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Mike Norman Economics

Adam Shaw — Why economic forecasting has always been a flawed science

So how do you make good predictions? I met “superforecaster” Michael Story, who was ranked 18th best among the 20,000 people who formed the Good Judgment team. The team took part in a competition conducted by the US intelligence community to find the world’s best forecasters. Launched in 2011, the four-year contest required the group to provide forecasts on 500 questions ranging from the future for oil prices to the financial outlook. The Good Judgment team won the tournament, reportedly...

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Robert Parry — Russia-gate’s Totalitarian Style

It is a basic rule from Journalism 101 that when an allegation is in serious doubt – or hasn’t been established as fact – you should convey that uncertainty to your reader by using words like “alleged” or “purportedly.” But The New York Times and pretty much the entire U.S. news media have abandoned that principle in their avid pursuit of Russia-gate.  When Russia is the target of an article, the Times typically casts aside all uncertainty about Russia’s guilt, a pattern that we’ve seen in...

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Tsvetana Paraskova — China Readies Yuan-Priced Crude Oil Benchmark Backed By Gold

The world’s top oil importer, China, is preparing to launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan and convertible into gold, potentially creating the most important Asian oil benchmark and allowing oil exporters to bypass U.S.-dollar denominated benchmarks by trading in yuan, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The crude oil futures will be the first commodity contract in China open to foreign investment funds, trading houses, and oil firms. The circumvention of U.S. dollar...

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Joseph Salerno — A Program to Stabilize the Economy—in Four Words

Paul Cantor, Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of English at the University of Virginia and Associated Scholar of the Mises Institute, attended Ludwig von Mises’s seminar at NYU as a young man. He recently surprised and delighted a few of us by revealing that the line that he remembers Mises speaking most frequently in the seminar was “No farzer credit expansion!” As a native German speaker with an accent and less than complete familiarity with English usage, what Mises meant to say, of...

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Pat Lang — It seems that a military solution in Syria was possible after all…

“Bashar Assad’s government has won the war militarily,” said Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Damascus who witnessed the uprising’s earliest days. “And I can’t see any prospect of the Syrian opposition being able to compel him to make dramatic concessions in a peace negotiation.” Sic Semper Tyrannis It seems that a military solution in Syria was possible after all... Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.), former military intelligence officer at the US Defense Intelligence Agency...

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Malcolm Jaggers — ‘True Conservatives’ Can’t Win, Only Undermine Trump

This DACA showdown, which one has the feeling will not end well, has in it all the big questions which bedevil old fashioned, tired conservatism. Namely, we have to ask ourselves if “illegal immigration” is a question of legality or a question of culture. Are we annoyed at people not having their papers in order, or are we trying to preserve the European character of the country? If the issue is one of mere paperwork, why Paul Ryan has a fix for that.… Republicans don’t seem to...

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Michael Krieger — Antifa is Playing Right Into the Hands of a Burgeoning Police State

Krieger is correct here. Peaceful protest and nonviolent resistance are one thing, while violence and rebellion are another. Governments lawfully suppress the later.  But in present conditions, using violence to express resistance just feeds the ramping up of restrictions on civil liberties "in extremis" and growing the police/surveillance state. It's a strategic blunder unless one thinks that further imposition of a policy state will result in the public rising up to resist. That is...

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John Hermanm — The biggest intellectual scandal of our time

If mainstream economists had thought and behaved differently after 1980, then arguably the world would not be in its current state of disarray, and much of the social and environmental dislocation that we have witnessed over that time-span would not have occurred. In a nutshell, these economists uncritically accepted as true the false analyses, promises and prescriptions of neoliberal ideology. The destructive outcomes of their attempts to implement those prescriptions were greatly...

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Lars P. Syll — Galbraith’s History of Economic Thought

Some history if you have time this long Labor Day weekend in the US marking the end of summer and vacation season and the return to business as usual on Tuesday. So expect light posting over the weekend. Video series. Galbraith fully acknowledged the successes of the market system in economics but associated it with instability, inefficiency and social inequity. He advocated government policies and interventions to remedy these perceived faults. In his book Economics and the Public...

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