Why big box stores are good for small business & Central-Banker-speak. @JohnTamny

Oct 10, 2018, 02:39 AM



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Scene from the Triumphs of Caesar by Andrea Mantegna(1482-94, now Royal Collection)

Andrea Mantegna - Digitised image, Royal Collection

The Triumphs of Caesar III: bearers of trophies and bullion, Royal Collection, Hampton Court Palace

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Why big box stores are good for small business & Central-Banker-speak. @JohnTamny


It's a popular myth that big business is the enemy of the proverbial "corner store." This falsehood is most prevalent in the retail sector. In truth, small business success is an effect of the large. All it takes to understand what's obvious is to walk or drive any retail area. Small, very local businesses logically cluster around the big national and international names. They're the lure for substantial customer traffic. In Washington, D.C.'s Glover Park, this scenario is unfolding right now: Whole Foods has been shut down for over 18 months due to a tenant/landlord dispute. As opposed to the closure of the area's dominant business boosting those around it, they're unsurprisingly struggling. Whether individuals or businesses, the unequal lift us up. Always. The opinion piece can be found here.

That the wealth gap among Asian Americans is rising is a happy sign of progress. An economy is just a collection of individuals, and the rising gap explains why the world's poorest continue to risk their lives in order to reach one of the most unequal countries on earth: opportunity is greatest where the rich are. Not according to the Pew Research Center. In its study decrying the Amerasian wealth gap, it made the odd assertion that rising inequality means “[P]eople at the lower rungs of the income ladder may experience diminished economic opportunity and mobility and have less political influence.” Talk about a non sequitur, as is the report's mindless assertion that an education gap explains the income gap. Back to reality, the only barrier to achievement is a lack of freedom and/or a lack of capital. The U.S. thankfully has both in abundance. The opinion piece can be found here.

The Federal Reserve is the largest employer of economists in the world, and those economists believe economic growth causes inflation. It can't be repeated enough that they turn inflation upside down. Inflation is a decline in the value of a currency such that it can be exchanged for fewer and fewer goods. Stating the obvious, inflation logically occurs exclusive of growth simply because there's little incentive to save and invest in productivity enhancements when the currency is in decline. It's all a reminder that when FOMC officials drool about the economy "overheating" they're describing the opposite of inflation. They would understand this by contemplating Venezuela now, and Brazil in the '80s. Precisely because the bolivar is in freefall (inflation) now, there's no incentive to save and invest. True inflation occurs exclusive of real growth. Always. The opinion piece can be found here. 

Former Fed vice chairman Kevin Warsh relayed in an op-ed last week that “r-star" is the “idea most in vogue in central bank circles” right now whereby central bankers aim to find “the neutral real interest rate at which monetary policy is neither accommodative nor restrictive." Warsh was properly dismissive, but not nearly enough. Despite what Fed cheerleaders and critics want us to believe, the Fed is not a rate setter. It's a rate follower. It’s not that central bankers ar...