By Andy Duncan
Is the Financial Times going all Austrian on us? The overall trend in global societal time preferences has been declining for thousands of years, as civilisation has grown and spread, particularly from ancient and classical Greece, which had writing, money, robust law, and best of all, an enduring tradition of freedom. But since the coming of fiat money, particularly from the inception in 1913 of the Federal Reserve, widespread money printing has caused huge time preference spikes, in our something-for-nothing society. With socialism being the religion of high time preferences and civilisational decay, to my mind the two are absolutely linked. For the FT to spot this is quite the revelation!
Here’s a quote from their recent article, which is outside their usual pay wall:
“The 2008 crash itself didn’t destroy wealth, but rather revealed how much wealth had already been destroyed by poor decisions taken in the boom. This underscored the truism that the worst of investments are often taken in the best of times.”
Remarkable. Of course, Mises was writing similar statements to this in 1912, before the birth of the Fed, in his epic master work, The Theory of Money and Credit:
It’s only taken a hundred and seven years for the FT to catch up!
Economic Myths #1 = Rising Prices = Economic Recovery
By Duncan Whitmore
Author’s Note: This is in the first in a series of short posts which will seek to rebut popular, but wrong, economic beliefs.
One of the positive indicators of our so-called economic recovery bandied about not only in the media but also by our monetary lords and masters at the head of central banks is the idea that rising prices are a sign of economic recovery. This mistaken belief is part of a wider myth that views the economy as little more than a giant number – a number which, if going up, means things are good and getting better, and if going down means the situation is bad and getting worse.
Theoretically the market price for any good is never “good” or “bad”; it is simply a function of the supply and demand for that good. The only way in which we can say that the market price is “good” is that both parties to a transaction are satisfied with that price and, thus, both have received an increase in welfare as a result.
That aside, however, surely economic progress is marked by an increasing abundance of goods and services – that more and more stuff is being produced for each hour of work? Therefore, if goods and services are increasing in supply then shouldn’t this lead to decreasing prices rather than increasing prices? If so, then increasing prices must indicate the opposite – a decreasing supply of goods relative to the money used to buy them and, consequently, greater impoverishment. Read more
Zoe Williams is a mainstream (Guardian) journalist and she is either ignorant or dishonest. (Spot the tautology.) She supports a “People’s QE”. About a month ago, even before Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader, one commentator on the LA blog under the name of “Peter” predicted that exactly this would happen. He said that Corbyn’s ideas will repulse far fewer than his party-political rivals hope – and attract more than they think. The reason being that often his policies are simply a logical extension of whatever crackpot policies they, the Tories and others, are already pursuing!
James Delingpole has written an appropriately snarky piece, published on Breitbart, about feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez receiving an OBE. Previously, Caroline C-P had advocated putting the face of a woman (other than the Queen) on the next edition of 10-pound notes. She was successful in her campaign, and soon we will be reminded of Jane Austen every time we spend some cash in the old-fashioned, physical way. As long as it’s still legal to do so. C-Ps only other achievement on record is that she complained publically in 2012 when the Radio 4 Today programme had only male interviewees on the subject of teenage pregnancies and breast cancer.
Anyway, as soon as the Bank of England announced in 2013 that it had decided in favour of Jane Austen, all hell broke loose for Caroline, apparently. According to Wikipedia,