Posts Tagged ‘mark thornton’

By: Mark Thornton

We live in a world of massive monetary inflation and extremely low interest rates. Mortgage rates are near historic lows and yet it seems that people cannot get loans. Home sales are up, but with a near record percentage of sales made with cash, rather than a mortgage. The unemployment rate is nearing “full employment” and yet a record number of people do not have jobs.

We are repeatedly told that the unprecedented monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve and other central banks is necessary to stimulate the economy, create jobs, and generate economic growth. The truth is that this scheme is designed to stealthily steal from the productive classes in order in enrich the unproductive financial class and the counterproductive political classes. It is a con game.

Financial Repression 

With politicians and central bankers seemingly gone made with their obsession of money printing and ultralow interest rates, it is nice to know that academic economists have a term, i.e. financial repression, for the policies that have created our current economic conditions.

However, it is not a new term. Its use dates back to at least 1973 when two Stanford University economists, Edward Shaw and Ronald McKinnon, used the term in separate publications. The phrase was initially meant to criticize various policies that reduced economic growth in undeveloped countries, rather than as an indictment of the world’s leading modern economies.

Financial repression is a revolving set of policies where the government insidiously takes wealth from the private sector, and more specifically makes it easier for government to finance its debt. In today’s environment this includes: (more…)

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By: Mark Thornton

I am regularly asked what can be done to solve the problem of “urban blight” in places like Detroit. The question is usually asked with exhausted desperation and a shrug, as if there are no possible answers. The cause of this “blight” is the root of the problem, and when ignited by police brutality, sets off riots in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore. There are a whole range of answers that we know will work to at least improve the situation.

The root problem of urban blight is government. With this in mind I want to focus on seven areas that if you eliminate government from the scene will solve the problem, or at least reduce the scope of the problem. Some of these solutions can be easily adopted by cities; others will require state and federal governments to remove or modify various forms of intervention. Some aspects of urban blight, such as the deep-seated ideology of victimhood, are likely only to be solved — as with the problem of aging tenured professors — one funeral at a time.

1. Grant “Urban Blight Status” to Free Communities from Regulatory Dead Weight

What we need are more “real” jobs because gainfully employed people commit fewer crimes. The government creates all sorts of problems in labor markets other than the minimum wage law. City governments, or city elders, should be able to request what I’ll call “Urban Blight Status” for all of the city or parts of their city. Such status will allow for the removal of the minimum wage law and all licensing requirements. It will further remove property taxes and sales taxes. This will immediately create a competitive advantage for labor contracts in the “Urban Blight Zone.” Naturally, all of these measures are decidedly non-radical and would be considered “first steps” that should later be applied to the entire population nationwide. (more…)

On our latest episode we are joined by Dr. Mark Thornton of the Mises Institute for a second appearance.  Today we discuss his great work on what is known as The Skyscraper Index which posits that each time the world’s largest skyscraper is built, an economic crisis follows.  Dr. Thornton has uncovered some pretty compelling evidence to support the theory in the past and has a new article on the newest tallest building in the world under construction in Saudi Arabia.

 

Link to original article
Skyscrapers and Business Cycles

http://www.amazon.com/The-Economics-Prohibition-Mark-Thornton/dp/1610160479

By: Mark Thornton

Even as the Saudi Arabian state steps up bombing raids in Yemen and spends billions on new military infrastructure, plans are moving forward for the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. The new tower is to be a kilometer tall and will contain at least 200 floors. It will include both a luxury hotel, class A office space, residences, and many other luxury features. It represents phase 1 of a multiphase development just north of the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea.

The Kingdom Tower project is organized by the Kingdom Holding Company, the chairman of which is Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. He is nephew of the late King Abdullah and is the wealthiest Arab in the Middle East.

The project has been in the works for several years. Between 2008 and 2013 contracts were negotiated and signed, technologies were selected and developed, and preliminary work was carried out. In early 2013 work was begun on the underground foundation and was completed in early 2014. The above-ground construction commenced in the fall of 2014 and is proceeding apace.   (more…)

We recently had a very interesting conversation with Mark Thornton of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. We discussed some Austrian economics basics and analyzed today’s economy through the lens of an Austrian. We also got a sneak peek into his latest article coming out soon on mises.org.

http://www.mises.org/

http://bastiat.mises.org/