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How Inflation Prevents Family Formation: A Conversation with Jon Schweppe

According to the latest spot prices from Kitco Metals, an ounce of gold costs more than two thousand United States dollars, an increase of 37.2% from gold's March 2020 low point. This is an important metric, as gold is the ultimate store of value: Scarce and constantly in demand, it has uses both practical and ornamental.
Gold is actually the ultimate form of money, properly defined. As I note in my July 21, 2020 editorial on Dr. Judy Shelton: "We trade goods (including our labor) for money, which -- in turn -- allows us to obtain things that we want and value. However, in order for money to function, it must be valuable for the parties involved." Gold is prized by nearly everyone and it has long been recognized as an appropriate intermediary between other things of value.
Thus, the surge in the price of gold indicates a diminution in the purchasing power of the dollar relative to real money. The data suggest that this is the result of Federal Reserve policy. Between Febru…
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Editorial: The Case for Reopening Schools

What is the objective of education?

This is the first question that the teachers unions, governors, legislators, and President Donald Trump should consider as they approach the issue of reopening schools.

In the most basic sense, education consists of bestowing three things upon the young: knowledge, the ability to think critically, and social skills. The student is at the core of education, and his development is the entire point of offering public schooling. Otherwise, property taxes and Department-of-Education funds would be better allocated to different uses.

To say otherwise is akin to suggesting that the goal of industrial production is not what is being produced, but the workers manning the machinery. Or that the goal of healthcare is not the patients being served, but the nurses and doctors doing the work. In reality, every effort has an end goal (e.g., producing hammers, healing the sick, or cultivating young minds). The means are not the end.

In this case, the students are t…

James Talocka: The Supreme Court Versus Liberty

On June 15th, the Supreme Court signaled their opposition to individual liberty and the rule of law through three major decisions. The court refused to review cases that challenged qualified immunity and Second Amendment infringements, but also chose to expand the scope of employment discrimination legislation.

With regard to qualified immunity, perhaps the most salient matter examined, multiple cases involving substantial errors by police went unheard. One case involved a police officer in Georgia who accidentally shot a 10-year-old boy in the leg while aiming at a family dog. Another dismissed case involved officers in Idaho who fired tear gas into a woman’s home under the false assumption that a suspect was inside. Officers in both cases protected themselves from culpability through qualified immunity.

The Supreme Court’s lack of action on this matter signals that they are unwilling to hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct that would land an ordinary citizen in serious le…

Make Monetary Policy Great Again: Confirm Judy Shelton

More than a year ago, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Dr. Judy Shelton -- the U.S. director for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development -- to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. On 16 January 2020, he formally submitted her name to the United States Senate.

The pick immediately drew controversy, principally because Shelton supports a return to the gold standard. This concern is illogical for reasons both economic and strategic, but it has allowed the mainstream media -- which detests unorthodox ideas, even if they are rooted in millennia of historical practice -- to paint her as an uncouth flat-earther. In reality, Shelton is one of the president's best nominees yet and she would provide a check against the irrational actor that is the Fed.

Shelton's nomination is Trump's third attempt at filling the same Fed seat. In November 2017 and September 2018, respectively, Trump sent to the Senate his first two choices for the Fed: Dr. Marv…

Analysis: The Law and Political Discourse

Many Americans manipulate the newsto fit their preconceived beliefs (i.e., confirmation bias). This is not necessarily a societal ill, but the danger comes when events are misrepresented to others, allowing for the societal accumulation of imprecisions and mistruths.
This week's legal developments have provided fodder for misrepresentations. In this analysis, we will consider three: (1) the reversal of a requirement that health providers extend coverage to the transgendered, (2) the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision to bar employer discrimination based on sexual orientation, and (3) the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to prevent President Donald Trump from cancelling Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
First, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revoked a regulation mandating that insurers and doctors provide medical care to transgender Americans. There is a technical predicate for this move: The Obama administration contorted the text of the Affordable Ca…

Editorial: Peaceable Assembly or Sedition?

On Friday, I drafted an editorial, "George Floyd's Death Shows Need for Change," which mourned the death of George Floyd and called for the judicial application of the Fourteenth Amendment to cases of police brutality. Now, in the wake of days of death, looting, and mayhem perpetrated in cities across the nation, I am impelled to write this followup piece on the parameters for protest, both legal and moral.

After the death of Floyd, people of all races and creeds rightfully turned out and exercised their First Amendment right to protest: "Congress shall make no law respecting ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble." Aside from the occasional hard-hitting sign, most of these demonstrations have not been divisive: From sea to sea, the nation is repulsed by the death of Floyd and this disgust crosses party lines. Some anecdotes make this explicit. In York County, South Carolina, the chairmen of the local Republican and Democratic parties protested toget…

Editorial: George Floyd's Death Shows Need for Change

Over the course of the past five years, I have spent countless hours writing and arguing in support of a limited government, one with the narrow mission of protecting life, liberty, and property. Law enforcement, so my thinking went, is essential to this undertaking, and I have been hesitant to challenge abuses of power by the police. Even amid a sequence of law-enforcement malfeasance in seemingly-disparate American geographic regions, I ignored widespread protestations of police brutality, excused their actions without studying them, and trained my eye toward misconduct in Venezuela and Hong Kong.

In other words, the question of whether law enforcement is properly oriented never entered my mind. My assumption was that police officers always aim to protect life, liberty, and property, and that misconduct is the situational and oftentimes forgivable consequence of overzealousness in implementing the law.

However, the death of George Floyd at least partially vindicates the grievances a…