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The Lens on Saturday's Mises Circle in Seattle

Tags Taxes and SpendingU.S. Economy


My thanks to The Lens in Washington state for covering Saturday's Mises Circle in Seattle, with a lot of attention to my talk on "Three Lies You'll Hear from the Candidates this Year".

One claim you’re likely to hear during this year’s presidential election cycle is that the U.S. doesn’t spend enough on helping out the poor, compared to other countries. There are other economic tropes from fans of bigger government, that permeate campaign season. These include: regulations lead to better work conditions, and more government spending is needed to rein in higher education costs. But they’re all myths, according to Ryan McMaken.

Economic Myths Die Hard

In reality, the U.S. government spends about as much as other Western countries on benefits like Social Security; greater productivity is what improves working conditions; and rising college costs are the result of government student loan subsidies, not a lack of spending, McMaken said.

“Unfortunately it doesn’t look like those myths are going away anytime soon. They’re coming back full time now,” McMaken added. His comments came during a Saturday, May 21 forum of the Mises Circle held at Town Hall Seattle.

McMaken is the editor of Mises Daily and The Austrian, which are published through theMises Institute. He has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014.

The Mises Circle event in Seattle was titled Contra Krugman: Demolishing The Economic Myths of the 2016 Election. Krugman is a reference to well-known economist, New York Times columnist, and former Enron advisor Paul Krugman. He advocates for more government spending and a larger government role in income distribution.

Krugman’s latest column, championing President Obama’s interventionist policy on overtime pay, was critiqued by historian Tom Woods and Austrian economist Bob Murphy at the Mises Circle during a live recording of their weekly podcast, Contra Krugman.

Read the full article. 


Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power and Market, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in public policy and international relations from the University of Colorado. He was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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