How increases in money supply cause economic bust

Source: Cobden Centre
by Dr. Frank Shostak

“The increase in the growth rate of the consumer price index (CPI) has fueled concerns that if the rising trend were to continue the Fed is likely to tighten its interest rate stance. Observe that the yearly growth rate in the CPI climbed to 4.2% in April from 2.6% in March and 0.3% in April 2020. We hold that because of massive increases in the money supply, it is likely that the growth momentum of prices is going to follow a rising trend. Note that the yearly growth rate of money supply climbed to 79% in February from 6.5% in February 2020. Various increases in the prices of goods are just the manifestation of increases in money supply.” (06/02/21)

NM: Sex-toy-carrying drone interrupts mayoral candidate’s event

Source: New York Daily News

“A drone carrying a sex toy derailed a campaign event for a mayoral candidate in New Mexico’s largest city Tuesday. Manuel Gonzales, candidate for mayor of Albuquerque, was answering a woman’s question when the offensive drone dropped into the outdoor event and distracted attendees, as seen in video posted to Facebook. The video, shared by a failed U.S. congressional candidate, shows the establishment’s owner yanking the device from the drone and causing the craft to fall from the sky. At that point, a young man runs up to the stage and attempts to grab the sex toy and drone, but is quickly subdued by security. … Gonzales, who is currently sheriff of Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, speculated that the drone stunt was done by four ‘political operatives’ and that ‘it was a coordinated effort, very intentional, and these people were trained,’ the Journal reported.” (06/03/21)

Vaccine Hesitancy and the Paradox of Choice

Source: Quillette
by Andrew Glover

“One of the underlying messages to the public is that, when it comes to getting a COVID vaccine, we have choices. The assumption appears to be that it’s better to give people more choices than less. Instead of having just one generic vaccine available, we have several products for people to choose from. It’s assumed that those who might be hesitant about a particular brand of vaccine will simply choose an alternative. But is it really true that more choice will lead to better outcomes? … The ‘paradox of choice’ — a phenomenon observed by psychologist Barry Schwartz — suggests that giving people more choice can also reduce their wellbeing. Increased choice can lead to hesitancy, where people may postpone or neglect to make a choice, in part because they don’t want to make the wrong choice.” (06/02/21)

“Shrinkflation”: The Latest Consequence of Reckless Federal Spending, Explained

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Brad Polumbo

“We already know that top inflation metrics have recently surged, and executives at companies like Costco are warning that price hikes are hurting their customers. Now, there’s a new inflation consequence hitting consumers: ‘Shrinkflation.’ I’d never heard the term before today, but new reporting from the Washington Post explains how some companies are dealing with inflation in their supply costs by shrinking the sizes of their products, to avoid the customer backlash that comes with raising sticker prices. … This is just a crafty way companies are adapting to a surge in their expenses that isn’t their fault. But it’s more than a novel business trend worth noting — it’s yet more evidence that when policymakers make decisions that ultimately cause inflation, it hurts everyday citizens in their wallets in thousands of small ways.” (06/02/21)

MN: Crews remove barriers, memorials at George Floyd Square

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Crews on Thursday removed the concrete barriers that blocked traffic at a Minneapolis intersection where a memorial to George Floyd was assembled after his death last year, but community activists quickly put up makeshift barriers and resumed chanting the name of the [b]lack man whose killing galvanized the racial justice movement. It took the city crews less than four hours to clear the barriers, artwork, flowers and other items from 38th Street and Chicago Avenue where Floyd was killed, informally known as George Floyd Square. The community group Agape coordinated the clearing of the intersection, according to city spokeswoman Sarah McKenzie. A fist sculpture, which stands several feet tall, will remain, McKenzie said.” (06/03/21)

Our Real Lessons May Still Await Us

Source: Cato Unbound
by Laurel Miller

“[W]ith completion of the U.S. and NATO withdrawal only weeks away, I have more questions than answers about the retrospective picture. The more fundamental the questions, the harder they are to answer. One of those fundamental questions is whether Afghanistan and the United States would have been better off if the United States had never invaded in 2001 — if it had chased al Qaeda, heedless of Afghan sovereignty, but had left the Taliban regime in place. That would have avoided the nation-building entanglement, the insurgency and counter-insurgency, harms done to Afghan civilians, the costs of military deployment, and any U.S. sense of responsibility for fixing anything in the country. But what exactly would this alternative history look like?” (06/02/21)

Biden’s Progressive [sic] Economic Turn Shaped By Social Movements

Source: In These Times
by Mark Engler & Paul Engler

“If you have been surprised by President Joe Biden’s ambitious proposals for government spending, you’re not alone. ​’I’ll be frank, I think a lot of us expected a lot more conservative administration,’ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in late April. Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has been similarly startled. When she heard Biden say in a televised speech, ​’The biggest risk is not going too big … It’s if we go too small,’ she yelled out to her husband, ​’That’s our line! He used our line!’ For their part, Republicans have accused the president of ​’false advertising’ for promising moderation on the campaign trail and then delivering something far bolder.” [editor’s note: Who among this readership is at all stunned by how “big gummint” this all is? – SAT] (06/02/21)

Iran: Huge fire at refinery near Tehran extinguished

Source: Washington Post

“A massive fire that broke out at an oil refinery near Iran’s capital and sent a huge plume of black smoke into the sky over Tehran was extinguished on Thursday, after more than 20 hours, a news agency reported. The semi-official ISNA agency quoted the country’s deputy oil minister, Alireza Sadeghabadi as saying the blaze was first fully contained and then finally put out. … The fire erupted at the state-owned Tondgooyan Petrochemical Co. to the south of Tehran on Wednesday night. The Oil Ministry’s SHANA news agency said it was caused by a leak in two waste tanks at the facility. Authorities initially suggested the flames affected a liquified petroleum gas pipeline at the refinery.” (06/03/21)