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    Added news   to  , Imprimis

    The following is adapted from a speech delivered at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar on February 24, 2022, in Naples, Florida.

    When I was researching my biography of economist Thomas Sowell, I kept coming across Sowell’s own descriptions of scholars he admired, and I was often struck by how well those descriptions applied to Sowell himself.

    For example, after the death of Nobel Prize-winning economist George Stigler, who was one of Sowell’s professors at the University of Chicago, Sowell wrote:

    In a world of self-promoting academics, coining buzzwords and aligning themselves on the side of the angels of the moment, George Stigler epitomized a rare integrity as well as a rare intellect. He jumped on no bandwagons, beat no drums for causes, created no personal cult. He did the work of a scholar and a teacher—both superbly—and found that sufficient. If you wanted to learn, and above all if you wanted to learn how to think—how to avoid the vague words, fuzzy thoughts, or maudlin sentiments that cloud over reality—then Stigler was your man.

    And here is Sowell describing another of his professors at Chicago, Milton Friedman:

    [He] was one of the very few intellectuals with both genius and common sense. He could express himself at the highest analytical levels to his fellow economists in academic publications and still write popular books . . . that could be understood by people who knew nothing about economics.

    I’m hard-pressed to come up with better ways than those to describe Thomas Sowell. When I think about his scholarship, that’s what comes to mind: intellectual integrity, analytical rigor, respect for evidence, skepticism toward the kind of fashionable thinking that comes and goes. And then there’s the clarity. Column after column, book after book, written in plain English for general public consumption.

    Added news   to  , Imprimis

    For several years prior to 2020, violent crime in America’s major cities was on the decline. But since the riots that summer following the death of George Floyd, it is heading in the opposite direction.

    Murders nationwide in 2020 rose a stunning 29.4 percent over the previous year, the largest annual increase since the FBI began tracking that data in the 1960s. The number of murders in Chicago climbed even more sharply, rising 55 percent. It was as if a switch had been flipped. At least ten major U.S. cities hit new murder highs in 2021, but Chicago led the way with 797, the city’s highest number in 25 years.

    Chicago’s violent crime epidemic is not limited to murder. The city’s 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021 were up 63 percent over 2019. Expressway shootings in Chicago-Cook County rose even more dramatically, from 51 in 2019 to 130 in 2020 to 273 in 2021. These expressway shootings pushed Chicago’s actual 2021 murder total north of 800.

    Added news   to  , Imprimis

    For several years prior to 2020, violent crime in America’s major cities was on the decline. But since the riots that summer following the death of George Floyd, it is heading in the opposite direction.

    Murders nationwide in 2020 rose a stunning 29.4 percent over the previous year, the largest annual increase since the FBI began tracking that data in the 1960s. The number of murders in Chicago climbed even more sharply, rising 55 percent. It was as if a switch had been flipped. At least ten major U.S. cities hit new murder highs in 2021, but Chicago led the way with 797, the city’s highest number in 25 years.

    Chicago’s violent crime epidemic is not limited to murder. The city’s 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021 were up 63 percent over 2019. Expressway shootings in Chicago-Cook County rose even more dramatically, from 51 in 2019 to 130 in 2020 to 273 in 2021. These expressway shootings pushed Chicago’s actual 2021 murder total north of 800.

    Added news   to  , Imprimis

    Money is just another commodity, no different from petroleum, pork bellies, or pig iron. So money, like all commodities, can rise and fall in price, depending on supply and demand. But because money is, by definition, the one commodity that is universally accepted in exchange for every other commodity, we have a special term for a fall in the price of money: we call it inflation. As the price of money falls, the price of every other commodity must go up.

    And what causes the price of money to fall? The answer is very simple: an increase in the supply of money relative to other goods and services. As the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman explained, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”

    Added news   to  , Imprimis

    The following is excerpted from a speech delivered on November 10, 1977, on the Hillsdale College campus as part of the Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series. Originally published in Imprimis in January 1978, the speech was reprinted in Educating for Liberty: The Best of Imprimis, 1972-2002 (Hillsdale College Press, 2002).

    How much are we to blame for what has happened? Beginning with the traumatic experience of the Great Depression, we the people have turned more and more to government for answers that government has neither the right nor the capacity to provide. Unfortunately, government as an institution always tends to increase in size and power, and so government attempted to provide the answers.

    The result is a fourth branch of government added to the traditional three of executive, legislative and judicial: a vast federal bureaucracy that is now being imitated in too many states and too many cities, a bureaucracy of enormous power which determines policy to a greater extent than any of us realize, very possibly to a greater extent than our own elected representatives. And it can’t be removed from office by our votes.

    More than anything else, a new political economic mythology, widely believed by too many people, has increased government’s ability to interfere as it does in the marketplace. Profit is a dirty word, blamed for most of our social ills. In the interest of something called consumerism, free enterprise is becoming far less free. Property rights are being reduced, and even eliminated, in the name of environmental protection. It is time that a voice be raised on behalf of the 73 million independent wage earners in this country, pointing out that profit, property rights, and freedom are inseparable, and you cannot have the third unless you continue to be entitled to the first two.

    Added news   to  , Imprimis

    Is the Great Reset a conspiracy theory imagining a vast left-wing plot to establish a totalitarian one-world government? No. Despite the fact that some people may have spun conspiracy theories based on it—with some reason, as we will see—the Great Reset is real.

    Indeed, just last year, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF)—a famous organization made up of the world’s political, economic, and cultural elites that meets annually in Davos, Switzerland—and Thierry Malleret, co-founder and main author of the Monthly Barometer, published a book called COVID-19: The Great Reset. In the book, they define the Great Reset as a means of addressing the “weaknesses of capitalism” that were purportedly exposed by the COVID pandemic.

    But the idea of the Great Reset goes back much further. It can be traced at least as far back as the inception of the WEF, originally founded as the European Management Forum, in 1971. In that same year, Schwab, an engineer and economist by training, published his first book, Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering. It was in this book that Schwab first introduced the concept he would later call “stakeholder capitalism,” arguing “that the management of a modern enterprise must serve not only shareholders but all stakeholders to achieve long-term growth and prosperity.” Schwab and the WEF have promoted the idea of stakeholder capitalism ever since. They can take credit for the stakeholder and public-private partnership rhetoric and policies embraced by governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and international governance bodies worldwide.

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