The Free Market Can’t Solve Your Problems, and other GEMS

No Faith in the Free Market . . . It’s not the market itself that has virtue, but the participants in it. This is not just semantics – it’s an important distinction when going head to head with big government bias. Louis Rouanet of Mises explains.

Iowa Speaks (2:15) . . . Here are 3 takeaways from the Iowa Caucuses by the folks at Reason.com.

Frederick Douglass . . . Monday’s Google doodle was on former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Modern liberals would love to claim him. Sorry, liberals. He fits nowhere better than squarely in the Libertarian camp.

Left or Right, It’s Tyranny in Both Ditches . . . Jeffrey Tucker of FEE points out that Sanders and Trump are just two sides of a very BIG government-issued coin (too many metaphors?).

Prayer and Politics . . . Kevin DeYoung reminds us that the president we vote for should match the prayers we pray.

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The Man Behind Flint’s Water Crisis and other FREE-MARKET GEMS

Brazil’s Economic Woes . . . have a real economic cause. His name is John Maynard Keynes, and he’s been dead for 70 years. But wait, Brazil’s not the only one under his spell…

Flint’s Water Crisis . . . Yep. We can blame Keynes for that too.

Star Wars Inspiration (1:30) . . . History professor Amy Sturgis looks at the Samurai order of Japan and the Knight’s Templar as source material for the Jedi. Vader’s helmet makes perfect sense now.

Creative Genius (7:30) . . . It’s about location, location, location, says Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Genius. And throw in some hardship and adversity too.

Dr. Dre Knows . . . Though his Beats headphones may not appeal to the purist, consumers don’t really care. And Peter Klein of Mises says it’s time to embrace the bass.

 

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ISIS Cuts Salaries…and other FREE-MARKET GEMS

Auto Boom or Auto ‘POP’? . . . When the subprime auto bubble bursts, prices of used cars will drop (it’s inevitable; there will be no other way for the market to clear inventories without going bankrupt). For those with cash, it should be good shopping.

$15 Minimum Wage? (3:30) . . . Basic economics (and basic common sense) says it’s a really bad idea.

The GOP Debate Best/Worst (5:00) . . . In case you missed it, here are the highs and lows from the South Carolina debates.

Gun Control . . . It makes for good rhetoric for politicians but lousy (as in costly and ineffective) policy. Cato Institute breaks it down for us.

ISIS hits the Laffer Curve . . . Terrorists have to tighten belts and cut salaries as revenues drop and expenses increase. It just seems like no one is free of economic realities these days.

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A Star Wars Conspiracy, and other FREE-MARKET GEMS

The Next Bubble? . . . You might be driving it. Literally. Seventeen million cars were sold in the US last year, the most ever, and it’s not the booming economy that made it happen: it’s artificially low interest rates and easy financing terms. Sound familiar?

Star Wars Conspiracy II (3:00) . . . Trading freedom for security did not just happen in a galaxy far, far away. Humans have been doing it on a regular basis for thousands of years.

SCOTUS and Teachers Unions . . . This Monday the Supreme Court heard arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. At issue is the union’s ability to force non-members to pay dues, or “agency” fees. It’s too close a race to call, but we should see how it ends by mid summer.

Kicked to the Street . . . While on-demand food services like UberEATS are still a step ahead of regulators, street vendors are increasingly at their mercy.

Koko have message (00:36) . . . for Facebook friends.

 

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Star Wars and Statist Slush: FREE-MARKET GEMS

Political Correctness . . . It’s not correct, but it’s definitely political. In fact, Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute goes even further, saying that PC is propaganda, a tool for controlling thought, and that we should be fighting it that way.

The Star Wars / Nazi Connection (3:30) . . . Fear, says Remy, (and Hitler and Darth Sidious) is the straightest path from democracy to dictatorship.

Statism . . . When you say it like that it sounds like a religion, and maybe that would explain its continued appeal despite the evidence that market-friendly economies are the only ones working today.

Pentagon Slush (10:00) . . . On top of their regular budget, the US military enjoys a slush fund that exceeds the actual budget of the entire US State Department. Now that’s some good slush. Thanks, Dubya.

2016, the Year of Bitcoin? . . . Sure. Why not. Like anything speculative, bitcoin is fun to…well…speculate about. And there are some smart people who think it could reach record price levels in the next twelve months. Let’s watch and see.

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