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Nathan Lewis

Entries by Nathan Lewis

The Problem With Unions

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2011 | 8:06 AM

Despite what you might think, many conservatives and businesspeople support the original idea behind unions: that employees should enjoy some sort of basic middle-class lifestyle, commensurate with their contribution to the employer and society as a whole. Late 19th century "Dickensian" capitalism wasn't really good for anybody, and its greatest...

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The End of the Keynesian Experiment

(10) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 4:55 PM

You, the common peasants, aren't supposed to know this, but the wheels are coming off the world monetary system.

The reason you aren't supposed to know this is because governments around the world need to sell you a ton of their bonds. They are addicted to debt and you are...

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What Happened to the Middle Class?

(26) Comments | Posted June 21, 2010 | 4:16 PM

In the 1930s there was a debate about whether to use currency manipulation as a means to help the economy. On one side of the debate was the classical economist, who said something like, "In the long run, you can't devalue yourself to prosperity." On the other side was the...

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The Coming Keynesian Catastrophe

(10) Comments | Posted June 9, 2010 | 12:42 PM

"Keynesianism" is a line of economic thinking that is actually quite ancient but was most recently revived by John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s. The gist of it is that economic problems can be solved by government deficit spending and some sort of "easy money" policy.

Sometimes, government spending actually...

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How to Buy Real Gold

(3) Comments | Posted April 12, 2010 | 3:16 PM

If you've been following any of the hair-raising stories about the gold bullion market, you are probably thinking about how to own real gold, instead of "paper gold."

There are a few simple rules when it comes to owning gold:

1) Gold is metal. If you...

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It's Ponzimonium in the Gold Market

(64) Comments | Posted March 31, 2010 | 10:13 AM

We've had a string of amazing revelations recently regarding the world's precious metals market. This is important stuff for anyone (like me) who holds gold as a means to avoid currency turmoil and counterparty risk.

(My earlier post on shenanigans at the Comex gold market.)

This news has...

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China Versus U.S.: Clashing Monetary Paradigms

(5) Comments | Posted March 23, 2010 | 3:30 PM

It seems that some people were confused by my last post on China's currency. Maybe I was trying to fit too many topics into one item. (See What's the Chinese Word for Baloney?)

The broader principle here is that there are two basic approaches to monetary policy....

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What's the Chinese Word for Baloney?

(11) Comments | Posted March 17, 2010 | 1:35 AM

There has been an explosion of arguments that China is somehow embarking on a policy of competitive currency devaluation. Even certain otherwise-respectable newspaper columnists have been getting into the game.

It's complete baloney.

Look at the graph. This is a record of the exchange rate between the Chinese renminbi and...

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Ancient Economic Wisdom Still Applies Today

(9) Comments | Posted March 9, 2010 | 11:10 AM

You've probably never heard of Ibn Khaldun. He was a 14th century Arab historian. At least, he is remembered as a historian, although that was only his hobby. His real job was serving as a high official in several governments in North Africa, Spain and the Middle East. At his...

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The Problem With the Euro

(18) Comments | Posted February 19, 2010 | 4:28 PM

The problem with the euro is not Greece. Nor is it Portugal, Italy, Spain or Ireland. It is not even the French or German financial institutions that may hold the debt of these governments.

The problem with the euro is the euro.

We are now hearing a multitude of silly...

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How to Create Jobs

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2010 | 1:43 PM

We need more jobs in the U.S. Not only some sort of job, but good jobs -- jobs that take advantage of Americans' great skills and abilities, and provide an environment to develop and grow. In other words, well-paid jobs.

How does a government accomplish this? There are two basic...

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A Brief History of the Dollar

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2009 | 8:43 AM

Some people are saying that the dollar's days are numbered. Maybe so. Let's look at the dollar's long history, and see how we got to where we are today.

The "dollar" originated in the city of Joachimsthal in Bavaria (now Germany). Beginning in 1518, silver from the mines near Joachimsthal...

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New Highs for Gold

(6) Comments | Posted October 9, 2009 | 1:30 PM

"New all time highs."

How many things can you say that of? Stocks? Real estate? Commodities?

No, no and no. I'm talking about gold.

This price action grabs attention. People like to bet on a winner.

The gold market is highly politicized. Official intervention is chronic. Governments understand that a...

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Does Hong Kong Have the World's Best Health Care System?

(6) Comments | Posted September 25, 2009 | 2:35 PM

I am a supporter of a fully British-style government-operated health care system for the U.S., which many find a little odd given my otherwise libertarian leanings.

The United States was founded on libertarian principles. There wasn't even an income tax for the first 124 years of U.S. history --...

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What $1000+ Gold Means To You

(15) Comments | Posted September 23, 2009 | 12:07 PM

The dollar price of gold is above $1000 and new all-time highs are likely. Maybe it will go quite a bit higher.

OK, so what? Does this mean that wedding bands get more expensive or something?

Most people probably look at gold as some minor metal -- not even in...

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The IMF Destroys Iceland and Latvia

(14) Comments | Posted September 3, 2009 | 12:41 PM

The International Monetary Fund operates primarily as a banker bailout machine. They cajole and tempt and confuse and threaten the leaders of governments worldwide to pay off the failed bets of the big bankers using the taxpayer funds of their countries. This has been going on a long time, at...

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Healthcare Reform That Conservatives Could Love

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2009 | 6:44 PM

I'm known mostly as a conservative, libertarian economist. So, it is a surprise to some of my friends that I favor some form of government healthcare. For one thing, everyone deserves access to some basic level of service, as is the case in every other developed country. Second, other countries'...

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The GS-Files 4: Always a Winner

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2009 | 11:19 AM

Let's say you picked a portfolio of stocks on January 1, and a year later it had appreciated by 40%. Great job!

How would this portfolio look on a daily basis? On any given day, it would go up or down in a somewhat unpredictable manner. Let's say the standard...

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The GS-Files 3: Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

(7) Comments | Posted August 1, 2009 | 11:28 AM

You may have heard that Goldman Sachs is "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money," as Matt Taibbi put it recently.

This is true, but just calling names doesn't accomplish much. We continue here with our...

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The GS-Files 2: Stuffing the Taxpayer

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2009 | 5:14 PM

Goldman Sachs has been in the news a lot recently, but most of the commentary is of the "Hey, these guys got a bailout and now they're making a lot of money, and that's so unfair" variety. Not real deep. Actually, I'm impressed that the public is even aware of...

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