Truth on inflation, and some questions

Peter Klein speaks my mind on CPI. Namely, CPI doesn’t immediately reflect the malinvestment facilitated by artificial credit expansion because it measures inflation for “ordinary” consumer goods. It does not readily capture asset price inflation in things like equities, commodities, and agricultural land.   My question now, however: Is it feasible to differentiate artificially-induced asset price inflation […]

Some police force data

Some interesting facts about police in America. From the FBI (via Governing.com): Washington, D.C. is the most policed city in America. It employs 61.2 officers for every 10,000 residents (excluding nonresident commuters, who exceed the city’s nighttime population). Los Angeles employs 25.9 officers for every 10,000 residents (excluding non-resident commuters).  Youngstown, OH–a top-ten most dangerous city […]

Why “incentive talk” rubs me the wrong way

I had my first graduate microeconomics class today. One thing the professor posited as a “guidepost” for economic thinking is that incentives matter. As an example, he used welfare. If the state guarantees a certain level of income in an effort to reduce poverty, some people will respond by quitting their job and free-riding off state welfare programs. […]

Economics as “Catallactics”

In considering why the allocation paradigm emerged as the dominant framework of orthodox economics, James Buchanan identified the use of the word “economics” as part of the problem. According to Buchanan, focusing on economizing behavior leads economists to think in terms of maximization and allocation instead of in terms of coordination and exchange. In place […]

Student loan debt is hardly a “crisis”

Here’s an interesting study from the Brookings Institution. It shows that the mean payment-to-income ratio on student loan debt repayments is lower than it was in 1989, which does damage to the claim that student loan debt is the reason why young people are seemingly absent from the home and stock markets. Hard to argue with […]