Tag: Economics

Economic Illiteracy on Parade


The new Democratic talking point about their $3.5 trillion budget “reconciliation” is that it “costs zero dollars.” You read that correctly. From our avatar president’s Twitter feed:

The last line tells us how Democrats define “costs zero dollars.” It “adds zero dollars to the national debt.”

Jason Riley talks with Brian Anderson about his new book, Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell. They discuss Sowell’s upbringing, his work as an academic economist and a public intellectual, his research on disparities between groups, and more.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

Selecting Customers


One reason American culture is in such a sorry state today is because the customer is always right.

I have explained on Ricochet before why this aphorism is actually a bad business model. It encourages misbehavior among customers and thereby increases expenses (in turn, increasing prices) while making both customers and employees miserable.

130th Anniversary of the Papal Encyclical ‘Rerum Novarum’


May 15, 2021, was the 130th anniversary of the Papal Encyclical Rerum Novarum. A rough Latin translation of the title is; “Of new things”, or; “Revolutionary change”.

Written by Pope Leo XIII the subtitle is; “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor”. The encyclical advocates the right of workers to form unions, critiques of socialism, and unfettered capitalism, as well as the right to own private property. Labor and capital problems are a bit different today, but not so different in that we have problems today with both sides seeking favors from the government in our economy. Today we call it the government picking winning and losers.

Ayaan talks with Dambisa Moyo about growing up in Zambia, the ideas and reception behind her first book, Dead Aid, and her new book, How Boards Work.

Dambisa Moyo is a co-principal of Versaca Investments – a family office, focused on growth investing globally. She serves on a number of global corporate boards including: 3M Corporation, Chevron, and Conde Nast, as well as, the Oxford University Endowment investment committee. Her areas of interest are on capital allocation, risk, and ESG matters.

Introducing Kite & Key


Admit it: you’re a nerd. Admit it, Ricochet!

No worries — me too. And during my years as a think tank executive, that was always a frustration. People who casually followed politics would ask me how to get a quick understanding of a public policy issue and … I wouldn’t know where to send them.

TV and the major newspapers increasingly focus on the political dimensions of policy fights, without telling you anything meaningful about the substantive debates. But where was I going to steer people? To one of our white papers? To a book I knew they didn’t have the time to read? I got paid to be immersed in that stuff — and I loved it. But these people had lives to lead. They wanted to be responsible, informed citizens, but didn’t have endless free time to delve deep into policy research.

On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss his new documentary and book highlighting the life of economist, social theorist, and acclaimed intellectual Thomas Sowell and how his work affects American culture today.

Ep. 261 – @10:29 Judge Jeanine Pirro on Spygate, Biden’s Russia Problem and the Vote-By-Mail. At @23:22 Jonathan Williams, Chief Economist and Executive Vice President at http://ALEC.org on the best and worst states economically.

First, Dave’s recap on the VP Debate and Biden’s ‘Kamala Problem’.

Member Post


Mr. Milton Friedman would have turned 108 years old yesterday – had he chosen to stick around, that is. In honor of the Godfather of American conservative libertarianism, who brought economics the concepts of stagflation and monetarism, we have dedicated the latest eposode of The Resistance Library podcast to Mr. Friedman. You may also learn […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Economist Donald J. Boudreaux joined host Ben Domenech to discuss the long-lasting economic impact of the government shutdown. Boudreaux is a Professor of Economics at George Washington University, and serves as a Senior Fellow at the Mercatus Center and The Fund for American Studies.

Boudreaux wrote an article earlier this week titled “Who is Making Decisions About Our Lives?” in which he outlined the limited knowledge American leaders have. The American people also don’t understand, he argued, the government’s decision to have the Federal Reserve print money doesn’t create actual wealth in the form of any goods and services.

Call It the Great Panic of 2020


In the last 100+ years we had The Great War (later “World War I”), the Great Depression, and the Great Recession. I think it’s time to give a name to the first self-inflicted worldwide depression: the Great Panic of 2020. Getting the right name for the current crisis could frame the public debate on the policy solution. Other suggestions for a name are welcome in the comments section.

Financial depressions in the 19th Century were known as “panics.” The Panic of 1837 was one of the worst with bank failures, bankruptcies, and 25% unemployment. Some historians believe it lasted almost seven years.

I Get Why the Kids Like Bernie


My children are in their early twenties and just starting out. Neither one of them studied anything particularly lucrative (Film; Art). They take after their old man that way (Drama). 

But when I was starting out, I had little trouble getting a job with a Chicago restaurateur who gave me all the work I wanted tending bar and waiting tables. I did not have to deal with a 29 hour per week limit to avoid Obamacare requirements. I could get 40 hours no problem. After 40 hours I would work off the clock for tips only, which was just fine with me. All in all, I could count on about $700 per week.

In a Century


An old country girl now in her 80s reflected the other day on how much life has changed since she was a kid. It wasn’t the usual story of colorless television and walking to school with a lunch pail. There was no TV in her small town.

Baths were on Saturdays. They filled “the number 3 bathtub” with water heated on a fire stove.  They stitched their own clothes together from feed sacks. “Burlap?” I asked. No, the sacks were softer cotton then. So many Americans made their own clothes from feed sacks that feed makers produced the sacks in a variety of colors and patterns. Attractive patterns improved sales.

Her family had two horses and two mules. When they visited the nearest significant market 18 miles away, her dad hauled the kids in a wagon behind the horses. The mules he used to plow.

Quote of the Day: Price Controls


“Four things have almost invariably followed the imposition of controls to keep prices below the level they would reach under supply and demand in a free market: (1) increased use of the product or service whose price is controlled, (2) Reduced supply of the same product or service, (3) quality deterioration, (4) black markets.” – Thomas Sowell

Did anyone notice California’s governor imposing statewide rent control on September 10? It was done to make housing more affordable and more available. It was sold as a means of fixing the homeless crisis. Of course, the cities that already had rent control are the cities with the greatest housing shortages and highest rents, but why let reality intrude on a great theory.

A Pope Speaks Out (No, Not That Pope)


I’ve listened to some of the Democrat Presidential debates and I had no idea there were that many people that were concerned with what I should eat, how I should travel, what I should own, and my medical care. There’s more to add to the list so rather than list everything I’ll just say – I never knew I was so inept in living my unsupervised personal life, much less how that ignorance was oppressing my neighbors. I not only was oppressing my neighbors I was oppressing an entire nation with my selfish lifestyle.

In this age of unexamined ideas where history begins with the start of the next 24-hour news cycle, state-sanctioned looting is nothing new, the Catholic Church has already wrestled with this issue. There were Catholics that advocated Distributism, which was no more than Socialism. Some called it the Catholic Third Way of Economics. The Magisterium never advocated this Third Way because it was seen as no more than theft.

Member Post


http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190905-how-localisation-can-solve-climate-change Wow, so while we were fearing that the globalists will push their way forward with use of climate change, the agenda just got turned inside out (although it may take politicians awhile to refocus their efforts). Of course only a world government could possibly enforce this. Bonus: it could even fit right in with […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post


This may not be the place, but I have a half-baked theory I want to throw out there, since the left is pursuing the reconstruction of our language. (Starting with all conservatives being on the Hillary list of phobics culminating in “deplorables.”)  Here goes: We are inundated with these references, and once “racist” started to […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post


Weeks ago, Ricochet members discussed talents and aptitudes. It is generally acknowledged that some people are better than others at particular skills and trades. But there was debate about nature versus nurture; if excellence is available to any practicioner with enough hard work and training.  Today, let’s change the focus slightly. Can anyone be trained […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post


I know this tweet is 18 days old, an eternity in Trump Twitter time, but I’ve only just seen it. I had to read it twice to grasp the staggering level of economic ignorance it displays. Our toddler president states, with his customary disdain for orthographic convention, “Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.