Closer to home, at GMU we have established a new research center that I am directing and Chris Coyne is the associate director. We have continued to grow our graduate student programs under the direction of Virgil Storr, and our journal editing – Review of Austrian Economics, The Independent Review, Public Choice, and Advances in Austrian Economics – as well as our editing of book series, including Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice and Society, the Routledge series on Foundations of the Market Economy and the Edward Elgar series, New Thinking in Political Economy. Independent of our editing, my colleagues in our new center have been very active publishing books. Chris Coyne’s Doing Bad By Doing Good (Stanford), Peter Leeson’s Anarchy Unbound (Cambridge), Larry White’s The Clash of Economic Ideas (Cambridge), Paul Aligica’s Institutional Diversity and Political Economy (Oxford) and Virgil Storr’s The Culture of the Market (Routledge) have all been published in the last two or three years.
Sarah Skwire ponders Anita Loos’s pondering of material girl. Max excellent!
Wealth accumulation and de-accumulation is a lifetime project. Almost all Americans age 21 to 29 have zero or negative net worth; most Americans age 55 to 64 have six- or seven-figure net worth. They spend their working lifetimes accumulating savings, building up home equity, making intelligent investments; then starting in their 60s they tend to spend some of that down.
So it’s not an indictment of a society or its economy to say that some large percentage of individuals at any given time have no wealth. The interesting questions how people at peak wealth accumulating age are doing, whether those younger are making headway in accumulating wealth and whether those older have enough wealth to spend down to meet their perceived needs. Intelligent analysis should — to use language economists might understand — disaggregate the data by age cohorts. Yet, every time the Federal Reserve releases its data on household wealth in America, we are treated to news stories about how most Americans have no wealth, even though most Americans age 55 to 64 do.
Ira Stoll offers nine takeaways from the recent blizzard bust. (HT Manny Klausner)