Oddly, my time in the Army Special Forces made me an existentialist. We were taught and practiced how to survive off-the-land. We learned that civilization was merely a convenience, not a necessity. We could move north or south, during daylight or darkness, as a “friendly” or as a “hostile.” I didn’t appreciate how much it … Continue reading The Four Walls of Our Skull
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
With respect to the President’s infrastructure plan, neither my Republican friends nor my Democratic friends can even agree on which things they actually agree on – situation normal – channeling the Gingrich distinction between governing and winning . . . winning wins. I do part company with my Democratic friends on this issue. Of course, … Continue reading Taxing Ghosts . . . ?
Economists are fond of discussing “opportunity costs” or the costs of NOT doing something. The classic example is that the cost of a new aircraft carrier is NOT a billion dollars. The cost of a new aircraft carrier is two unbuilt hospitals and three unbuilt nursing homes, as an example. We tend to look at … Continue reading Pandemic Costs
I have long argued there is an important distinction between a recession and a financial crisis. Recessions come-and-go, usually fixing themselves, before scaling new heights afterwards. On the other hand, a financial crisis can happen quickly, do more damage, and need government assistance. A financial crisis is much worse than a recession and requires eternal … Continue reading It Starts Like This . . . ?
The sixth of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not murder.” However, ancient Hebrew texts clearly make a distinction between murder and killing. Murder involves “bloodguilt,” because it is unlawful. Killing is not murder, when done legally, such as combat or home invasion. My native state of Virginia has just adopted the Sixth Commandment, which … Continue reading The Sixth Commandment ?
When I was teaching economics in Texas, I was required to teach from a state-approved textbook. Like most economics textbooks, international economics was explained only in the last chapter. It is always short, with barely a mention of currency exchange rates. Invariably, time for currency exchange rates was rushed. Besides, that important subject would glaze … Continue reading That Boring Canary
During my Political Science 101 course in the last century, the professor repeatedly reminded us that majority rule was easy, but protecting minority rights was hard. This was after the Kennedy years, when there was apparently some concern about the rights of Catholics being protected by a Protestant majority. While all that seems quite unlikely … Continue reading Majority Rule, Minority Rights
My favorite right-wing website on economics is the American Institute of Economic Research (www.aier.org ). Right-wing media usually focuses on any potential loss of personal freedom, AIER focuses on any potential loss of economic freedom. If you have a steady diet of MSNBC or even CNN, I recommend a weekly visit to AIER’s website. While … Continue reading Economist or Epidemiologist ?
In a time when the mundane face mask is a fealty test to Trump, the experience of the Federal Reserve has been interesting. Like all real estate developers, Trump argued for lower interest rates (think: construction costs) and lambasted Jerry Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Fighting to maintain some tiny piece of the Fed’s … Continue reading Don’t Fight the Fed
Why is necessary to be a victim, in order to be respected or to be fashionable? I had a conversation with a person demographically like myself, who honestly feels victimized in our culture. I don’t understand? I am a man. Therefore, I am a victim? I am white. Therefore, I am a victim? I am … Continue reading Competitive Victimhood
For three straight years, during her Spring Break, I took my daughter rafting down the Rio Grande River and often witnessed Mexicans crossing the river into our nation. Once, in Santa Elena Canyon, they even fired at us, as we floated by them. At night, we often slept on the Mexican side of the river, … Continue reading The Lesson of Rafting ?
It has been decades since I was last in Argentina, but I remember it as a beautiful country, as well as the breadbasket of South America, supplying grain and livestock. However, it has been plagued with severe boom-bust cycles. Here are a few current factoids: GDP dropped 10% last year. Their stock market has dropped … Continue reading Crying for Argentina
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