Adam Smith critiques the Deficit Reduction Commission

What would Adam Smith have said about the Bowles-Simpson economic report last week? What a pity the great free marketer was not around to serve on the Deficit Reduction Commission. He not only would have rolled over in his grave, he would have risen up wielding an ax to the fiscal proposals that are diametrically opposite to the fiscal principles that he and his original free market contemporaries urged. Writing in the wake of the French Physiocrats with their Impôt Unique to collect the revenues that France’s landed aristocracy drained from the countryside and towns, Smith endorsed the idea that the least burdensome tax was one that fell on land rent: A more equal land-tax, a more equal tax upon the rent of ...

The Coming Financial Reality

An Interview with Economist Michael Hudson for Counterpunch By STANDARD SCHAEFER The war in Iraq is allegedly over, interest rates are going lower and there are rumors of recovery although the economy is still in the doldrums. A Bush is president, but an election is around the corner. It sounds a bit like the recession of 1990-1991. In fact, the recovery from that period, anemic as it was marked by very little growth in employment--was actually stronger than this one. The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1% compared to the 2.6% annual rate currently. Except for the 1992 recovery, the last seven economic recoveries were much stronger than this one, and each of them, corresponded with the usual ...