The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

Today is the day to reread the Declaration of Independence. Here is an interesting little commentary by homeschool guru Oliver DeMille. It is mostly about the Bible; but, he reminds us, the Declaration of Independence used to come a close second to the Bible …

The Nonexistent “Social Costs” of a Gold Standard System

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on June 30, 2016.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2016/06/30/the-nonexistent-social-costs-of-a-gold-standard-system/#2dd2f5db12f0 One of the odd notions that has come down through the years is that a gold standard system has “social costs.” It does not. It creates a profit. Of course, it does take …

A Cashless Society — Based On Gold

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on June 16, 2016.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2016/06/16/a-cashless-society-based-on-gold/#48a28d5c4fd8 A gold standard system can take on a great many practical manifestations. Before 1800, in most places it meant gold and silver coins exclusively. In the 1950s, it meant paper money whose value …

Milton Friedman Blames the Federal Reserve

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

I’ve been setting up a discussion of Milton Friedman’s version of the 1920s and 1930s, as expressed in his book A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960 (1963). It has been very influential over the years. A more recent update of basically the …

Irving Fischer and “Debt Deflation”

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the credit contraction of the early 1930s. This generally gets far too little attention today, but people have thought about it somewhat in the past. One such person was Irving Fischer, a prominent economist of the time. He called …

A Flat Tax and a Fair Tax — Together

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on June 2, 2016.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2016/06/02/a-flat-tax-and-a-fair-tax-together/#7b825c835eb0 For a number of years, conservatives have debated the merits of the “flat tax,” and also the “fair tax,” or what amounts to a unified sales tax. Both plans are impractical as standalone …

Book Review: Who Needs the Fed? by John Tamny

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

In a time when it seems like central banks call the tune that everyone has to dance to, a book named Who Needs the Fed? (2016) is a deliberate provocation. Like his earlier book Popular Economics (2015), John Tamny takes on the potentially arcane …

The Devaluation of the British Pound, September 21, 1931

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

Today, we are making use of a new weekly dataset just released by the Bank of England. It is here: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Pages/onebank/balancesheet.aspx I thought I’d use it to get an idea of what was going on when the British pound was devalued on September 21, …