Central Banks See No Way out of the Low Interest Rate Trap

Since the 1980s, slower economic growth in the industrial countries has been accompanied by declining interest rates. They have even turned negative in more recent years. At the same time, investment, productivity, and real GDP growth all have slowed. Recession caused by lockdowns of the economy to fight the corona pandemic in 2020/21 has accelerated the demise of interest. Even as the world economy recovers, central bankers around the world have signaled that interest rates will be kept low for a long time to come. What is going on here?…

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Why Joe Biden Is Keeping the Cap on SALT Deductions

When the Trump administration pushed capping the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes (SALT), the plan was billed as a way to punish Democrats in high-tax states. But the move also increased federal revenues by as much as $100 billion. Now the Biden administration is showing little enthusiasm for undoing Trump’s cap. The cap means more federal revenues to help pay for Biden’s infrastructure plan. Nonetheless, Democrats in high-tax states like California, New Jersey, and New York are now threatening to hold up President Joe Biden’s plan in the…

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The Ratification Debate: A Standing Army vs. the Militias

[This passage is excerpted from Murray N. Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty, vol. 5, The New Republic: 1784–1791.]  One of the most important aspects of the proposed Constitution was its authorization for a permanent national standing army, a striking contrast to the simple reserve constituting the state militia. The standing army was a particular objection of the Antifederalists, who, in the liberal antimilitary tradition, believed such an army to be inimical to the liberty of the American people. In contrast, the ex-Continental Army officers, particularly the higher officers, yearned for the power, the…

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Why the Regime’s Regulatory Power Is a Standing Threat to America

Whenever some foreign regime that is independent of the U.S. Empire goes after dissenters, U.S. officials trot out the First Amendment to show how different the United States is. Here, people are free to criticize government officials without fear of being put in jail or otherwise punished for exercising their free speech rights, they proudly point out.  However, what goes unexplained in such pious proclamations is why so many leading executives in big American companies remain silent when it comes to America’s foreign wars, foreign interventions, coups, alliances with dictators,…

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Mortgage Companies Cash in on Pandemic Relief

The nation’s billionaires are catching plenty of grief for profiting from the pandemic. All they are guilty of is providing services people wish to pay for. Nothing wrong with that. Then there are the mortgage companies. It turns out they are turning a good profit off Uncle Sam’s forced forbearance plan.  Ben Eisen writes for the Wall Street Journal, “Mortgage companies have ramped up their purchases of government-backed mortgages in forbearance, and they are selling these loans back to investors at a profit.” In a bit of pandemic crony capitalism, mortgages…

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