Author Archive: Emily Skarbek

Emily Skarbek is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute.
Full biography and recent publications

A Fresh Perspective for Occupy Wall Street


Sunday October 16th, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 9:32am PDT   •   6 Comments

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are lackluster at best. One troublesome aspect of the whole “movement” concerns the poor economic logic underlying their causes. The occupiers are targeting the wrong enemy when they claim corporate greed and income inequality caused by capitalism is generating the problems in Washington. These claims have been propagated by...
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Steve Jobs: Engine of Market Process


Thursday October 6th, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 5:46am PDT   •   2 Comments

Often on this blog we talk of all the wealth destroying actions of politicians and government. Today I think it is important that we celebrate the life of a hero of capitalism and markets: Steve Jobs. As this century’s entrepreneur, Jobs shaped the world we live in through constant innovation. His vision has led...
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Washington: Structurally Unsound


Tuesday September 27th, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 5:51am PDT   •   0 Comments

The above video is of security camera footage during last month’s earthquake in Washington, DC. Details here. An apt metaphor for the current state of the United States fiscal situation!

Economic Freedom in Decline


Tuesday September 20th, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 6:38am PDT   •   0 Comments

The O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom has just released the new, updated Economic Freedom of the World Index. Over the years, this study has consistently found that the nations that score higher on the index tend to be richer and grow faster, and their citizens face less poverty, live longer, get more...
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It’s Time to Cut FEMA


Tuesday September 13th, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 2:43pm PDT   •   1 Comment

Article ran in The Atlantic and was co authored with David Skarbek: In the last two weeks, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irene both rocked the East Coast. Immediately, politicians began touting the crucial role that FEMA would play in rebuilding these communities and the need for federal disaster response. However, these presumptions are largely based...
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The Costs of 9/11


Tuesday September 13th, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 7:03am PDT   •   1 Comment

The New York Times has a wonderful info-graphic depicting the costs of 9/11 by Shan Carter and Amanda Cox. As the author’s point out, the United States has spent an estimated $7 million for every dollar Al Qaeda spent planning and executing the attacks – approximately one-fifth of the current national debt. Notably, these...
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Gary Becker: The Great Recession and Government Failure


Friday September 2nd, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 8:45am PDT   •   1 Comment

Gary Becker, University of Chicago Nobel Laureate in economics, has a must read article in today’s Wall Street Journal. The article echos much of what we here at MGC have been arguing – government failure as a cause of the recession, failure of stimulus and monetary policy to boost economic recovery, the necessity of...
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A Page from the Book of Zug


Monday August 29th, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 11:51am PDT   •   1 Comment

Imagine a place called Zug where luxury shops abound, government pays its bills, and there are so many jobs that employers sometimes have a hard time finding people to fill them. Imaginary, you say? Zug is not a figment of my imagination. Zug exists. And it is just as prosperous as you can imagine!...
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Moody’s Downgrades Japan


Wednesday August 24th, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 10:01am PDT   •   0 Comments

Today Moody’s downgraded Japan’s sovereign rating to Aa3. Guess what happened? Nothing much. When S&P released it’s decision on Aug. 5 to cut the U.S. to AA+ with a negative outlook, the S&P 500 Index swung by at least 4.6 percent in the four trading days following the change and gold prices rose 5...
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Downgrading America’s Politicians


Monday August 22nd, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 12:41pm PDT   •   0 Comments

Article published in the Sacramento Bee: Washington is injecting uncertainty and instability into an economy that otherwise can be quiet resilient in the face of change. Many businesses are doing well and making profits. But the economy isn’t growing because businesses are uncertain about the how to best use those profits, and other resources....
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