Price Controls

Yield Purchasing Power: $100M Today Matches $100K in 1979

I wrote a story about poor Clarence who retired in 1979, and even poorer Larry who retired last year. I created these characters to challenge the notion of calculating a real interest rate by subtracting inflation. The idea is that the decline of a currency can be measured by the rate of price increases. This price-centric view leads to the concept of purchasing power—the amount of stuff that a dollar can buy. It’s the flip side of prices. When prices rise, purchasing power falls.

Are Hedge Funds Worth More Than Kindergartens?

Are Hedge Funds Worth More Than Kindergartens?

“The top 25 hedge fund managers made more than all the kindergarten teachers in the country,” declared President Obama in a discussion of poverty at Georgetown University. Calling them “society’s lottery winners,” he proposed to hike their taxes....
The Most Common Error in Economic Debates

The Most Common Error in Economic Debates

Have you ever been in an argument about whether we should raise taxes and then someone tosses out a real whopper? “The top tax rate for decades after World War II was over 90% and look how the economy boomed!” Or perhaps you read a Paul Krugman column where he said...
The Doctor-Laborer Inversion

The Doctor-Laborer Inversion

The battle over minimum wage is raging. Emotions are running hot. Some cities are setting the bar very high. For example, Seattle is mandating a $15/hour wage. Economically, the issue is very simple. Minimum wage laws do not raise anyone’s wage. This is because it’s...