Did Inequality Fall During the Great Depression ?

The graph above is taken from Piketty and Saez in their seminal 2003 article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. It shows that inequality fell during the Great Depression. This is a contention that I have always been very skeptical of for many reasons and which has been – since 2012 – the reason why I view … Continue reading Did Inequality Fall During the Great Depression ?

How Canada Tracked the US during the Great Depression

Over the last few years, while I continued my research on other fronts, I started spending small amounts of time on a daily basis to read about the Great Depression and more precisely, how Canada lived through the depression. Since the old adage is that Canada gets pneumonia when the US gets the flu, I … Continue reading How Canada Tracked the US during the Great Depression

Did 89% of American Millionaires Disappear During the Great Depression?

Over the years, I became increasingly skeptical of using tax data to measure inequality. I do not believe that there is no value in computing inequality with those sources (especially after the 1960s, the quality is much better in the case of the US). I simply believe that there is a great need for prudence in not … Continue reading Did 89% of American Millionaires Disappear During the Great Depression?

Why Britain, in the Great Depression, is the best example in favor of NGDP targeting

A few weeks ago, I finished reading Scott Sumner’s The Midas Paradox. As an economic historian, I must say that this is by far the best book on the Great Depression since the Monetary History of the United States. Moreover, it is the first book that I’ve read that argues simply that the Great Depression … Continue reading Why Britain, in the Great Depression, is the best example in favor of NGDP targeting

Wats On My Mind: the state of the economy

I wrote the following update for my Principles of Macroeconomics students and thought it might just count as an update for Wats On My Mind. In the first two minutes of class, I asked you how you would know how the economy is doing. Let’s focus on our three big areas: GDP, unemployment, and inflation. … Continue reading Wats On My Mind: the state of the economy

The U.S. Economy: A Fading Illusion?

Jack Curtis jackwcurtis@cs.com Coming up on the 2020 U.S. presidential election, President Trump takes repeated curtain calls for his creation of the best economy ever, crowing endlessly over an unemployment rate currently 3.5%. His would-be Democrat opponents whom usually attack him for even breathing, do not attack his assessment. Their somewhat dubious pack of intended … Continue reading The U.S. Economy: A Fading Illusion?

Contempt for capitalism

Scarcity is merely contempt for that which is easily obtained.                                                                                                ~ Seneca (attributed)[1] While I am aware that many of the NOL writers do not agree with Jordan Peterson, I think he is correct when he says that many of the contemporary problems faced by society are the product of prosperity. The essence of … Continue reading Contempt for capitalism

Financial History to the Rescue: On Bitcoiners’ Many Troubles

This article is part of a series on bitcoin (and bitcoiners’) arguments about money and particularly financial history. See also: (2): ‘Rothbard’s First Impressions on Free Banking in Scotland Were Correct’, Joakim Book, AIER (2019-08-18) (3): ‘The Harder Money Wins Out’, Joakim Book, NotesOnLiberty (2019-08-19) (4): ‘Bitcoin’s Fixed Money Supply Is a Weakness’, Joakim Book, … Continue reading Financial History to the Rescue: On Bitcoiners’ Many Troubles

The State in education

Mary Lucia Darst maryluciadarst@gmail.com Part I: A History In Beyond Good and Evil, written after breaking with composer Richard Wagner and subsequently rejecting hyper-nationalism, Friedrich Nietzsche proposed the existence of a group of people who cannot abide to see others successful or happy. Appropriately, he dubbed these people and their attitude “ressentiment,” or “resentment” in French. … Continue reading The State in education

The State and education – Part IV: Conclusion

On August 17, 2018, the BBC published an article titled “Behind the exodus from US state schools.” After taking the usual swipes at religion and political conservatism, the real reason for the haemorrhage became evident in the personal testimony collected from an example mother who withdrew her children from the public school in favour of … Continue reading The State and education – Part IV: Conclusion

The minimum wage induced spur of technological innovation ought not be praised

In a recent article at Reason.com, Christian Britschgi argues that “Government-mandated price hikes do a lot of things. Spurring technological innovation is not one of them”. This is in response to the self-serve kiosks in fast-food restaurants that seem to have appeared everywhere following increases in the minimum wage. In essence, his argument is that minimum wages … Continue reading The minimum wage induced spur of technological innovation ought not be praised

2017: Year in Review

Well folks, another year has come and gone. 2017 was Notes On Liberty‘s busiest year yet. Traffic came from all over the place, with the most visits coming from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and India. (In the past, India and Germany have vied for that coveted 5th place spot, but this year India … Continue reading 2017: Year in Review

Auftragstaktik: Decentralization in military command

Many 20th century theorists who advocated central planning and control (from Gaetano Mosca to Carl Landauer, and hearkening back to Plato’s Republic) drew a direct analogy between economic control and military command, envisioning a perfectly functioning state in which the citizens mimic the hard work and obedience of soldiers. This analogy did not remain theoretical: … Continue reading Auftragstaktik: Decentralization in military command