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What Goes Up, China Edition

Skyscrapers inspire. Sometimes they inspire shudders. I am an admirer of such neo-Babels, and you can’t find a better Schelling point for New York than the Empire State Building. Civilization’s highest erections symbolize something good about humanity. And yet, I wonder about the latest Chinese engineering effort, Sky City, to

Got Jobs?

New jobs come from entrepreneurial insight into new ways of profitably producing goods; they are paid for with investments. After a bust, old ratios of prices and wages cease to work, requiring time for entrepreneurs to refigure. But capitalism’s basic scenario — savings, investment, productivity gains, trades — still applies.

The High Rise Before the Fall

Many Americans who have never driven in ol’ London town have driven over the London Bridge — in Arizona. I’m an outlier, here, in that I’ve been over many a London bridge, but not to Lake Havasu’s. But that doesn’t make me an expert on the Shard London Bridge, a

Explaining the Next Bust

Is the long-cycle “higher education boom” now beginning to go bust? Like financial bubbles fed by subsidy and the Federal Reserve’s limbo-low interest rates, American colleges and universities are plagued with too much government attention —particularly by policy that says “everybody should go to college.” But common sense tells us

Déjà vu Economics

Last week I noted the revival of interest in F.A. Hayek’s classic political tract, The Road to Serfdom. This week? The ongoing revival of interest in Hayek’s theory of boom and bust. According to economist Gerald P. O’Driscoll, Jr., today’s debate about stimulus spending mirrors the debate in the Great

Prophet of Loss

What if Karl Marx was . . .  half right? Marx’s theory of history elaborated that, with each bust of the boom-and-bust cycle, the rich would nab ever more property — capital — until impoverished workers united to take all that capital for “themselves” (as a collective) and run it

Don’t Kill The Angels

President Obama is blasting what he calls “the furious efforts of industry lobbyists” to fend off tighter regulation of the financial industry. Pretending that Fed credit expansion and governmental incentives to take on temporarily cheap mortgages had no part in the current crisis, officials carefully direct our attention elsewhere. Widespread

Fear of Falling

The fear of falling is innate. Newborns have it. The fear of falling prices is different. What? Who fears falling prices? Politicians and investors and the big boys in big business, that’s who. When all sorts of prices fall, it means that their plans for ever-upward growth hit the hard

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