News

Recent posts and articles from IGEG fellows, advisers, experts and scholars.

Watergate Redux

Was Watergate worse than the present scandal? Do you know what the crime was in Watergate? It has been 46 years since the famous break-in at the Watergate hotel in June 1972. In sum, officials of President Nixon’s re-election campaign were trying to obtain information...

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A Skilled Hand with the U.S.-Swiss Mix

This past week, with the passing of Faith Ryan Whittlesey, America lost the best example of what an ambassador should be. By happenstance, Ambassador Whittlesey also served twice in, perhaps, the best example of what a country ought to be — Switzerland. Faith...

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Toward a Better Cryptocurrency

Why do people want “money?” Obviously, so they can buy goods and services now or in the future. But, in actuality, it is not money people want, but purchasing power. Is it necessary to have a stock of money to have purchasing power? Well no, provided people have...

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A Bet on Economic Pygmies

The GDP of North Korea is less than half that of Fairfax County, Virginia, and only a little more than half of Vermont’s, which has less than 3 percent of the population of North Korea. Honduras is the second-poorest county in the Americas but it has a larger GDP than...

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Conspiracy or Incompetence

Many apparent Washington conspiracies are nothing more than sheer incompetence — or a combination of attempted conspiracy coupled with a high degree of incompetence. The investigation into the alleged interference by the Russians into the 2016 election is looking more...

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Allocating Global Capital

People are more careful in spending their own money than they are in spending other people’s. Even though this core principle about human behavior has been understood for thousands of years, many taxpayers seem to be perfectly comfortable with turning over a...

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Abolishing Campaign Contribution Limits

President Trump and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos dislike each other. The Washington Post, owned by Mr. Bezos, runs many stories each day attacking the president. Some are fair and about real issues. But many are petty or just plain wrong. Even The Post’s alleged “conservative”...

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Capital Gains Must Be Protected from Inflation

If your employer gives you a 2 percent wage increase, and inflation is 3 percent, has your real income increased or decreased? Assume you bought a horse barn and 40 acres of land for $200,000 in 1988 for a riding school you operated. You have just retired from your...

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Most Everything Is Better Than You Think

In 1914, just over a century ago, the average worker had to work about three hours to buy a bushel of wheat. Today it takes five minutes for the average American worker to buy that same bushel of wheat. The real (inflation-adjusted) price of aluminum is now about...

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Destructive Information

There is some information that the government should never publish because it is so little understood by the political class and the media. A prime example is the trade deficit number. The trade deficit is of little importance, but as we now see, a focus on that...

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Who is Corrupt?

Is the just-fired Andrew McCabe (former number two and, at one point, acting director of the FBI) corrupt? I would argue yes, even though we do not know the full extent of his alleged transgressions. Corruption, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is...

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Fact-Free Zones in the Public Square

Fuzzy and fact-free thinking are too kind as definitions for much of what has passed as public policy analysis this past week. The discussions regarding the Parkland school shooting, the Russian political investigation and the immigration debate illustrate the...

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Accountability and Willful Blindness

Those who serve in the military know they will be held accountable when they are irresponsible or reckless because the lives of their fellow warriors are at stake. In contrast, there is often little accountability in much of non-military government civil service,...

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