The Wiki’leak,’ MAD Men, and the Dollar
Is Wikileaks founder Julian Assange channeling Don Draper in the TV series Mad Men — the brilliant but ethically challenged publicist with retro lifestyle issues? Assange got the Daily Telegraph breathlessly to report an old June 2009 “confidential” cable from the U.S. London Embassy to the U.S. Treasury, State Department, Beijing and Moscow embassies, headed Read More.
State of Monetary Chaos
By all accounts, President Barack Obama will refocus in his 2011 State of the Union address on “jobs and competitiveness.” One must hope he succeeds. But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s previews strongly suggest that both men are unaware that these two problems are essentially unrelated, and that even with continued economic recovery, Obama won’t propose Read More.
[Editor's note: The following remarks were delivered at the Conference on "Economics at the Crossroads" for The Tocqueville Forum and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists at Georgetown University, October 20, 2010. The remarks are based on Mr. Mueller's new book, Redeeming Economics: Rediscovering the Missing Element.] I’m grateful to my old friends at the Tocqueville Read More.
The most important element of economic theory has been ignored for more than two centuries, and its rediscovery has started a revolution the likes of which occurred just three times in eight centuries. In Redeeming Economics: Rediscovering the Missing Element, John D. Mueller shows how reapplying the economic thought of Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas makes economics whole again. Read More.
The best thing about The Dismal Science: How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community is the title. Stephen Marglin is absolutely right that something is wrong with modern economics, particularly its treatment of communities of all kinds, including the family. But the Harvard economist fails to correct the problem for two reasons: first, his ignorance Read More.
How Do Nations Choose “Demographic Winter”? Is America Doing So?
To watch a video of the complete panel on “Family and Demography,” please click here. I’m honored to address the Fifth World Congress of Families in Amsterdam. In our panel on “Family and Demography,” I will try to answer two important questions: First, how do nations choose “demographic winter”? Second, is the United States now Read More.
Review of "Calculated Futures: Theology, Ethics, and Economics"
Calculated Futures: Theology, Ethics, and Economics D. Stephen Long and Nancy Ruth Fox, with Tripp York Waco, Texas, Baylor University Press, 2007 (233 pages) In Calculated Futures, a collection of eight essays on the intersection of theology and economics, economist Nancy Fox writes, “Both theologians and neoclassical economists appear to agree that the market is Read More.
Infant Industry: The Past and Future of the American System
A single coherent tradition links all economically and politically successful American economic policy from George Washington through Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. Tracing its origins and development helps us understand why the success of the American experiment at first critically depended — and depends now in a more literal sense-on promoting the Read More.
A Return to Augustinian Economics
Despite belonging to an organization that recently celebrated its founder’s two thousandth birthday, some American Catholics exhibit the attention span of fruit flies when their faith impinges on their politics. Recent responses to Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Vertitate (“Charity in Truth”) closely parallel those that greeted the last economic encyclicals: John Paul II’s Sollicitudo rei Read More.
Go Forward to Gold
**A copy of the charts included in this article can be downloaded here. A pdf copy with the charts embedded in the article can be downloaded here.** The most disturbing aspect of the current financial crisis is that no U.S. official has correctly identified its primary cause. Experts variously attribute the economic reverses to subprime lending, derivative trading, excessive leverage, and Read More.
The Preacher as Economist vs. "The Economist as Preacher"
**Note: Click here to download a copy of this transcript with complete footnotes. ** A Faith & Law Lecture Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C., 30 May 2008 I’d like to thank Faith & Law for spoiling its hitherto spotless record of excellence by inviting me to present one of its lectures. As you know, Faith & Read More.
Causes and Cures of "Demographic Winter"
Panel remarks after screening of the film Demographic Winter: The decline of the human family. Family Research Council, Washington, D.C. 12 May 2008 The film we have just viewed, Demographic Winter the decline of the human family, performs a great national service by elevating the biggest social, economic and even strategic challenge that the United Read More.
The Three World Views in Economics
Introductory remarks to the book awards panel Templeton Enterprise Awards Symposium Ethics and Public Policy Center — ISI Washington, DC, 3 April 2008 Our book and article award panelists will span 2,300 years today and range from Aristotle to Augustine, Aquinas, Hume, Adam Smith, Kant, Tocqueville and Hannah Arendt to Michael Novak. I am an Read More.
Family-Friendly Fiscal Policy to Weather "Demographic Winter"
**Remarks prepared for delivery to the Fourth World Congress of Families Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw, Poland.** I’m honored to be here in sunny Warsaw, among so many old and new friends, to address the fourth World Congress of Families about family-friendly fiscal policy. (I will go beyond taxation because, for reasons I will Read More.
What Should Be a Culture of Enterprise in an Age of Globalization?
The Intercollegiate Studies and Cato Institutes deserve our thanks for this conference posing the question, “What Should Be a Culture of Enterprise in an Age of Globalization?” But I think we must start with a prior question: Isn’t “culture of enterprise” really an oxymoron? Read More.
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. HarperCollins, 256 pages, $25.95 According to Freakonomics, co-authored by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and freelance journalist Stephen Dubner, “economics is a science with excellent tools for gaining answers but a serious shortage of interesting questions.” Read More.
The Economics of Loving Your Neighbor
[NOTE: The graphs and charts from Mr. Mueller's presentation are available in PowerPoint and PDF formats by clicking here.] Princeton University and the Pace Center deserve our thanks for organizing this panel on “The Economics of Loving Your Neighbor.” The great German economist Wilhelm Röpke once wrote, “Economically ignorant moralism is as objectionable as morally Read More.
Hey, Reagan Did That!
Pundits on left and right have panned President George W. Bush’s 2006 State of the Union Address for proposing a bipartisan congressional commission to reform Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. However, President Bush’s proposal is the most practical step possible to cool the overheated partisan debate, break the congressional logjam, and in 2007 — if Read More.
The final report of President Bush’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform reveals a Republican party shell-shocked by the hostile reception to its Social Security reform plans and deeply ambivalent about the direction to take on tax policy. The underlying drama, rarely acknowledged, is whether the party should move away from Ronald Reagan’s approach to Read More.
Social Security Endgame
Even those who (like me) voted for President Bush must concede that “erupting in political flames” aptly describes the Social Security initiative. The reason is that it proposed to violate the most basic rules of fiscal justice and economic efficiency. Yet if President Bush squandered “political capital,” the Democrats didn’t gain any, because their approach Read More.