Inflation! Debasement! May edition

Hyperinflation-era German currency Source: Flikr Creative Commons Welcome back to the monthly inflation! debasement! update.  We’re keeping track of that nefarious phenomenon of which Speaker of the House Paul Ryan warned that, no matter what the data tell us, accelerating inflation and a depreciating currency are just around the corner.  Here are the latest data through May 2016: … [Read more...]

No, we shouldn’t go back to the gold standard

Source: Flikr Creative Commons I usually wake up to the sound of NPR's Morning Edition. Today, I got a rude awakening hearing the story, "Trump Favors Returning To The Gold Standard, Few Economists Agree."  Jim Zarroli does a nice job presenting the issue in a calm, "on the one hand, on the other hand" manner. I'll be more blunt: going back to the gold standard is a terrible idea.  I wrote … [Read more...]

Gun violence and economic solutions

Early this morning in Orlando, Florida, a gunman murdered 50 people and injured 53 (as of 11 am CDT) in the worst mass shooting in American history. After the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012, I wrote a column, Economic theory gives us two 'weapons' to combat gun violence. The short version is that economics suggests we think about gun violence in terms of two concepts: Externalities, … [Read more...]