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Demographics, Insufficient Reform, and the Grim Outlook for Eastern Europe

Changing demographics is one of the most powerful arguments for genuine entitlement reform. When programs such as Social Security and Medicare (and equivalent systems in other nations) were first created, there were lots of young people and comparatively few old people. And so long as a “population pyramid” was the norm, reasonably sized welfare states […]

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More Hack Analysis from the IMF

The International Monetary Fund is a left-leaning bureaucracy that was set up to monitor the fixed-exchange-rate monetary system created after World War II. Unsurprisingly, when that system broke down and the world shifted to floating exchange rates, the IMF didn’t go away. Instead, it created a new role for itself as self-styled guardian of economic […]

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A Semi-Acceptable Indirect Bailout for Puerto Rico?

I wrote last year about why Puerto Rico got into fiscal trouble. Like Greece and so many other governments, it did the opposite of Mitchell’s Golden Rule. Instead of a multi-year period of spending restraint, it allowed the budget to expand faster than the private sector for almost two decades. As the old saying goes, […]

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Lesson from Cyprus: Spending Restraint Is the Pro-Growth Way to Solve a Fiscal Crisis

Much of my work on fiscal policy is focused on educating audiences about the long-run benefits of small government and modest taxation. But what about the short-run issue of how to deal with a fiscal crisis? I have periodically weighed in on this topic, citing research from places like the European Central Bank and International […]

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Notwithstanding Keynesian Fantasies, Redistribution Does Not Stimulate Growth

Back in 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually claimed that paying people not to work would be good for the economy. Wow, that’s almost as bizarre as Paul Krugman’s assertion that war is good for growth. Professor Dorfman of the University of Georgia remembers Pelosi’s surreal moment and cites it in his column in Forbes, […]

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Was Reaganomics a Success?

Among Republicans and conservatives, Ronald Reagan is widely revered as a great President. From their perspective, he was the candidate who actually made America great again. Fans of the Gipper tell us the economy rebounded, inflation was tamed, incomes rose, unemployment fell, and the Evil Empire was defeated. What’s not to love? That’s an impressive […]

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