Today I’ve already covered gambling, antitrust, and spending limits. Now that I’m warmed up…
More on Inflation
The Gazette noticed my post on inflation and published a lengthier treatment of the issue:
Ari Armstrong, a rock star in Colorado’s libertarian community and publisher of FreeColorado.com, recommends an alarming visual exhibit of the nation’s growing money supply. Don’t look at this if you don’t have a strong stomach. It’s a graph showing the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ adjusted monetary base, the combined index of Federal Reserve activity pertaining to the money supply (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/AMBNS?cid=124). The graph shows the money supply’s gradual ascent starting in the early 20th century until now. In 2008 the graph shoots straight up in the air, revealing a one-year inflation of the cash supply that equals its growth over the past 100 years.
I picked up the information from Paul Hsieh, whose post features a number of interesting comments about the meaning and potential implications of the data.
Also, I’m not actually a libertarian any longer, for reasons I’ve explained. Finally, what is needed now is not guns and God, as the Gazette suggests, but a true understanding of economic liberty, rooted in a moral defense of capitalism. Yet obviously I appreciate the Gazette’s more detailed treatment of the crucial issue of inflation, along with the friendly mention.
I was giving Mike Littwin a bit of heck earlier today over spending limits, but he’s on more solid ground when it comes to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. I just don’t see this as a big deal either way, though some Republicans are using it as an excuse to rile up the xenophobes and avoid the serious issues facing the state.
Should illegals get in-state tuition? The problem is that this shouldn’t be a legislative issue. Colleges should not get tax funds. Colleges should be able to admit whom they please, at whatever cost they agree on with students. Those willing to accept those terms should be able to go. But Republicans couldn’t possibly discuss any fundamental issue. They instead grant the premise that college students should benefit from forced wealth transfers, then debate the miniscule details over how to divvy up the loot.
Glass Is Back
Welcome back, Bob. Glass is back. A one-time leader of the now-defunct Tyranny Response Team and general all-around hell raiser, Glass is back in Colorado, and last night he was out protesting the domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and the plagiarist Ward Churchill. He got the attention of Boulder’s Daily Camera:
“As a taxpayer, I resent any tax dollars going to a fraud like Ward Churchill,” said another protester, Bob Glass, of Longmont. “I believe in academic freedom, but let’s invite the Ku Klux Klan or the Neo-Nazis if we’re going to take this to the absurd.”
Glass also made an appearance on 7 News, where he said Ayers and Churchill belong behind bars, not in a lecture hall. Here Glass goes too far. While Ayers might have belonged behind bars at one time, that time is long passed. And Churchill, while a complete schmuck and a liar, hasn’t done anything criminal. The worse offense is by the idiots at the University of Colorado who hired the fraud in the first place.
Glass is a passionate guy. If he can rein in his passion with good sense, he’ll be a valued addition to Colorado’s liberty movement.
I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m still shocked by the raw stupidity that some people display about the economy. For example, Steve Luera argues in a letter to the Denver Post that “we” should “cut the jobs you do have in half and spread them around so everyone at least has something.”
The basic mistake here is to imagine that there are only a set number of jobs, and once those jobs are taken, everybody else is out of luck. Obviously that’s idiotic. “Back in July 1776, there were about 2.5 million people living in the colonies.” Now there are over 300 million people in in the United States. So how did the economy manage to grow by scores of millions of jobs?
Since the Industrial Revolution, fewer and fewer people have labored in agriculture and have moved to an increasingly diverse array of jobs. Today people work in jobs unimagined at the nation’s founding, especially in the technological sectors, and also in newer service jobs such as pet care and professional massage. There is no inherent limit to the amount of jobs an economy can support. If a billion people lived in the United States, a billion people could, in a system of liberty, find work, and the number of specialties would increase.
On a free market, one without the wage and employment controls of today’s economy, everyone who wants to work can find work, excepting a relatively low and constant percent of people momentarily between jobs. It is a matter of supply and demand. True, economic shocks can temporarily throw some people out of particular jobs, but they can soon find new ones, unless political controls muck up the employment market, as they so often have and as they continue to do today.
Hoover imposed wage controls and job sharing, and the result was the worst depression in the nation’s history. (He made many other mistakes as well.) The answer to unemployment is economic liberty, not more of the controls that caused unemployment in the first place.
Axe Taxes Not Jobs
Dave Thomas sent me a link to a liquor alliance fighting higher taxes on their products.
In the coming months, lawmakers will be proposing alcohol tax increases that will put jobs in your community at risk and raise the cost of your favorite drink. There’s a real price to pay when elected officials misguidedly try to replenish state budgets with regressive taxes that will hit us at a time when we are already being hit hard conomically.
Mike Rosen — another Rocky carry over — has a hard-hitting column out today about the democratic problem of “we the people” helping ourselves to other people’s money. And David Harsanyi offers his take on federal spending that is at the same time humorous and terrifying.