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EconoSpeak

The Econospeak blog, which succeeded MaxSpeak (co-founded by Barkley Rosser, a Professor of Economics at James Madison University and Max Sawicky, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute) is a multi-author blog . Self-described as “annals of the economically incorrect”, this frequently updated blog analyzes daily news from an economic perspective, but requires a strong economics background.

What Is The Worst Part Of The Current Inflation?

 In the US we may have seen the peak of overall inflation, with the annualized CPI rate increasing at 8.3% in April, down from 8.5% in March, the highest rare of increase in 40 years. The issue has become the reported top concern of the US public, according to polling, with the hot job market apparently not offsetting the concerns that have arisen due to the emergence of this high rare of inflation.Many factors have been involved in bringing this about: supply chain problems arising from the...

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Goats and Dogs: Eco-Fascism and Liberal Taboos

UPDATE (May 15, 2022):I started reading Buffalo shooter’s manifesto expecting the same eco-fascism/green nationalism type language we saw in the El Paso and Christchurch shooters’ manifestos and sure enough: “green nationalism is the only true nationalism” pic.twitter.com/Pbb81Y6EMj— Tad DeLay (@taddelay) May 15, 2022When remembered at all, Edward Abbey is mostly thought of as an environmentalist and anarchist but there is no gainsaying the racism and xenophobia on display in his 1983 essay,...

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The Malthusianism Of Benjamin Franklin And The Abortion Issue

 Thomas Robert Malthus may well have been the least favorite economist of Karl Marx. Basically Marx did not like him because he saw Malthus as blaming poverty on the poor themselves, their inevitable sinfulness that led them to constantly reproduce themselves excessively when things started to get better, thus leading to population pressing against the means of subsistence.  Malthus recognized that people could act to reduce births even while still having sex, but as an Anglican priest, he...

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The Passing Of Axel Leijonhufvud

 On May 5, Swedish economist Axel Leijonhufvud died at age 88. I only met him once when he attended a seminar I gave in Trento, Italy a decade ago. I always admired his work and felt lots of sympathy with it, and I think he liked what I had to say at least in my seminar that day.  He was someone who stood outside of orthodoxy while not being clearly tied to any particular school of economic thought.  However, he did manage to be respected by many economists, including even by some that to me...

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Remember the Sabbath Day…

...to keep it holy.In The Big Lebowski, Walter Sobchak does not f***ing roll on Shabbos. Why not? The Old Testament gave two rationales for observing the Sabbath. The first, in Exodus, was that God created the earth in six days and on the seventh, He rested. Deuteronomy gave a different rational: And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord your God took you out from there with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm; therefore, the Lord, your God,...

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Major Economic Confusion

 Anybody confused by recent economic reports is not alone. The BEA has just reported a totally unexpected decline in real GDP for the first quarter of a 1.4% annual rate.  At the same time layoffs have reached a half century low and employment continues to rise.  How can we have an apparently beginning recession with the hottest job market in decades?Probably this has to do with the sources of the reported decline, which may yet get revised upwards.  Consumption and investment have continued...

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In Ukraine, Use the Weapon the Russians Can’t Match

It’s nowhere near as expensive as it sounds, and much more humane: offer every Russian soldier who defects $100,000 and the right to settle in any EU/North American country of their choice.  It might not work, especially if Russia uses deadly force against soldiers who lay down their arms or violent reprisals against their families back home.  But if a large enough portion of their troops accept the offer, the Russian war effort would be crippled.Of course, Putin will claim that this is an...

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Channeling Great Grandfather Mayer May

 Mayer May was born in Bavaria in 1848 and immigrated to the United States in 1869 when he was 21 years old. Bavaria had universal military conscription at age 21. I was born in 1948 and immigrated to Canada in 1967 to resist the draft.Over the years, I have experienced intense fascination regarding certain topics. For example, in the early eighties, I was intrigued by the story of Moses at Mount Sinai and was convinced that the second set of stone tablets must not have contained the same...

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Happy Earth Day!

 Happy Earth Day!Yes, today is the 53rd Earth Day.  I participated in the first one, when it was held in Madison, Wisconsin on April 22, 1970, just as the environmental movement was really getting going.  There were observances elsewhere around the US, but Madison had pride of place as the person most responsible for getting Earth Day going was then Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was also one of the first senators to oppose the Vietnam War.  Those were the days. While we face an...

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