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Search Results for 'austerity'

In the world of fiscal policy, there are actually two big debates. One debate revolves around the appropriate size of government in the long run. Folks on the left argue that government spending generates a lot of value and that bigger government is a recipe for more prosperity. Libertarians and their allies, by contrast, point […]

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The European Commission’s data-gathering bureaucracy, Eurostat, has just published a new report on government finances for the region. And with Greece’s ongoing fiscal turmoil getting headlines, this Eurostat publication is worthwhile because it debunks the notion, peddled by folks like Paul Krugman, that Europe has been harmed by “savage” and “harsh” spending cuts. Here’s some […]

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It’s remarkable to read that European politicians are agitating to spend more money, supposedly to make up for “spending cuts” and austerity. To put it mildly, their Keynesian-based arguments reflect a reality-optional understanding of recent fiscal policy on the other side of the Atlantic. Here’s some of what Leonid Bershidsky wrote for Bloomberg. Just as […]

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There’s an ongoing debate about Keynesian economics, stimulus spending, and various versions of fiscal austerity, and regular readers know I do everything possible to explain that you can promote added prosperity by reducing the burden of government spending. Simply stated, we get more jobs, output, and growth when resources are allocated by competitive markets. But […]

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I’m not reluctant to criticize my friends at the Heritage Foundation. In some cases, it is good-natured ribbing because of the Cato-Heritage softball rivalry, but there are also real policy disagreements. For instance, even though it is much better than current policy, I don’t like parts of Heritage’s “Saving the American Dream” budget plan. It’s […]

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I want a smaller burden of government spending, so you can only imagine how frustrating it is for me to observe the fight in Europe. On one side of the debate you have pro-spenders, who call themselves “growth” advocates, but are really just Keynesians. On the other side of the debate, you have pro-taxers, who […]

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Statists are in a tough position. For years, they’ve been saying the United States should be more like Europe. And, as shown in these very funny cartoons by Michael Ramirez and Bob Gorrell, President Obama is a cheerleader for that effort. But now Europe’s welfare states are collapsing, so the left is scrambling to come […]

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I have great fondness for Estonia, in part because it was the first post-communist nation to adopt the flat tax, but also because of the country’s remarkable scenery. Most recently, though, I’ve been bragging about Estonia (along with Latvia and Lithuania, the other two Baltic nations) for implementing genuine spending cuts. I’ve argued that Estonia […]

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I wrote a detailed blog post yesterday, showing that European governments have been very reluctant to restrain the burden of government spending. Part of the problem is that the debate in Europe is a no-win exercise, pitting proponents of higher taxes (which is largely how Europe’s political elite defines “austerity”) against proponents of higher spending […]

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With both France and Greece deciding to jump out of the left-wing frying pan into the even-more-left-wing fire, European fiscal policy has become quite a controversial topic. But I find this debate and discussion rather tedious and unrewarding, largely because it pits advocates of Keynesian spending (the so-called “growth” camp) against supporters of higher taxes […]

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I realize the title of this post sounds like the beginning of a joke, along the lines of “A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a bar…”, but this is a serious topic. A big problem in fiscal debates is that people can’t even agree on what they mean by certain words. For […]

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Demonstrating that he’s probably not a fan of Mitchell’s Golden Rule, Paul Krugman recently asserted that fiscal austerity has failed in the United Kingdom. Citing Keynesian theory and weak economics numbers, he warned about “the austerity doctrine that has dominated elite policy discussion” and says that the British government made a mistake when it decided […]

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London was just hit by heavy riots as part of a protest against the “deep” and “savage” budget cuts of the Cameron government. This is not the first time the U.K. has endured riots. The welfare lobby, bureaucrats, and other recipients of taxpayer largesse are becoming increasingly agitated that their gravy train may be derailed. […]

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Back in 2017, the Center for Freedom and Prosperity released this video, which shows that free markets and small government are the best recipe for poor nations that want to become rich nations. The CF&P video was motivated in part by a need to debunk international bureaucracies such as the OECD and IMF, which abandoned […]

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In an interview with an economic organization from India last month, I discussed many of the economic issues associated with coronavirus (fiscal fallout, excess regulation, subsidized unemployment, etc). But I want to highlight this short clip since I had an opportunity to explain how the “New Deal” made the Great Depression deeper and longer. For […]

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Libertarians and other supporters of limited government historically have mixed feelings about the European Union (and its various governmental manifestations). On the plus side, there are no trade barriers between nations that belong to the EU, and membership also makes it difficult for countries to impose regulatory burdens that hinder trade. The EU also has […]

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For a multitude of reasons, I wasn’t a fan of Mitt Romney’s candidacy in 2012. But when supporters of Barack Obama accused him of somehow being responsible for a woman who died from cancer, I jumped to his defense by pointing out the link between unnecessary deaths and bad economic policy. Simply stated, market-friendly policies […]

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I’m glad that Boris Johnson is Prime Minister for the simple reason that “Brexit” is far and away the most important issue for the United Kingdom. Whether it’s called a Clean Brexit or Hard Brexit, leaving the European Union is vital. It means escaping the transfer union that inevitably will be imposed as more EU […]

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I sometimes mock the New York Times for dodgy and inaccurate writing about economics. Though, to be fair, the paper has many sound journalists who do a good job, so I should be more careful about explaining that the mistakes are the result of specific reporters and columnists. Paul Krugman is an obvious example. And […]

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There are many reasons to oppose the various bailouts of the Greek government. Here are my two main reasons. I don’t like rewarding investors who make imprudent decisions, and it really galls me to bail out the (mostly) rich people who bought Greek bonds. I don’t like rewarding politicians who make imprudent decisions, and it […]

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I periodically mock the New York Times when editors, reporters, and columnists engage in sloppy and biased analysis. Claiming Medicaid cuts in a piece that shows rising outlays for the program. Asserting that government schools are “starved of funding” when taxpayer subsidies actually have skyrocketed. Claiming that budget-cutting austerity nations are doing worse than “stimulus” nations, but getting the numbers […]

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When I write about Estonia, I generally have something nice to say. Estonia has a non-discriminatory flat tax. Estonian lawmakers know how to cut spending. Estonia has a very good corporate tax system. Estonia has a high level of economic freedom. Estonia shrank governmental power to reduce corruption. Today, I want to add to my […]

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I’ve labeled the International Monetary Fund as the “dumpster fire” of the world economy. I’ve also called the bureaucracy the “Dr. Kevorkian” of international economic policy, though that reference many not mean anything to younger readers. My main complaint is that the IMF is always urging – or even extorting – nations to impose higher […]

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I’m a big fan of many of the economic reforms that have been implemented in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. All three of the Baltic nations rank highly according to Economic Freedom of the World. Estonia and Lithuania are tied for #13, and Latvia isn’t far behind at #23. Rather impressive for nations that suffered decades […]

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Iceland is a tiny little country with just 338,000 people (about the population of Santa Ana, CA), but that doesn’t mean it can’t teach us lessons about public policy. I wrote about the nation’s approach to fisheries in 2016, and explained that the property rights-based system is the best way of protecting fish stocks from […]

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I’m not an optimist about the future of Europe, mostly because welfare states are unaffordable in nations suffering from demographic decline. Given the grim trends on the continent, I expect many other nations (probably led by Italy) will experience the fiscal and economic mess that we’ve seen in Greece. Let’s dig into this issue by […]

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In Part I of this series, we examined the horrific tragedy of Venezuelan statism, and in Part II of this series, we looked at the Scandinavian “free-market welfare state.” Today, Part III will look at the ongoing deterioration of Greece. I’ve written many times about how the mess in Greece was caused by an ever-rising […]

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I recently wrote about the failed 1990 budget deal. My big complaint was that President George H.W. Bush compounded the mistake of higher taxes by also allowing a big increase in the burden of government spending. However, I didn’t blame the agreement for that year’s recession for the simple reason that the downturn began in […]

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I periodically mock the New York Times when editors, reporters, and columnists engage in sloppy and biased analysis. Claiming Medicaid cuts in a piece that shows rising outlays for the program. Asserting that government schools are “starved of funding” when taxpayer subsidies actually have skyrocketed. Claiming that budget-cutting austerity nations are doing worse than “stimulus” nations, but getting […]

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The most disturbing outcome of the recent mid-term election isn’t that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be a Member of Congress. I actually look forward to that because of the humor value. Instead, with the Democrats now controlling the House of Representatives, I’m more worried about Donald Trump getting tricked into a “budget summit” that inevitably would […]

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