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There are clear signs that monetary policy, indeed monetary thought, is evolving. That would seem to be a given with recent history of the last half-decade, but ideology is often loathe to change anything even with clear empiricism defining against it. But that is really the challenge here, as there is a very real operational standard to which monetarism has to meet. Failing to do so will be, in no uncertain terms, catastrophic once more.
Outwardly, there is very little to project such changing content. From a lay perspective, monetary policy seems about the same as it was the whole of…

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Manufacturers are strong and vocal advocates for reforming our current tax code to make it simpler, fairer and more competitive. Indeed, we stand with Diana Furchtgott-Roth in her recent support for tax reform discussed in “No Band-Aids, Let’s Have Real Tax Reform.” Where we disagree, however, is on how we get there. Manufacturers believe strongly that until policymakers agree on a final reform plan, it is important to keep the current tax system in place, including the so-called “extenders.”Piecemeal changes to longstanding rules will inject more uncertainty into business planning, making…

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Is there a Halloween monster scarier than modern U.S. sugar policy? Say what you will about skeletons and vampires; at least they don’t have Washington lobbyists on retainer. For years, special interest tricks benefiting entrenched sugar interests and opportunistic politicians have left Americans with a lot less treats. Outrageous policies like protectionist tariffs on imported sugar, federal loan guarantees, and government-planned production quotas push up U.S. sugar prices to make Halloween a lot less sweet.
U.S. sugar prices have far exceeded world markets for decades. From 2000 to 2014,…

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To a person, the GOP candidates running against incumbent Democratic Senators are strong on the reasons for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — i.e. Obamacare. Much of their focus has been on the law’s implicit taxes on hiring. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the ACA will induce 2.5 million workers to leave the labor force by 2024. The last thing the U.S. economy needs is another barrier to getting out-of-work or underemployed Americans back in the workforce.As a general rule, the GOP candidates have been less clear on what they would favor to replace the ACA. There are,…

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Visit the rogue’s gallery of international patent law and you’ll find an unrepentant crew glowering back at you: China, India, Russia, Pakistan, Venezuela, Belarus, and…Canada?
Yes, Canada, sorry to say. Usually a reliable advocate for property rights, free trade, and global law and order, in recent years our northern neighbor has been honored with a spot on the “watch list” for intellectual property violators by the U.S. Trade Representative, right up there between Bulgaria and Colombia, and has occasionally graced the “priority watch list” in company with the hardcore offenders named…

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Whatever the results of the election, Congress is planning to reconvene on November 12 for a lame duck session, so-called because the days in office of some members will be numbered. As well as passing a budget for fiscal year 2015, the 113th Congress will try to finish up other bills, including the extension of tax provisions that expired on January 1, 2014.
Yes, even though certain tax provisions expired 10 months ago, Congress is planning to reinstitute them, not just for the future, but retroactively. People who took certain actions without the tax provision in place between January and…

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Few Americans know that the tax they pay to finance Social Security gets split into two unequal parts. The larger part goes to a trust fund that supports pensions for retirees and survivors. The smaller part goes into another trust fund that finances benefits for the disabled. Usually they have no reason to care about such technicalities. That is about to change because the trust fund that supports benefits for the disabled is set to run out of money at the end of 2016. If Congress were to do nothing, benefits for just over 11 million people eligible for disability benefits would have to…

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Debt does have its purposes, but they are much more specific than many people think. Borrowing to buy a productive asset (like a factory or an education) that will generate sufficient income to repay the loan is fine. However, using debt to pay for current consumption, to live above your means, is counterproductive and forces a future decline in consumption in order to pay off that debt. In other words, that type of borrowing is simply stealing from the future.
Countries can use debt productively by borrowing to build infrastructure or use it unproductively by borrowing for transfer payments…

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The vast majority of political journalists - and I include some of my conservative colleagues - are missing a very big story.
The Republicans are going to recapture the Senate, picking up more seats than most any forecaster expects. And the House GOP is going to add to its majority. But then comes the big story: The beginning of a new conservative revolution.
The idea that nothing much will change if the GOP captures the whole Congress is just plain wrong. The politics and policies in Washington are about to change in a major way.
Obama may still be president. But he is going to be…

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By speaking out on the issue of inequality, has Fed Chair Janet Yellen risked appearing as a ‘partisan hack’? That is certainly the view for some on the right. (For a nuanced version of the argument see AEI’s Michael Strain here - for a more polemical treatment, Diana Furchgott-Roth here.)No doubt there are some political risks here. But was she supposed to remain silent on inequality for her entire tenure? For the Chair of the nation’s most powerful economic institution to ignore one of most powerful economic trends of our time would be close to a dereliction of duty.Arguments are…

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As of Wednesday, almost 800,000 Californians have voted by mail, representing 9% of total registered vote-by-mail voters and possibly about 17% of total 2014 ballots. With the election rapidly taking place, it is important to remember that Californians are not just voting on candidates, but also ballot initiatives.
Two weeks ago, I examined the four propositions on the 2014 ballot (Propositions 1, 2, 47, and 48) that are important to pass. As noted, all six of California’s 2014 propositions are boring because none have a large and vocal voter constituency on both sides, making the campaigns…

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Entrepreneurs launching “disruptive technologies” are reshaping markets across the U.S. economy, often by disintermediation and innovation. While these new products and services provide consumers more choices and better value, regulators have place increased attention on these activities, from car services such as Uber and Lyft, to those offering accommodations like Airbnb, to pop up restaurants running afoul of local health codes. In many instances, these new products emerged because innovators were one step ahead of the regulators. But as the regulatory state grows, these innovators…

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It’s common to hear that Americans face a “retirement crisis.” In response, progressives have come up with their own solutions; including expanding Social Security and having the government run retirement plans for workers. In reality, though, the crisis is vastly overstated. And progressive solutions would do surprisingly little for those Americans who truly are underprepared for retirement. Real answers exist, but they are more about making government work better, than about making it larger.One prominent study claims that 53 percent of Americans won’t have enough income in retirement….

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The Federal Reserve’s talking heads have been hard at work over the last week. They have tackled issues ranging from early childhood education, to the Fed’s “duty to advance the maximum well-being of all citizens,” to regulatory compliance by financial firms. The Fed’s musings on topics far outside of its mandate seem odd for an institution that has a lot more thinking to do about-just to throw out a crazy suggestion-monetary policy. But the Fed’s regulatory mandate is also large, so its reflections on compliance are worth a closer look.New York Fed President William Dudley and Fed Governor…

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It is difficult to decipher why David Gordon of the Ludwig von Mises Institute is being so critical of Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames’ book Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy - and What We Can Do About It. His clearest objection is Forbes and Ames’ belief that money is a unit of measure that that needs a fixed gold price to remain a reliable and useful unit of value over time. In Gordon’s view this belief and this book are “odd”. Unfortunately, by the end of his review, the only “odd” thing is Gordon’s lack of understanding of some basic economic…

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