Greg Kaza

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Trump’s Short Recession
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Trump’s Short Recession

Donald Trump has a better track record of avoiding economic downturn than any Republican president since the GOP was founded in 1854. “A trough in monthly economic activity occurred in the US economy in April 2020,” a National Bureau of

To Regulate, or Not to Regulate?
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To Regulate, or Not to Regulate?

One vocal U.S. political tribe argues vociferously that capitalism is the source of all economic problems. Another tends to ignore that the current economy is not working for all Americans. French economist Thomas Philippon’s work should interest those who aren’t

Inky Eyes Into China’s Mind
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Inky Eyes Into China’s Mind

The newspaper boxes can be found around Washington, D.C., ranging from Union Station near the Hill to Foggy Bottom in the vicinity of the State Department. Inside, the newspaper articles emphasize positive, even entrepreneurial themes: investment opportunities, technological advances, the

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U.S. Economy Nears Growth Record

The U.S. economy, absent a precipitous decline in payroll employment this quarter, will set a momentous record in July: the longest economic expansion in the nation’s 243-year history.

This news is a reminder of the perils of relying on the

The Other Road to Serfdom
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The Other Road to Serfdom

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has been criticized since its founding in 1995. Leftists claim that free trade places the Third World at a disadvantage, while President Donald Trump and paleo conservatives argue that some WTO policies threaten U.S. sovereignty.

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Defying the Determinists

President Donald Trump is unique among post-NAFTA presidents for rejecting the economic determinism that has dominated U.S. economic policy since 1993.  His predecessors took it for granted that, given the exigencies of “free trade,” domestic manufacturing job losses were inevitable. 

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Trump, Beating the Odds

U.S. employment increased over President Trump’s first year in office, expanding from 145,541,000 in January to 147,380,000 in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Thus, amid the sound and fury of #NeverTrump media coverage, there has been a

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Obama’s Manufacturing Bust

Barack H. Obama left office as the first Democratic president to preside over a net loss of domestic manufacturing jobs since the U.S. government started compiling records in the late 1930’s.  There were 206,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in January 2017

Trump, NAFTA, and America First
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Trump, NAFTA, and America First

President Donald Trump has made the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a cornerstone of his economic policy.  Signed into law by Democrat Bill Clinton in 1993 with Republican support, NAFTA created a managed trade zone among

Dayton’s Holy Family
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Dayton’s Holy Family

“If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that,” President Obama declared in 2012.  But chances are you bought that, especially if you are a Midwestern entrepreneur and the product is Renaissance art.  The coastal stereotype of the Midwest as

Green Balance of Power
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Green Balance of Power

A subplot of the 2016 presidential campaign was the Green Party’s ability, for the second time in the 21st century, to achieve balance of power in a close race won by a Republican.  Physician Jill Stein, 66, earned 1.4 million

Beating Affirmative Action
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Beating Affirmative Action

Is the composition of the Supreme Court the be-all and end-all of important societal conflicts?  Are there effective ways that conservatives can address these conflicts—manifest in political battles over such things as affirmative action—apart from the Court?

The Supreme Court’s

Comparative Manufacturing Advantage
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Comparative Manufacturing Advantage

President Barack Obama, during a May speech in Oregon, insisted that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is good for small-business workers, helps the middle class, and maintains U.S. trade power versus China, which is not a signatory to the

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An Affirmative Action

The U.S. Supreme Court decision Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, issued last spring, upheld a 2006 citizen-approved ballot initiative in Michigan to amend the state constitution to ban reverse discrimination in public employment, contracting, and education, including

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The Monk From Mt. Athos

Our Greek host on Santorini, a young hotelier and newly married tour promoter, is trying to sell us a Mount Olympus excursion.  “Half the German tourists frown, they are unhappy, and you wonder why,” he explains.  “We Greeks, we drink,

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Practical Distributism

Distributism is a Catholic social philosophy that, as Thomas Storck writes, “seeks to subordinate economic activity to human life as a whole, to our spiritual life, our intellectual life, our family life.”  Unfortunately, distributism is frequently debated or discussed in

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By the Hammer of Thor

Thor, in Norse mythology, is a pagan god wielding mjölnir, his magic hammer.  His devotees include heathens, pagans, and followers of Ásatrú, a neopagan belief system.  “Thor’s hammer” may now be etched on the headstones of American soldiers killed

Golden Standards
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Golden Standards

There are numerous references to gold in the Bible.  Gold was used to construct the ark and tabernacle (Exodus 25), adorned Solomon’s court (1 Kings 10), and is visible in Heaven in St. John’s Apocalypse (Revelation 4:4).  Gold symbolizes value

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China Advances

China’s emergence as the world’s second-largest economy dates to the then-radical turn toward “reforms and openness” adopted in 1978 at the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee.  The economic worldview of Mao Tse-tung emphasized the importance of

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Call It Insourcing

Americans are likely to hear more about “insourcing” as the 2012 presidential campaign unfolds.  President Barack Obama advanced the term during a February 15 trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  “You’ve all heard enough about outsourcing,” he explained.  “Well, more and more

Khrushchev Remembers
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Khrushchev Remembers

U.S. President Barack Obama has “Reset” Washington’s relationship with Moscow, seeking to ease Kremlin concerns about Eastern Europe missile defense in exchange for continued U.S. access to Afghanistan over Russian territory.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, at her 2009

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Serial Killer

The New York Times, in a 2,128-word obituary (nearly three times the length of this article), fondly recalled Jack Kevorkian as “A Doctor Who Helped End Lives.”  Kevorkian, 83, the Michigan pathologist turned assisted-suicide activist, died in a hospital,

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People’s Republic, MI

Saginaw, Michigan, in popular culture, is identified with the late county singer Lefty Frizzell, who sang in his 1964 hit song of fishing on the nearby bay that feeds into Lake Huron.  But the mid-Michigan city, 100 miles north of

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Imagine No More Meresy

A seven-foot bronze statue of the late Beatle John Lennon greets travelers at the international airport in Liverpool that bears his name.  It’s fitting that Lennon’s impish image—hands inserted in pants pockets—is displayed at the airport adjacent to the Mersey

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Manufacturing Bust

President Barack H. Obama, if current trends continue, will become the first Democrat to preside over a net national loss in domestic manufacturing jobs since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started reporting monthly employment data in 1939.  Seven percent

How to Survive “Creative Destruction”: Clarifying Terms
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How to Survive “Creative Destruction”: Clarifying Terms

The phrase “creative destruction” has become nearly ubiquitous in analyses of job losses in the domestic manufacturing sector or in states that once had a large industrial presence.  A generation of market-based economists, conservative and libertarian alike, have routinely used

The Distributist Alternative: A Voluntary Safety Net
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The Distributist Alternative: A Voluntary Safety Net

As an economic concept, distributism refers to a broad, voluntary distribution of wealth in land, labor, and capital.  The idea has its origins in Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 social encyclical Rerum novarum, which rejected Marxism and capitalism’s laissez-faire variant,

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Not Our Fathers’ Auto Industry

The U.S. automotive industry operates in a highly regulated environment, a fact largely overlooked in recent congressional hearings over federal loan guarantees to domestic firms.  These regulations affect more than three million American blue- and white-collar workers employed in the

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Worst Recession Since . . . ?

The National Bureau of Economic Research confirmed the suspicions of many Americans by declaring on December 1 of last year that the U.S. economy entered a recession in December 2007.  The recession’s duration has already exceeded the postwar average (10

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A Home Is for Living, Not Flipping

The baseball is cracking into Tom Hopps’ glove as he plays catch on the sidewalk.  Terri Reader is playing next door in her backyard, and Mr. Coyle, one of the millworkers in our neighborhood, is walking out front to inspect

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Are We Rolling Downhill. . .

Republican partisans’ joy at an estimated 0.6-percent increase in U.S. Gross Domestic Product in the first quarter of 2008 has been diminished by the continued contraction of two key economic indicators used to determine whether a recession has started.  These

States of Autarky
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States of Autarky

A great many economists and politicians contend that the absence of trade inevitably leads to armed conflict.  Thus, in the interests of national security, they insist on virtually unlimited trade and castigate those who favor its restriction as proponents of

The Slavic League
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The Slavic League

For as long as young Villem could remember, hunkeys had occupied the lowest rung in Punxsutawney’s social pecking order.  The Italians had their various business enterprises; the Irish had their legions of bishops, monsignors, and priests; and the Slavs were

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Ignoring Manufacturing

Sen. Ted Kennedy’s alleged “populism” and liberal policymakers’ newfound embrace of states’ rights are comic diversions in the ongoing debate surrounding the federal minimum wage.  But the prize for most absurd should be awarded to Congress, which continues to give

Sinkin’ Down in Youngstown
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Sinkin’ Down in Youngstown

If you really want to know what’s going on in a city, consult the motel clerk working the graveyard shift—not the clerk at the chain motel, but his counterpart at the inn that advertises the cheapest rates at the

How Neutral Is the Fed?
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How Neutral Is the Fed?

The Federal Reserve Act, passed at the close of 1913, created the current U.S. central bank in order to “establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States.”  However, in response to monetary-policy errors committed by the central

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Oyster Supper

As a nonnative from a cold-weather climate, I have observed that there are four seasons in Arkansas’ Delta: warm, hot, scorching, and malarial.  Another way to understand the weather in this part of the South is through the eyes

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A Pilgrimage to Jasna Góra

Three Polish nuns, wearing traditional robes and habits, stand in a circle, studying their train schedule.  Little sleep and the absence of coffee on the night train from Berlin contribute to my slow reasoning.  “Can you direct me to the

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Insurmountable Obstacles

Ralph Nader faces several insurmountable obstacles in his 2004 bid for the presidency, from overcoming restrictive ballot-access laws used to limit political competition to forging an ad hoc coalition between elements of the political left and right.

Public-choice economics, popularized

A Fig From Smyrna
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A Fig From Smyrna

Jan Chryzostom Cardinal Korec, S.J., was an eyewitness to the 20th century’s most important event: the defeat of Marxism-Leninism in Eastern Europe by the Church established by Jesus Christ.  At age 27, Korec was secretly consecra-ted as a bishop in

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Michigan’s Race Factor

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 23 decision striking down the University of Michigan’s race-based undergraduate admissions policy ended a decade-long struggle started by university administrators and finished by conservative legislators and their grassroots supporters.

On April 23, 1997, Michigan State

Return of Capital
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Return of Capital

One of the great ironies of the late-1990’s stock-market bubble is that more Americans followed the advice of Wall Street scam artists than that of Omaha billionaire Warren E. Buffett, the best money manager in the second half of the

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The Clinton Contraction

William Jefferson Clinton is the first Democratic president of the postwar era to have presided over a decline in manufacturing jobs in the American Southeast.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, monthly manufacturing payroll employment increased ten percent

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Understanding the Airline Industry

United Airlines’ December 9 bankruptcy filing came as no surprise to those who understand the airline industry, in which even America’s most successful living investor, Warren E. Buffet, could not turn a profit.  Buffett once observed, “In a business selling

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Trucker Economics

Talk about the economy is hotter than the coffee served at the truck stop in West Memphis, the third countertop we’ve visited in the last 12 hours.  It’s the graveyard shift, and the waitresses are filling the half-gallon thermoses as

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Alternative Investments

Arkansas’ Teachers Retirement System was the only government retirement system in the United States to lose money by investing in the offshore limited partnerships at the center of the Enron bankruptcy.  The Cayman Islands-based partnerships “engaged in derivative transactions with

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Conservative Balance-of-Power

A remarkable yet unreported trend in U.S. politics over the past decade is the balance-of-power held by conservative political parties in federal elections, if we define balance-of-power as a vote total equal to or greater than the difference in votes

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Manufacturing Jobs Disappearing

Manufacturing jobs continue to disappear in the United States, and the process has accelerated during the recession that started in March 2001.  Manufacturing employment declined from 18,116,000 to 17,037,000 between March and December 2001, according to the U.S. Bureau of

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Unstable U.S. Credit Structure

Enron, a derivatives trading firm, filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history on December 2, 2001.  The media has framed the scandal as a simple morality play pitting good against evil, with the Texas firm’s top management and the Bush