On Economy


The World of Money Has Become a Joke

RHODES, Greece – We have been writing about radical ways to reduce your living costs. Our monthly budget was $500. We were just fantasizing about it. But judging from all the feedback we’ve received, many Diary readers have done it!

Interestingly, many of those who reported living on little money report that it was the happiest time of their lives! Right now, your editor is spending considerably more than $500 a month.

He is sitting on the balcony of his cabin on the luxurious Crystal Serenity cruise ship, overlooking the harbor at Rhodes. (Cruise ships aren’t usually our thing. But we were invited on board to speak at the second annual Money Week “Cruise for Investors.”)


ephesus_16Arriving at Ephesus …

Photo via ephesusgrouptours.com


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Physicists Should Stick to Physics

We know already since Einstein that renowned physicists would do better to avoid straying into the field of economics. In 1949 Einstein published an essay on economics and education that is brimming with ignorance. According to Einstein, “The economic anarchy of capitalist society [is] the real source of evil”. Any old Marxist could have written that of course – the “capitalist anarchy of production” was routinely mentioned as an alleged drawback by Marxists, one that their “scientific” central economic planning would overcome.


einstein-big-idea-merlAlbert Einstein: great physicist, terrible economist.

Photo credit: Steffen Kugler / Getty Images


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A Dangerous Spot

SANTORINI, Greece – “Gods were gods. Men were men,” explained our tour guide, Spiros.

“The ancient Greeks thought there was a difference. Men had to realize they weren’t gods. They couldn’t do the things gods could do. If they tried, it provoked a disaster. The gods got jealous and punished them.”

What has changed? There are still things humans can and can’t do. When men get too big for their britches, the gods still punish them. The disaster we were looking at had nothing to do with the hubris of mankind. The problem was geological.


santoriniSantorini – world improvers from Hollywood have apparently found housing there.

Photo via kiklamino.com


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The War on Cash

ROME – What are we doing in Rome? We’ll tell you tomorrow. That will give us time to figure it out…


when-in-rome-2010_72231373522130Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more – when in Rome, do as the Romans do!

Photo credit: Touchstone Pictures


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Milton Friedman on the Core of the Problem

Below we want present two short video excerpts from a presentation by the late Milton Friedman, in which he is talking about the thorny issue of immigration, including “illegal” immigration – with a hat tip to Mish, who pointed the existence of these video documents out to us.

Friedman goes to the core of the problem. Long-time readers may recall an article by our friend and regular contributor Keith Weiner, which we published a while ago: Immigration for Republicans. Judging from the comments section, this is quite an emotional topic that tends to provoke intense reactions. As it turns out, Keith was making arguments that are very similar to Milton Friedman’s.


milton-friedman-1Chicago School economist Milton Friedman

Photo credit: The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice


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Sex, Drugs, and Republicans

PARIS – We took the Eurostar train back to Paris from London last night. In our wagon was a group of Chinese businessmen. Drinking, laughing… they were a bit uncouth by European standards. But they were having a good time.

While we were in London, the cabbies were remonstrating against something – ride-sharing app Uber, we suppose. A dozen cabs must have passed before one stopped to pick us up on our way to St. Pancras railway station. Arriving at the Gare du Nord, we feared something similar.


TAXI_STRIKE_PROTES_2938463bStriking cabbies in London blocking major roads in a vain attempt to preserve their government-granted privileges against market forces.

Photo credit: Luke MacGregor / Reuters


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No Lipstick Can be Thrown on this Pig

The markets have been hit with yet another negative economic surprise today, this time concerning the indicator that is thought to have the full attention of the representatives of Anglo-Saxon central banking socialism huddling in the Eccles building. The professional soothsayer class has once again failed to foresee this development, but we hereby predict that won’t keep it from continuing to apprise us of the results of its entrails readings.




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