Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quotes We Live By : (P.S. Happy Finals Everybody !)

"...Clearly, they should have followed Adam Smith’s advice. He got it right. Individual freedom in economic life leads to economic progress. So if you care about growth and prosperity, you can’t ignore the importance of economic freedom."

-Professor Joshua Hall in Learn Liberty Lecture

Monday, December 9, 2013

Undergraduate Contribution-Publication in the Orlando Sentinel by Holly Jean Soto.

Abolishing student aid could force schools to lower prices  By Holly Jean Soto

Abolish government financial aid for students.

My dear friend, who is a statistics major and a government-aid borrower, is fearful of this statement.

"Don't try to get rid of that," he says. "I need that money for school."

What he fails to realize, as I am sure many other student federal-aid borrowers do, is that getting rid of aid would improve the lives of American students today.

The first harsh reality that student borrowers fail to see is that any government giving begins with....

Read the full article in our : GMU Undergraduate Contribution Tab

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mason Undergraduate Contributor- Leo Leksang

Explaining Gresham’s Law with Pocket Change 
By Leo Leksang 
Edited by Holly Jean Soto

Most of us overlook our pocket change. We allow it to accumulate, and then get rid of it as fast as we can. Not a lot of value is placed on U.S. coins, but by reading this post, you might find yourself paying closer attention to your coins.

U.S. quarters, dimes, and half dollars teach us something about Gresham’s Law. American Economist, Murray Rothbard, defines this law as types of money with conversion ratios that are specified by legal tender laws, and are therefore different than their market value.

Specifically, when coins contain metal of different value but are given the same legal tender value, the coins made of the cheaper metal remain in circulation as they are continually used as payment. Simultaneously, the coins made of the more expensive metal are taken out of circulation by individuals who hoard the under-valued money.

The fascinating thing about US quarters, dimes, and half dollars that further exemplify Gresham’s Law, is the fact that these coins were made out of 90 percent silver, prior to 1965. (Yes, our coins used to be more than just hunks of metal used as legal tender). Unfortunately for the American people, supply of silver decreased, caused prices of silver to soar, and ultimately caused the U.S. government to take step in.

The U.S. government’s solution was to substitute nickel and copper for the silver that was originally used in our dimes, quarters, and half dollars.

Following the year 1965, coins contained no valuable silver content in them.  How did this come to be?  Our beloved government substituted silver with nickel and copper, in dimes, quarters, and half dollars, cheating Americans of there once valuable coins.

So what happened to all those silver based coins? People who knew of this substitute, hoarded silver coins and used the new copper-nickel based coins for their everyday transactions.  Take a look at your pocket change next time; it is rare to find quarters or dimes minted earlier than 1965. But in case you do find them, congratulations! You have struck gold…I mean silver.  

Leo Leksang is an aspiring Econ Student and sophomore at George Mason University. View his post in the 'GMU Undergraduate Contributions' Tab above.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Correction-Graduate Student Lecture Today :

 Featuring: Alexander Salter 
Join the Economics Society for the third installment of a lecture series featuring the research of Mason Graduate students. 
Topic: This lecture features Alexander Salter's work concerning self-enforcing monetary constitutions.

When: Monday, December 2 2013
Where: JC Meeting Room B
Time: 4:00- 5:00 pm Lecture
Social Hour Afterwards at The Rathskeller

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for the Market Process

     We have come a long way from the village farms and deer hunting ways of the first Thanksgiving and a lot of that is due to the institutional framework here in the United States. The constitution set up a system of limited government in contrast to more controlling regimes of kings, queens and aristocracies. This allowed for the growth of modern America and the wonderful things we can be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Markets move to please and allow grocers to compete for the attention of local consumers through Turkey Price Wars. I can find everything I need for my Thanksgiving meal by walking into my local Wegmans. This is a product of the market process alive and well.

     As George Mason University's Dr. Walter Williams would say, these grocers are "serving there fellow man". We can only imagine the logistics behind getting food from farm to grocery store and ultimately your table this Thanksgiving day. The market process is easy to see when we look at our pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. Do you have to know the conditions cranberries or pumpkins grow in to purchase them? No of course not, you just exchange your value dollars for the cranberries and pumpkins and you are off to a delicious Thanksgiving. Things like the seamlessness of food infrastructure exist because of the market process. We might have to bear the slight pain of a packed grocery store, but the food is there for us.

     On behalf of the George Mason Economics Society I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and may the rest of your holiday season be full of good cheer.

Michael Levesque is a senior economics student at George Mason. He currently serves as the Market and Creative Director of the Economics Society. He lives in Fairfax and loves to bike on the George Mason Cycling Club. You can find him on twitter: @tylerlevesque and his blog Let Markets Decide.
Note: Image found on Wikipedia. Originally in the Library of Congress Archive.

Happy Thanksgiving! Quotes We Live By:

"If people can access the same stuff by working less, they will. Plymouth settlers faked illness instead of working the common property. The harvest was meager, and for two years, there was famine. But then, after the colony's governor, William Bradford, wrote that they should "set corn every man for his own particular," they dropped the commons idea. He assigned to every family a parcel of land to treat as its own.
The results were dramatic. Much more corn was planted. Instead of famine, there was plenty. Thanks to private property, they got food -- and thanks to it, we have food today.
...Private ownership does good things. Be thankful for it this week."  
- John Stossel on Reason

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quote Our Professors :

“...the fundamental problem with aid; there’s a lack of accountability and responsibility and one of the basic lessons in life, one that we teach children, is you have to have consequences to your actions or you won’t act responsibly. Yet when it comes to spending billions and billions of dollars we don’t seem to hold politicians and aid practitioners to the same standard and therefore they waste the money." 

-Christopher Coyne on John Stossel discussing Doing Bad by Doing Good

Thursday, November 14, 2013

TODAY Liberty Lecture ft. Tyler Cowen :

Tyler Cowen will be lecturing on "Is Average Over in an Age of Great Stagnation?"
Tyler Cowen has a PhD in economics from Harvard University and is a Professor of Economics at George Mason University.

When: Thursday, November 14
 5:30 pm Pizza
6:00 pm Lecture
7:00 Q&A
Afterwards Social Hour at Brion's Grille

Where: Johnson Center Cinema 

Econ Society & The Future of Freedom Foundation host Liberty Lecture Series on a monthly basis.

See you tonight ! 

Quote Our Professors :

“...We like to tell ourselves this myth that innovation is at this all time high...we do have a lot of innovations of some kind, and we need to be very careful with this word innovation; We are in some matter incredibly innovative. What we are not doing at a rate comparable to that in the past, is coming up with innovations that significantly improve the lives of ordinary Americans."  
–Tyler Cowen, 2011 speech on the  The Great Stagnation

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Undergraduate Contribution by Abdullah Khurram :

The Iran-Pakistan pipeline: Finding the win-win for Pakistan

Monday, November 11, 2013

TODAY : Graduate Student Lecture Ft. Zachary Gochenour :

Zachary Gochenour is a Graduate Student and Professor to George Mason University.
His lecture features his work concerning the Political Externalities of Immigration.
When: Monday, November 11, 4pm
Social Hour Afterwards at The Rathskeller 

Where: Johnson Center, Room D

Sunday, November 10, 2013

This Week :

Monday November 11. 
4 pm
Graduate Student Lecture:
Zachary Gochenour
Topic: The Political Externalities of Immigration

Thursday November 14. 5:30pm
Economic Liberty Lecture:
Tyler Cowen
Topic: "Is Average Over in an Age of Great Stagnation"

Learn more about our events in our "Upcoming Events!" tab.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mason Professor Lecture Tonight : Dr. Ekaterina Brancato

Join Econ Society for Dr. Brancato's lecture featuring her work on
"Markets vs Hierarchies: A Political Economy of Russia from the 10th Century to the Present."
When: Thursday, November 7, 6:30pm
Where: HUB Room 3 & 4