In January, my wife and I had the opportunity to teach at Chapman University, where I am a Presidential Fellow for 2014.  She taught a class in poetry, and I taught “Modern Political Economy:  Who is Winning the Battle of Ideas?”  I used my textbook, “The Making of Modern Economics,” now in its 2nd edition.

One of today’s controversies is about pollution and the environment.  We talked about a recent address by U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who warned students in Indonesia that ”global warming” is “the greatest challenge of our generation,” more than disease outbreaks, poverty, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Then he demonized anyone who disagrees with him, calling critics of global warming “shoddy scientists and extreme ideologues.” You could say the same about Al Gore.  Kerry added, “We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact.”

Kerry is typical of the hysteria surrounding the issue of ecology and the environment. Students are being brainwashed into thinking the problem is getting worse and worse. Kerry and the extreme environmentalists blame any weather disaster, the cold snow in the Northeast or the drought in the West, to global warming.  You can’t argue with these fanatics.

I asked my students at Chapman University, “Has pollution declined or risen in the past 50 years in LA county?”  Over half thought pollution was worse.  The cold, hard fact is that pollution has been reduced sharply in LA county even as gasoline use has risen.  See this chart:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=pYBObTbuYbS9tM&tbnid=xwtv0ahLCtELQM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/20120809_laairqualitystudy.html&ei=ht4EU5jyEKbb2QXRm4CoCg&bvm=bv.61535280,d.aWc&psig=AFQjCNGsuMz1HbLz7IT1IMCVqhIlch9HSA&ust=1392914426522327

The fact is that the average world temperature has been flat or declining for 17 straight years.  If you want to know the facts about global warming and pollution, read this column by Larry Bell in Forbes.com:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/08/21/the-new-york-times-global-warming-hysteria-ignores-17-years-of-flat-global-temperatures/

During the class, a journalist visited my class and gave this nice write up:  http://blogs.chapman.edu/happenings/2014/01/28/class-act-economics-comes-to-life-with-mark-skousen-teaching/

I will be returning to Chapman University on Wednesday, April 16, to give a public lecture as part of my Presidential Fellowship.

Students (each holding an American eagle silver dollar) join me in front of the Adam Smith statue at Chapman University.

{ 1 comment }

For the first time since World War II, the Federal government (Bureau of Economic Analysis) will begin publishing a new macro statistic Gross Output [GO] starting in spring 2014 at the same time it releases its quarterly GDP data.

Forbes.com article has just published my article on this new statistic “Beyond GDP“: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/11/29/beyond-gdp-get-ready-for-a-new-way-to-measure-the-economy/

A shortened version will appear in the Dec. 16 issue of Forbes magazine (circulation over 1 million).

I’ve been advocating this new national statistic since writing The Structure of Production (NYU Press) in 1990. Now it’s finally happening. Steve Forbes calls it a “real breakthrough.”

Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal and Gene Epstein of Barron’s are looking into writing articles on GO.  So is The Economist.

Bill Nordhaus, professor at Yale University, writes, “Congratulations on the article and the work.  It has been a long slog to get the national accounts to introduce innovative measures, and Steve Landefeld [Director, BEA] has been a superstar in this respect…This will open up the potential for new insights into the behavior of the economy.”

GO goes a long way in providing the right balance in the production-consumption process that is missing in GDP data. As BEA Director Steve Landefeld and co-editors Dale Jorgenson and Bill Nordhaus state: “Gross output [GO] is the natural measure of the production sector, while net output [GDP] is appropriate as a measure of welfare. Both are required in a complete system of accounts.”

I think you’ll find the chart comparing GO and GDP of interest, how GO is consistently more volatile than GDP, and a better measure of the business cycle. (Click on the chart below to go directly to the article)

I’m excited — this is a personal triumph nearly 25 years in the making.

Most of the economics textbook writers are planning to include a section on GO in their next editions (McConnell, Parkin, Gwartney, Hubbard), and economic analysts are now starting to look at it.  In an email, Roger Leroy Miller, professor at University of Texas at Arlington, says that he has added a section on Gross Output for his 18th edition of Economics Today.  It is already part of my own Economic Logic textbook.

I hope you’ll check out the Forbes article, as well as Economic Logic and The Structure of Production for a more in-depth look at this important development.

{ 1 comment }

JFK Assassination: I Remember the Day

November 22, 2013

What were you doing 50 years ago on the day President Kennedy was assassinated? I remember it well. I was a junior at Sunset High School in Portland, Oregon, and was sitting with my girl friend Mary Craner in the library when the monitor came on with Walter Cronkite announcing that the President had been [...]

Read the full article →

Perfect Holiday Gift – Maxims of Wall Street

November 18, 2013

Just in time for the Holidays   The perfect gift for family members, friends and colleagues interested in finance, investing, economics, Wall Street and the business of money. Maxims of Wall Street: A Compilation of Financial Adages, Ancient Proverbs, and Worldly Wisdom is a classic reference to read with delight for years to come, and [...]

Read the full article →

Has Government Adopted My New Macro Model?

October 4, 2013

“How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?” – Robert Heinlein For several years now, I have been advocated the need for adding a new national aggregate statistic called Gross Domestic Expenditures (GDE) that measures total spending at all stages of production and not [...]

Read the full article →

Last Chance to “Crash the Party!”

October 2, 2013

Come “Crash the Party,” Saturday, Oct. 19, Westin LAX: Martin Truax, a long-time friend and senior vice president at Raymond James, is organizing a one-day “Crash the Party” seminar on Saturday, October 19, 2013, at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel in recognition of the 1987 crash and my birthday. This is an ideal location, [...]

Read the full article →

Record 2,500 Gather at “Best FreedomFest Ever”

July 23, 2013

By Mark Skousen “FreedomFest was a gigantic conference.  It drew many academics, journalists, activists of all ages, vendors, investors, and a huge variety of professionals in all fields. And of course, Laissez Faire Books was there in full force. The level of fun was totally over the top. But the content of every session I [...]

Read the full article →

Head to Head: “Public Vs. Private Spending: How to Get the Economy Growing Again”

June 28, 2013

Today’s Orange County Register published a point-counterpoint debate between Mark Skousen and Robert Kuttner on “Public vs. Private Spending:  How to Get the Economy Growing Again.”  See the attached file, that includes an ad to this year’s FreedomFest.  Public vs. Private Spending: How to Get the Economy Growing Again  

Read the full article →

Announcing My Latest Breakthrough Book – “A Viennese Waltz Down Wall Street”

June 15, 2013

I’m very proud to announce the publication of my latest book, “A Viennese Waltz Down Wall Street: Austrian Economics for Investors,” published by Laissez Faire Books. See the letter from LFB publisher Jeffery Tucker below, and check out all the details of the book here. Dear Readers: The central message of the Austrian school of [...]

Read the full article →

George Gilder Wins Leonard E. Read Book Award

June 13, 2013

FreedomFest, “the world’s largest gathering of free minds,” is pleased to announce that George Gilder has won the Leonard E. Read Book Award for his new work Knowledge and Power (published by Regnery).  This annual award is granted to the “libertarian book of the year” which best advances the principles of liberty. “Knowledge and Power [...]

Read the full article →