Return to Common Sense

April 3, 2014

Section: Domestic – Economy

Despite the mainstream media attempts to spin the economy for political advantage, unimpeded free market capitalism is the key to continued American growth and opportunity.

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Ronald Reagan.


Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):

An open, competitive, market economy is the most efficient.

o   Government intervention usually results in a form of price controls.

o   Price controls tend to interfere with supply and demand.

The Federal Reserve has a one hundred year history setting interest rates as a means to manage the money supply.

o   The first Bank of the United States was started in 1791 and operated until 1811.

o   The second Bank of the United States operated from 1816 to 1836.

o   Both predecessors were privately owned and operated.

o   The first two central banks had only limited ability to adjust the money supply and couldn't step in when banks got into trouble.

o   Both banks were given 20-year charters by Congress and were successful, but they weren't renewed for fears a central bank would concentrate power among the banking elite.

o   The central bank was authorized by Congress in the Owen-Glass Federal Reserve Act of 1913 - 12 USC 226.

o   The Fed’s mandate was long term price stability, preserving the value of the dollar.

o   In 1978 the Humphrey-Hawkins (Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act) gave the Fed an additional mission of economic growth and maximizing employment.

o   The Fed was designed as a unique hybrid in which government would share its powers with the private banking industry.

o   It is a collection of banks, run by the Board of Governors.

o   The Board of Governors is a government agency.

o   There are 12 district banks and they’re each independent companies, owned by the commercial banks in each region.

o   The implemented plan was to pool the small reserves of the nation's banks into one large reserve so that all banks were/are motivated to follow the same loan-to-deposit ratios.

o   When a deposit-taking institution gets approved to be a bank, it becomes a “member bank” and is required to purchase equity capital of its Federal Reserve district bank.

o   Bankers sit on the boards of directors, proposing interest-rate changes for Fed governors in Washington to decide.

o   Bankers also have a special advisory council that meets privately with governors to critique monetary policy and management of the economy.

o   The Board can require the member banks to pay more capital into the system if the central bank’s capital gets too low

o   The Fed recognizes member bank deposits as liabilities, and it uses these funds to purchase assets, like US Treasury bonds.

o   The Fed also incurs liabilities by printing currency, or Federal Reserve Notes. 

Supply side economics has been shown to stimulate growth better than other approaches.

The New Deal is regarded by Keynesians as the ur-program of government stimulus of the economy.

Mainstream Media spins the state of the economy for partisan advantage.

o   Job growth is also growing, both household based and payroll based.

o   Productivity has improved 14.3%.

o   Overall employee compensation has expanded 4% a year, and exhibiting mobility between quintiles.

§  Income comparisons omit non-cash benefits such as healthcare, employer pensions contributions, vacations, and sick leave.

§  Income data does not account for taxes paid, which affects net income.

§  Income data does not account for transfer payments such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers, and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

§  Nearly 58% of filers who were in the poorest income group in 1996 had moved into a higher income category by 2005.

§  Nearly 25% of filers jumped into the middle or upper-middle income groups.

§  Nearly 5.3% of filers made it all the way to the highest quintile.

§  Of those in the second lowest income quintile, nearly 50% moved into the middle quintile or higher, and only 17% moved down.

§  Between 1994 and 2007, the rich have gotten richer, the middle class has gotten richer, and the poor have gotten richer, all at about the same rate.

·         American economy has a booming industrial sector, despite MSM assertions to the contrary.

o   In 2006 manufacturing output and Return on Equity reached an all time high.

o   In 2006 manufacturing revenue and profit reached an all time high.

o   In 2006 value of U.S. manufacturing exports reached an all time high.

o   U.S. leads world in labor productivity at $63,885 of wealth per year, or $35.63 per hour.

·         Media coverage of economy is ill informed, at best, and partisan, at worst.

o   Despite predictions of increased deficits, the share of GDP has decreased.

o   Media continues to portray economy as broken and underperforming.

o   Media portrays economy as stalled and in need of a jump start!

o   Media still believes New Deal helped, rather than sustained and elongated the Depression.

o   Small businesses have created between 60%-80% of all new jobs in the past decade and can create private sector jobs in the future.

o   Economic stimulus promised a max unemployment of 8%, but has delivered 9.8%.

Most young people know little of government and base opinions on irrational biases.

o   Through the inevitable mismanagement of resources and goods at the disposal of the state, all forms of collectivism lead eventually to tyranny.

o   The failure of central planning would be perceived by some in the public as an absence of sufficient power by the state to implement an otherwise good idea.

o   This would lead the public to vote more power to the state, assisting in the rise of a "strong man" perceived to be capable of getting the job done.

o   Following these developments, a country will be driven into outright totalitarianism.

o   This journey, inadvertently set upon by central planning, ends in the destruction of all individual economic and personal freedoms.

o   There is a clear inverse relationship between government spending and prosperity, represented by GDP per capita - as government spending and tax revenue increase beyond an "optimum" level, GDP per capita declines.



The Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom

Index of Economic Freedom correlates to economic factors with per capita income:

Different market sectors have different economic characteristics.

Ten Hayekian Insights for trying Economic Times:

Cornerstones of economic growth in a free-market model.

Corporate Power Truths:

Economic propositions:

Our wealth is not the product of capitalism, it is capitalism!

·         Free markets.

·         Private property.

·         Spirit of entrepreneurialism.

·         Conviction that the fruits of our labors are our own.

Honest capitalism requires the following:

·         Free-market clarity.

·         Monetary integrity.

·         Financial validity.

·         Regulatory responsibility.

·         Entrepreneurial opportunity.

Monetarist balanced principles:

·         Balanced Monetary Growth – steady growing money supply, sufficient to prevent deflation, but no so fast to cause inflation.

·         Balanced Budgets – relatively balanced budgets so as not crowd-out private investment or leave huge government debt to future generations.

·         Balanced Trade – relatively balanced so as not to lose production jobs or leave huge national debt to future generations.

Economic depressions post-World War II, share common characteristics:

o   Overcapacity in leading industries and the growth of indebtedness discourage consumption and investment; global instability holds back trade.

o   The recovery of the private sector is slow and tortuous, and an increase in employment must be achieved primarily through public investment.

Basic principles of successful American political economy:

·         Current peacetime government consumption of goods and services should be funded by current taxation, not money creation—thus limiting peacetime government borrowing to an amount equal to government-owned investments of the same or lesser duration. (first enunciated and implemented under President Washington)

·         Current consumption of true public goods (such as national defense and administration of justice) should be funded with an income tax levied about equally on labor and property income. (first implemented under President Lincoln)

·         More narrowly targeted “quasi-public” goods, which benefit many but not all citizens, should have dedicated funding. Social benefits for specified individuals (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, primarily) should be financed by payroll taxes on individuals. (first applied under President Franklin D. Roosevelt)

·         Government’s size and methods should be strictly limited in order not to displace private jobs, or cause general unemployment or disinvestment in people and property. (first attempted by President Reagan)



Short Term, Emphasize free market capitalism as the basis for the American economy.

Dismantle the “Too Big to Fail” policy as “Too Big To Exist”

Eliminate government intervention from exercise of free market capitalism.

Measure overall economic health with a combination of multiple metrics (Include “independent sector” (non profits) in all economic health metrics):

Long Term, Limit size and intrusion of government (federal plus state plus local) to less than 25% of GDP.

Limit federal government to only that role specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

Privatize Federal Reserve banks returning to Congress the constitutional authority over monetary policy and privatizing the money supply.

Re-link currency to an international commodity (such as gold):



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The Forgotten Man” by Amity Schlaes published by Harper Collins Publishers, 2007.

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The Liberty Amendments” by Mark R. Levin published by Threshold Editions, 2013.

U.S. Protectionism Imperils Free Trade Talks with Latins” by Brink Lindsey dated March 22, 2002 published by The Cato Institute at http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6575 .

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Number of Federal Subsidy Programs is Soaring” by Chris Edwards dated October 2006 published by The Cato Institute, at http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb_0611-41.pdf .

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Global capitalism now has no serious rivals. But it could destroy itself” by Timothy Garton Ash dated February 22, 2007 published by Guardian at http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/DavidStrom/2007/02/21/why_is_capitalism_is_a_dirty_word .

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The Nonprofit Industrial Complex” by Gerard Alexander dates April 16, 2007 published by American Enterprise Institute at http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.25958/pub_detail.asp .

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Performance-Based Pay Driving Increase in Inequality” by James Sherk dated June 13, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Labor/wm1505.cfm .

What is the Federal Reserve System?” by Allen Ide dated June 20, 2007 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/19298 .

The Real Deal” by Amity Shlaes dated June 25, 2007 published at American Enterprise Institute at http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.26390/pub_detail.asp .

Celebrating Income Inequity” by Alex Epstein dated July 26, 2007 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=29305 .

Economic Illiteracy” by John Stossel dated August 1, 2007 published by Town Hall at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JohnStossel/2007/08/01/economic_illiteracy .

Corporate power blesses, not oppresses, the American people” by Michael Medved dated October 17, 2007 published by Town Hall at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/MichaelMedved/2007/10/17/corporate_power_blesses,_not_oppresses,_the_american_people .

Making Sense of Income Inequality” by Diana Furchtgott-Roth dated October 26, 2007 published by The American Magazine at http://www.american.com/archive/2007/october-10-07/making-sense-of-income-inequality .

The Onslaught From the Left, Part I: Fact vs. Fiction” by Arthur B. Laffer dated October 31, 2007 published by Laffer Associates at http://www.nationalreview.com/kudlow/laffer_onslaught_partI_10-31-07.pdf .

Are the Poor Getting Poorer?” by Walter Williams dated November 9, 2007 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=60C56CD1-5D04-4663-810F-BA1AB0BD063D .

The Supply-Side Solution” by Stephen Moore dated November 9, 2007 published by Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal at http://www.opinionjournal.com/forms/printThis.html?id=110010844 .

Movin’ On Up” dated November 13, 2007 published by Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal at http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010855 .

The Great Supply Side Debate of 2007 Is Over” by Jerry Bowyer dated December 5, 2007 published by Town Hall at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JerryBowyer/2007/12/05/the_great_supply_side_debate_of_2007_is_over .

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The Planning Fallacy” by David Strom dated March 6, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DavidStrom/2008/03/06/the_planning_fallacy .

Capitalism – Not Perfect, But Certainly the Best” by Nathan Tabor dated March 22, 2008 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/21810 .

New Evidence on Government and Growth” by Keith Marsden dated June 16, 2008 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121357899416776129.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries .

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The Spoiled Children of Capitalism” by Jonah Goldberg dated August 1, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JonahGoldberg/2008/08/01/the_spoiled_children_of_capitalism .

Income PER EARNER Has Actually Risen For All Groups, And Rose Fastest For The Lowest Quintile” by Mark J. Perry dated October 9, 2008 published by Carpe Diem at http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2008/10/forget-everything-youve-been-told-b.html .

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The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Present Crisis” by George Reisman dated October 23, 2008 published by Ludwig von Mises Institute at http://www.mises.org/story/3165.

Keynesian borrowing won’t solve our economic problems” by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman, and Jesse Richman dated December 4, 2008 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/12/stop_the_borrowing_theres_an_a.html .

Macroeconomics Is Complete Bunkum” by Bill Frezza dated December 8, 2008 published by Real Clear Markets at http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2008/12/macroeconomics_is_complete_bun.html.

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Only American Free Enterprise Can Meet Our Nation’s Job Challenge” by Thomas Donahue dated October 14, 2009 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/10/14/only_american_free_enterprise_can_meet_our_nations_job_challenge_98699.html .

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Your Money Back” by Gary Wolfram dated July 8, 2010 published by National review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/437459/your-money-back/gary-wolfram .

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You Say Recession, I Say Depression” by John B. Judis dated September 7, 2010 published by The New Republic at http://www.tnr.com/article/economy/77427/economic-crisis-recession-depression?page=0,0 .

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What is the Purpose of a Gold Standard?” by Nathan Lewis dated April 29, 2011 published by Forbes Magazine at http://www.forbes.com/2011/04/28/gold-standard-purpose.html .

The Federal Reserve Deserves Blame for the Financial Crisis” by Matt Kibbe dated June 7, 2011 published by Forbes Magazine at http://blogs.forbes.com/mattkibbe/2011/06/07/the-federal-reserve-deserves-blame-for-the-financial-crisis/ .

It’s Not the Debt Ceiling, It’s the Dollar” by Lewis E. Lehrman dated June 9, 2011 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2011/06/09/its-not-the-debt-ceiling-its-t .

The Aura of the Fed is Gone, Good Riddance” by Jeffrey Snider dated August 12, 2011 published by Real Clear Markets at http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/08/12/the_aura_of_the_fed_is_gone_good_riddance_99185.html .

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What Is It About a Stable Dollar That Paul Krugman Doesn’t Understand?” by Louis Woodhill dated August 29, 2012 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2012/08/29/what-is-it-about-a-stable-dollar-that-paul-krugman-doesnt-understand/ .

Let It Be Known That No Financial Crisis Was Ever Caused by Stable Money” by Nathan Lewis dated October 14, 2012 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2012/10/14/let-it-be-known-that-no-financial-crisis-was-ever-caused-by-stable-money/ .

The Fed’s mission creep” by George F. Will dated October 17, 2012 published by The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-the-feds-mission-creep/2012/10/17/7bf8e96a-1877-11e2-9855-71f2b202721b_story.html .

Fiscal Fitness” by John D. Mueller and Lewis E. Lehrman dated February 25, 2013 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/fiscal-fitness_701322.html# .

Federal Reserve: Constitutional or Merely Legal?” by Robert R. Owens dated March 8, 2013 published by American Clarion at http://www.americanclarion.com/18178/2013/03/08/federal-reserve-constitutional-or-merely-legal/ .

How to Go Gold” by Ralph Benko dated March 8, 2013 published by The National Interest at http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/how-go-gold-8198 .

Market and Liquidity Risk in the Federal Reserve System: Are We Headed for Fiscal Oblivion?” by Edward Hoofnagle dated June 14, 2013 published by Minyanville at http://www.minyanville.com/business-news/markets/articles/Market-and-Liquidity-Risk-in-the/6/14/2013/id/50334 .

100 Years Later, The Federal Reserve Has Failed at Everything It’s Tried” by Mark Hendrickson dated December 20, 2013 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhendrickson/2013/12/20/100-years-later-the-federal-reserve-has-failed-at-everything-its-tried/ .