Value and Exchange

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Big Mac and the Dollar

Money and BanksValue and Exchange


Using McDonals's Big Mac as the standard, the US Dollar looks relative firm compared to some other currencies. The chart below from The Economist looks at...

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How Valuable Is a Federal Grant?

Taxes and SpendingValue and Exchange


Sometimes, a federal grant is worthless. The federal government has the ability to attach enough costly provisions to its grants that the net value is less than zero.

A recent case in my home town of Tallahassee illustrates this. The Tallahassee Democrat, May 21, page A1 (sorry,...

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Going Money

Value and Exchange


Here is a short video that examines early forms of money such as metal and salt. Of special interest, it shows the transition from barter goods (such as axes) to transactions facilitated with miniature ax heads without handles or any use...

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How profitable is big oil?

Capital and Interest TheoryValue and Exchange


In the context of the recent spike in oil prices, this clip from Glenn Beck show might be of interest to some. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the oil industry has been facing a thirty years [sic] moratorium on exploring new fields within the United States. According to the president of...

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A Catechism on Political Economy

Calculation and KnowledgeValue and Exchange


I surely should have heard about J.B. Say's Catechism on Political Economy, but in fact I don't recall knowing about it. It appears in this newly uploaded and bookmarked volume Letters to Malthus. So a short sample:

What do...
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Bookstores in Trouble

Monopoly and CompetitionValue and Exchange


Sadly, Borders Group, Inc. is in trouble and it's up for sale. More and more of these companies continue to drop as consumers pinch pennies on wanna-have but don't-need items. I listened to analysts...

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Free Trade versus Free-trade Agreements

Free MarketsValue and Exchange


The Mises Institute has consistently favored free trade--the real thing--while criticizing "free-trade agreements" as mercantilism in disguise. The position is a lonely one, except that looking back history we find that the Austrians were against trade agreements from the beginning, even...

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Maybe the Monkey Kingdom needs a Federal Reserve

Value and Exchange


From Wired:

The researchers first trained chimpanzees in the basic rules of trade: you give to me, I give to you. They used apple slices, which chimps generally like, and grapes, which chimps really like...
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Will Radiohead be able to sell what it has given away?

EntrepreneurshipValue and Exchange


Today the CD called "In Rainbows" by Radiohead (a British rock band) goes on sale, and the sales figures will provide an exhibit in the relationship between free downloads and retails sales. the...

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Christmas and Consumption

Production TheoryValue and Exchange


Christmas is a make-or-break time for many retailers, and the holiday season's importance to the American economy is so great that "Black Friday" sales at some retailers, particularly Wal-Mart, are reported as a macroeconomic indicator. The holiday season is indeed festive and inspiring even in...

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