The Inherent Pluralism of Currency’s Value

Money is a tool for measuring value. It creates an empirical framework, making it possible for individuals who have different hierarchies of values to be able to trade to their mutual benefit. Money creates a baseline which entities with different ends in mind can gauge the fairness of their transaction. For example, suppose you are hungry and go into a deli to purchase a sandwich. The owner of the store charges you $5. To him,…

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Trump’s Tariffs Are Economically and Politically Disastrous

In an apparent bid to make mercantilism great again, the Trump administration has amped-up its pursuit of protectionist trade measures in recent months, even as others within the president’s own party descry the adverse effects these policies will likely have on the domestic economy. For his part, the president—always a fan of a good superlative—has touted tariffs on the grounds that they facilitate not simply free trade but a more refined type of trade, one…

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If tax cuts are to raise revenues, broader culture of economic freedom is required

Among the favorite maxims of fiscal conservatives is the idea that tax cuts, not hikes, increase revenues. Inarguably, slashing personal income tax rates buoyed the size of the federal government’s coffers following the Mellon income tax cuts of the 1920s, the 1964 Revenue Act signed by President Kennedy and President Reagan’s reform measures in 1981 and 1986. The rationale behind this somewhat counterintuitive phenomenon is that lower tax rates leave individuals and sole-proprietor businesses with…

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Tax Day and Buy American Conveniently Coincide to Highlight Executive Overreach

This year’s Tax Day was marked by a wave of populist furor directed against President Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns. Meanwhile, retailers celebrate the anticipation of tax returns with a barrage of sales, marked to coincide with the anticipated cash with which consumers will be flushed. The disparity in these reactions is truly heinous. The former is protesting a political choice, perhaps a poor one from a messaging and transparency standpoint, to buck…

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The Power of Digital Politics: The Economic Impact of Trump’s Tweets

To paraphrase a famous cliché, “As Trump tweets, so goes the stock market.” Last Thursday, Japanese car maker Toyota’s stock plummeted following a Donald Trump tweet critical of the company’s announcement it was opening a plant in Mexico which would produce Corollas to be sold in the U.S. This was only the latest incidence of various companies’ stocks rising or falling following Trump’s Twitter commentary on their businesses decisions. While it is tempting to interpret…

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Free trade is fair trade

The current dichotomy which is being promoted between “fair trade” and “free trade” is utterly nonsensical. Free trade is the only type of fair trade. Free trade empowers the actors considering entering into a business relationship to set their own standards of what constitutes “fairness.” If all parties can come to a consensus where their individual ideas of what is “fair” to them are met, then they move forward with their relationship; elsewise, they abandon…

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Money is not “good” or “bad”; it is what each individual makes it

A unit of currency, even those based on elements with empirical worth, has absolute value. But this value is relative, both against other systems of measurement and in context of time and shifting events. Fiat money, like the American dollar, derives its worth as a unit from government mandates and regulations, making it much more malleable than non-fiat currency, which is based in a commodity, such as gold, with intrinsic value. Yet, even the values…

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