parable of the broken window. A shopkeeper has a broken window. The shopkeeper is, of course, upset at the loss of six francs (0.06oz gold, or about $75). Bastiat discusses a then-popular facile argument: the glass guy is making money (to which all we can say is, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”). Bastiat says it is true, and this is the seen. The glazier does...

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Is Capital Creation Beating Capital Consumption? Report 3 Mar

We have written numerous articles about capital consumption. Our monetary system has a falling interest rate, which causes both capital churn and conversion of one party’s wealth into another’s income. It also has too-low interest, which encourages borrowing to consume (which, as everyone knows, adds to Gross Domestic Product—GDP). What Is Capital At the same time, of course entrepreneurs are creating new capital. Keith...

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Central Planning Is More than Just Friction, Report 17 February

It is easy to think of government interference into the economy like a kind of friction. If producers and traders were fully free, then they could improve our quality of life—with new technologies, better products, and lower prices—at a rate of X. But the more that the government does, the more it burdens them. So instead of X rate of progress, we get the same end result but 10% slower or 20% slower. Some would go so...

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What They Don’t Want You to Know about Prices, Report 10 Feb

Last week, in part I of this essay, we discussed why a central planner cannot know the right interest rate. Central planner’s macroeconomic aggregate measures like GDP are blind to the problem of capital consumption, including especially capital consumption caused by the central plan itself. GDP has an intrinsic bias towards consumption, and makes no distinction between consumption of the yield on capital, and...

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Rising Interest and Prices, Report 13 Jan 2019

For years, people blamed the global financial crisis on greed. Doesn’t this make you want to scream out, “what, were people not greedy in 2007 or 1997??” Greed utterly fails to explain the phenomenon. It merely serves to reinforce a previously-held belief. Far be it from us to challenge previously-held beliefs (OK, OK, we may engage in some sacred-ox-goring from time to time), but this is not a scientific approach to...

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Inflation, Report 2 Dec 2018

What is inflation? Any layman can tell you—and nearly everyone uses it this way in informal speech—that inflation is rising prices. Some will say “due to devaluation of the money.” Economists will say, no it’s not rising prices per se. That is everywhere and always the effect. The cause, the inflation as such, is an increase in the quantity of money. Which is the same thing as saying devaluation. It is assumed that each...

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Why the Fed Denied the Narrow Bank, Report 9 Sep 2018

It’s not every day that a clear example showing the horrors of central planning comes along—the doublethink, the distortions, and the perverse incentives. It’s not every year that such an example occurs for monetary central planning. One came to the national attention this week. A company called TNB applied for a Master Account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Their application was denied. They have sued....

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Janet Yellen Fights the Tide of Falling Interest

On Wednesday Dec 16, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announced that the Fed was raising the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. Let’s get one thing out of the way. This is not a move towards free markets. Whether the Fed sets interest lower, or whether it sets interest higher, we still have central planning. We still have price fixing of interest rates. Interest rates may be set too low. However, forcing interest up is no cure. We need to eliminate central planning, and move to a free...

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