Most readers probably remember the US housing bubble of the 2000s. The bubble burst starting in 2007, leading to a financial crisis and significant recession. Are we in another housing bubble now? Let’s take a look. Historical housing prices The graph below shows the median selling price of new homes from 1963 through May 2018. … Continue reading Are we in a new housing bubble?
Let’s talk about inflation. It affects everyone, but it’s not always well understood. There are also some interesting points to make. What causes inflation? Milton Friedman said, “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” In other words, inflation occurs when too much money is created relative to the supply of goods and services. This … Continue reading Interesting facts on inflation
Let’s talk about a couple reasons we should be optimistic about the future. The two reasons are somewhat random and not connected. One relates to the US, while the other applies anywhere. Divisive US politics Is divisive politics a reason to be optimistic? Well, it could be. It’s possible that the experiences of Presidents Obama … Continue reading Two reasons to be optimistic about the future
Science is always true and accurate, right? Not necessarily. Irreproducible Peter Wood and David Randall of the National Association of Scholars wrote an article for the April 17th Wall Street Journal on this topic. They start out by saying: “Half the results published in peer-reviewed scientific journals are probably wrong. John Ioannidis, now a professor of … Continue reading Faith in science
People often talk about the rights they have. “Our right to free speech is being eroded.” “We all have a right to decent healthcare.” And so on. We do possess certain rights. However, rights are not limitless. We possess some rights, but not others. Which rights do we have, and how can we tell the … Continue reading What rights do we have?
Based on my personal observations, some people are overly negative about US economic results and living standards. They’re sure the poor are getting screwed, the middle class is stagnant, and economic success is no longer possible. They usually display this negativity in complaints about capitalism. Maybe this negativity is the anti-capitalist’s way of denying that … Continue reading Good news on poverty
My last post discussed how much profit is ‘normal.’ Sticking with the profit theme, this time I’ll try to explain why profit should not be a dirty word. I will make the case that profit is nothing to be ashamed of. Profit serves useful purposes and is needed to achieve broad prosperity. Dislike of profits … Continue reading Why profit is not a dirty word
I’m used to the fact that some people have misperceptions about various economic issues. For example: The rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes (here). Price-gouging in a crisis is wrong (here). The middle-class standard of living has stagnated since the 1970s (here). I’m also aware that some people have misperceptions about business profits, … Continue reading How much profit is normal?
Are electric vehicles (EV’s) inevitable? Some people think so. The most ambitious forecast I’ve seen predicts that 95% of automobile miles driven in the US will come from EV’s by 2030. That’s a steep climb from today, when EV’s account for roughly 1% of new vehicle sales. Early days EV’s are not new. The early … Continue reading Are electric cars inevitable?
Pope Francis has made several comments that are at least somewhat anti-capitalist. This is not totally surprising, since he hails from one of the most anti-capitalist countries on the planet, Argentina. He is not alone. Others have also questioned whether capitalism is compatible with Christianity. This then becomes a reason to criticize capitalism. Is capitalism … Continue reading Is capitalism compatible with Christianity?