September 2016


Project Belle  is a website that allows licensed cosmetologists to schedule appointments with prospective clients. Instead of going to a salon, customers can have hairstylists or makeup artists come directly to their homes or businesses (Source).

The connect professionals for haircuts and styling, yoga, makeup, manicures, personal training, beauty & health.

Looks like it serves the Nashville, TN area.

 

From Don Lavoie’s excellent 1985 volume National Economic Planning: What Is Left?:

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The government does not play the role of agent for the social will but simply joins in the self-serving struggles of the private sphere.  The public sector interferes with the operation of the private sphere, making war with the private decision-making order, while the competing participants from the private sector respond and attempt to circumvent such interference, to engage in defensive maneuvers, to try to grab state power for themselves and use it against their competitors.

An open letter to Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro here.

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This claim is untrue.  Nothing at all in economic theory says that it’s abnormal for a country to run trade deficits for over a decade, or even for over a century.  Nothing in economic theory implies that years, decades, or even centuries of unbroken annual trade deficits are evidence of ‘unfair’ trade practices by foreigners or of self-destructive economic policies at home.

If investment opportunities available in the United States this year are especially attractive relative to opportunities elsewhere, the U.S. will run a trade deficit this year as global investors use some of their dollars, not to buy American exports but, instead, to invest in America.  If next year the U.S. economy again offers especially attractive investment opportunities, America will run a trade deficit again next year.  Ditto for two years from now if the relative attractiveness of American investment opportunities continues for that year.  For an innovation-filled economy, such as that of the U.S., in a world in which the size of the capital stock can grow, there is no natural limit to the number of attractive investment opportunities that arise each year.  Nor is there a natural limit to the number of consecutive years that a country can, or will, continue to remain a disproportionately attractive destination for investment funds.

 

The hypocrisy is so rich. “Elected officials” grilling Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.

These are the same people who created the country’s $20 trillion debt, cannot get an honest accounting of the department’s finances, have 70% of the budget on automatic pilot because of entitlement programs, say the military is financially depleted yet the Us spends as much as the next nine countries combined on military spending, implemented Obamacare which made health insurance and medical service levels worse then they already were.

The Wells Fargo issue is a case of fraud. Laws and procedures are already on the books to deal with it.

Hey you gutless wonders in Washington, learn to manage your own affairs. Get your own house in order and stop trying to run the lives and businesses of the people.

Here.

Why is health insurance so expensive? Because government dictates what it must cover.

I pay almost 13 times more for health insurance then home insurance, and more than 5 times more for auto insurance than for health insurance.

Health insurance should have low monthly premiums, high deductibles, and Health Savings Accounts to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses on a pre-tax basis. This arrangement puts the patient in charge of the money instead of the government or insurance companies. That is how you get medical practitioners — from private doctor practices to big hospital complexes — to lower their costs and improve quality.

 

Daniel J. Mitchell performs a fisking on an article in The Economist magazine:

Writing about the stagnation that is infecting western nations, the magazine beclowns itself by regurgitating stale 1960s-style Keynesianism. The article is worthy of a fisking (i.e., a “point-by-point debunking of lies and/or idiocies”), starting with the assertion that central banks saved the world at the end of last decade.

The point I want to make is about the Phillips Curve, which Dan refers:

According to adherents, all-wise central bankers can push inflation up if they want lower unemployment and push inflation down if they want to cool the economy.

This idea has been debunked by real world events because inflation and unemployment simultaneously rose during the 1970s (supposedly impossible according the Keynesians) and simultaneously fell during the 1980s (also a theoretical impossibility according to advocates of the Phillips Curve).

The common understanding of the Phillips Curve is not based on what Mr. Phillips actually studied. This is from John P. Hussman.

The Phillips curve, named after economist A.W. Phillips, is widely understood as a “tradeoff” between inflation and unemployment. The idea is so engrained in the minds of economists and financial analysts that it is taken as obvious, incontrovertible fact.

John agrees with Dan about the common definition and its acceptance but there is another problem with the Phillips Curve.

See, the Phillips Curve takes its name from a 1958 Economica paper by A.W. Phillips, which studied the relationship between unemployment and wage inflation in Britain, using a century of historical data through the 1950’s. What Phillips found was this: when unemployment was low, wage inflation tended to be above-average, and when unemployment was high, wage inflation tended to be subdued. . . .

The answer is simple. During most of the period that Phillips studied, Britain was on the gold standard. As a result, the general price level was actually very stable, with very little general price inflation at all. . . .

The true Phillips Curve, then, is a relationship between unemployment and real wages.

Note, when analysts use the word “real” like this it means adjusted for inflation.

John delves into detail if you wish further explanation.

It is scheduled for Monday night, Sep 25, 2016.

With Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson walled off from the presidential debate stage I’m expecting a steady attack on our liberty; walls, wars, constitutional infringements; a more convoluted tax and regulatory code, spending, and promising of entitlements. These are the signs of a rotten American political culture.

Tear down the wall!

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