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RIP Paul Volcker

Excerpt from the Washington Post:

Paul A. Volcker, a hard-headed economic statesman who as chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987 shocked the U.S. economy out of a cycle of inflation and malaise and so set the stage for a generation of prosperity, died Dec. 8 at his home in Manhattan. He was 92.

Mr. Volcker was a giant of a man, standing 6-foot-7, with a stature that came from his mastery of finance, his doggedness in navigating bureaucracies and his sheer toughness. His was an imposing moral authority acquired the hard way, the reason in his later years that he was enlisted for such knotty tasks as unraveling the holdings of Holocaust victims in Swiss banks and investigating the United Nations’ oil-for-food program in Iraq.

Mr. Volcker’s greatest historical mark was in eight years as Fed chairman. When he took the reins of the central bank, the nation was mired in a decade-long period of rapidly rising prices and weak economic growth. Mr. Volcker, overcoming the objections of many of his colleagues, hiked interest rates to an unprecedented 20 percent, drastically reducing the supply of money and credit.

Mr. Volcker was pilloried by industry, labor unions and lawmakers of all ideological stripes. He took the abuse, convinced that this shock therapy would finally break Americans’ expectations that prices would forever rise rapidly and that the result would be a stronger economy over the longer run.

On this biggest of questions, he was right.

George Gilder’s “Daily Prophecy” takes Josh Hawley to task for supporting Big Government

George Gilder, in his widely read tech newsletter The Daily Prophecy, acidly criticizes those suddenly pro-regulation conservatives “joining the dims” with special attention to US Senator Josh Hawley as an anti-technology luddite, “the young Republican Senator was essentially repeating on the conservative side the same sentiment that President Obama espoused on the left when he declared of entrepreneurs: “You did not build that.”

Gilder cites Supply-Side blog editor in chief Ralph Benko’s horror of Hawley:

Because of Hawley’s advocacy of vast new regimes of regulation, my redoubtable advisor Ralph Benko described him to me at dinner the night before as the worst single US senator. Benko put Hawley at the very bottom of the ranks of one hundred, lurking in some subterranean crypt below even New York’s Senator Chuck Schumer.
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Steve Forbes says tariffs may hurt China, but they hurt Americans too.

Policy and Government

On Fox Business, Steve Forbes says tariffs may hurt China, but they hurt Americans too.

Jon Basil Utley, publisher of The American Conservative, says that Trump’s Trade War Has Dire Consequences.

“Decisions based on false or misleading information can lead to wrong and harmful solutions. The constant harping on Chinese trade having “cost” America millions of jobs is false, especially given what we now know: that 85 percent of American job losses have resulted from technology, not trade.
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