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I am an Assistant Professor of Economics at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, a Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, a Research Fellow with the Independent Institute, a Senior Fellow with the Beacon Center of Tennessee, and a regular contributor to Forbes.com and my Twitter Feed.
Interest is a lot more controversial than it should be. Historians, theologians, and philosophers have debated whether it is moral to accept interest on loans. There are Biblical injunctions against usury, Aristotle and other philosophers thought that interest was "unnatural," Karl Marx thought interest was exploitation, and interest is illegal in Islamic banking. Many American jurisdictions have laws governing the interest rates that banks can charge, and a sure way to provoke outrage is to point to the very high interest rates on loans from title pawn and payday...Continue Reading
A tiny part of me dies inside when I hear people praising consumption or encouraging people to spend money "because after all, consumption is 2/3 of the economy" or something like that. If we’re going to consume stuff, we first have to produce it. If we’re going to produce stuff, we need tools, skills, and ideas. When we have more tools, skills, and ideas, we can produce more. When we save, we can make more tools, develop more skills, and come up with more ideas.
(Classic Example: Robinson...Continue Reading
This is a busy time of year in our house with Father’s Day, two of our kids’ birthdays, and our wedding anniversary. Our daughter Taylor Grace just turned 4, and our younger son David just turned 2 (Jacob, our oldest, will be 6 at the end of July). Is it good to have more people? Under what conditions? How might financial instruments and financial markets play a role?
A few years ago, I was listening to a sermon on the radio in which the pastor mentioned a part of the local...Continue Reading
The following is a continuation of last week’s posts (Basics of Money and Fiat Money) from economics professor, Art Carden. This week’s post explores the issue of monetary inflation and examines why it matters to an economy and its currency holders.
Once, during a middle-of-the-night conversation in college, we started talking about which Force powers we would use if we had command over the Force. As an economics major interested at the time in money and banking, I said that I would want "Force price stability." In short, I...Continue Reading
The following is a continuation of yesterday’s post, The Basics of Money, from economics professor, Art Carden, examining some of the basic theory, development, and history of money and what lessons can be learned (or repeatedly forgotten) by looking through the longer-term lens of monetary history.
Take a dollar out of your wallet. What does that dollar say? What does it represent? You’ll notice a few phrases on the front of that dollar: "Federal Reserve Note" and "This Note is Legal tender for All Debts Public and...Continue Reading