Saturday, April 30, 2011

CO2 and Tornadoes

"Well, you now have a simple algorithm for sorting flakes and politicized hacks from honest scientists — anyone who is going around this week saying that the tornadoes in Alabama this week were due to manmade CO2 sit firmly in the former category."

Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » CO2 and Tornadoes

America's Reckless Money-Printing

"Last week, Ben Bernanke suggested that the US base interest rate will stay close to zero for an 'extended period'. It's been there since December 2008."

America's reckless money-printing could put the world back into crisis - Telegraph

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Green Jobs Don’t Come Cheaply

"Frédéric Bastiat, where are you when we need you? The acerbic 19th century French economist, who pointed out the absurdity of breaking windows for the sake of keeping glaziers in business, would have a word or two to say about the notion of “green jobs”, and they would not be kind ones."

THE FT LEX COLUMN – Green jobs don’t come cheaply | iPolitics

Bernanke's Inflation Paradox

"We too want faster economic growth, but the keys to that are fiscal and other reforms that would reverse the policies of the last four years. Much lower spending and tax reform, freer trade, fewer new regulations, an end to foreclosure mitigation and banker harassment, and repealing ObamaCare's job-killing taxes and mandates, among others."

Review & Outlook: Bernanke's Inflation Paradox -

Monday, April 25, 2011

China As No. 1? Give Us A Break

"The old saying among economists is that you have to get rich before you get old. China's losing that race."

China As No. 1? Give Us A Break -

Why Tax the Rich is Wrong

"But when a government that has overspent for years turns to tax increases instead of spending cuts simply for the sake of 'fairness,'it weakens free enterprise, lowers opportunity and impoverishes us in many ways."

Articles & Commentary

Even Children Understand Inflation...

Sleepwalking Towards Disaster

"There is now, according to S&P, 'at least a one in three chance' that American debt will be downgraded from its top-notch status over the next two years – which would be a first in modern times."

America appears to be sleepwalking towards disaster – does no one care? - Telegraph

Archbishop Calls for Law Requiring Service

"What his suggestion reveals, however, is a far more worrying trend: that of the state being the first port of call for any perceived problem."

Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fast Train to Nowhere

From the NY Times, a brief but illuminating history of railroads and "hothouse capitalism,” where government takes the risk and private investors take the profit.

Fast Train to Nowhere -

Saturday, April 23, 2011

You Can't Make This Up

"Jesse Jackson, Jr. recently claimed that the iPad is 'eliminating thousands of American jobs.'"

Is Steve Jobs Killing Jobs? - Art Carden - The Economic Imagination - Forbes

Friday, April 15, 2011

Top 8 Tax Protest Songs of All Time

"Love may have inspired more songs than any other subject, but the subject of taxes inspires tax songs that are just as heartfelt. Singers and songwriters seem to be just like the rest of us – you work hard, you do the best you can, and pow! The better you do, the deeper the IRS digs into your pocket."

Top 8 tax protest songs of all time |

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Road to Prosperity

"...eliminating the job of a single regulator grows the American economy by $6.2 million and nearly 100 private sector jobs annually."

The Road to Prosperity isn’t Paved with Good Intentions | The ChamberPost

Deceitful and Dull

"Most successful people achieved success with little or nothing from the federal government beyond the national defense and other things the federal government provides to all people. Second, most wealthy people have done things for America by inventing things, creating jobs, providing investment capital, etc. They become wealthy by doing things that benefit millions of people."

Today’s Obama Speech: Nearly as deceitful as it was dull

Nudge Theory

"Most of us think that it is quite right to constrain and channel the choices of children – that is how children learn behaviour that is beneficial to themselves and their fellow creatures. But I'm not sure what right a self-interested government has to treat us just as if we were children"

Nudge theory and personal liberty

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Real Ayn Rand

"Rand was not a conservative or a liberal: She was an individualist. 'Atlas Shrugged' is, at its heart, a plea for the most fundamental American ideal—the inalienable rights of the individual. On tax day, with our tax dollars going to big government and subsidies for big business, let's remember it's the celebration of individualism that has kept 'Atlas Shrugged' among the best-selling novels of all time."

Donald L. Luskin: Remembering the Real Ayn Rand -

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Nanny State Can’t Last

"Last week, Congress and the administration refused to seriously consider the problem of government spending. Despite the fear-mongering, a government shutdown would not have been as bad as claimed."

» The Nanny State Can’t Last Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Subsidy-Absorbing Institutions of Higher Education

"The growth in student subsidies over the past 30 plus years has certainly increased student’s ability to pay for college, but there is a growing body of research suggesting that the subsidies have done little to make college more affordable."

Subsidy-Absorbing Institutions of Higher Education - CCAP - Higher Education and the Economy - Forbes

Sunday, April 10, 2011

James Gleick Interview

"Information has never been so cheap; our choices have never been so numerous; the cacophony has never been quite so grand. Everyone knows this, and everyone is right. It's why we're fascinated, if not obsessed, with Google and Twitter and all the rest of their oddly named species. We know that information poses as many challenges as opportunities."

James Gleick: 'Information poses as many challenges as opportunities' | Technology | The Observer

Hayek and Private Currency

"Toby Baxendale was recently interviewed by Dave Birch of Consult Hyperion. The interview talks about both the goals of the Cobden Centre and Hayek’s beliefs about competing private currencies as a pathway towards honest money and how this might be achieved via digital technology."

Cobden Centre Radio: Toby Baxendale on Hayek and Private Currency » The Cobden Centre

Saturday, April 9, 2011

5 Problems with Ultra-Low Interest Rates

"The Fed may have good and honorable reasons for pushing interest rates very low. But when they're left there for an extended period, distortions can begin to creep into the economy."

5 Problems with Ultra-Low Interest Rates - Daniel Indiviglio - Business - The Atlantic

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

Notice the choice of the verb in this sentence, and then ask yourself if "earn" would have been more accurate but not as politically useful.

"Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret."

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% | Society | Vanity Fair

American Banking and Monetary Problems

"We have fundamentally fragile banking systems, and partly it’s because our monetary system is difficult to deal with. We’ve got a long history of restrictions on banks that have weakened banks in the United States. And rather than remove the restrictions — the regulations that have weakened banks — we keep adding patches on top of them."

Friday Interview: Addressing American Banking and Monetary Problems

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The More Things Exchange

"The Rational Optimist is an intelligent and interesting guide to mankind's cultural evolution and technological innovation. This is sufficient reason for us to be grateful for this very impressive book. "

The American Spectator : The More Things Exchange

Capitalism's Waning Popularity

"Capitalism’s waning fortunes are starkly visible among Americans earning below $20,000. Their support for the free market has dropped from 76% to 44% in just one year."

Capitalism's waning popularity: Market of ideas | The Economist

The Fiscal Purists Go Mad

"But if you want to feel really gloomy about America’s ability to tackle its deficit, consider the ideological, almost theological, arguments about tax that are taking place within the Republican camp itself. In the past few weeks these have been revealed in all their dreadful clarity by an esoteric debate about the tax break for ethanol."

Lexington: The fiscal purists go mad | The Economist

The Case for Having More Kids

"Parents are “overcharging” themselves for their kids. And what do economics and common sense tell you to do when prices turn out to be lower than you thought? Buy more. Stock up. Tell your friends."

Book Chat: The Case for Having More Kids -

US Going Same Route as Greece, Portugal

"(We've had) forty years of political promises to give people certain entitlements, certain benefits. And we've now come to understand that the United States is in a very difficult position than it was in the early post-World War II period. We're not the dominant economy. And our pace of growth has moderated. Ourability to finance this is all limited."

US Deficit Spending: US Going Same Route as Greece, Portugal: Economist - CNBC

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

US Debt Crisis: Finding a Solution

"Veronique de Rugy explains that cutting spending is better for the economy in the long run, but there are a variety of possible plans that could balance the budget by the end of the decade.

“We don’t need to cut spending, just hold it steady, and automatically, you end up with the balanced budget by 2020,” said de Rugy.  “The real problem is the explosion of spending that happens after 2021.  You can have a balanced budget by 2020, and it will be balanced for 5 minutes.”"

US Debt Crisis: Finding a Solution | Mercatus

It's Time to Rethink Everything

"By the time you finish the introduction to Ron Paul's book, you realize that you are going to be treated to a completely new and radical form of thinking about politics, one that reimagines the current world in the same way that Jefferson reimagined his world — and became the real father of this country."

It's Time to Rethink Everything - - Mises Institute

It's Hard to Make Predictions

"Everywhere we turn, we find an expert declaiming on some future trend, concerning nearly every activity. Should we pay much attention?"

It's Hard to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future - Reason Magazine

Above Subsistence

"Our modern standard of living was sparked by a major cultural change that occurred only a few generations back."

Above subsistence - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

This Is Going to Hurt

"In the end, the only real way to bring the federal budget into long-term balance is to reform entitlement programs, as Ryan has proposed doing. But here again, the public is reluctant to support cuts. According to the most recent Gallup Poll, two-thirds of Americans oppose cutting Social Security benefits. Even self-professed supporters of the Tea Party oppose cutting Social Security by 2 – 1. Nearly as many voters, 61 percent, oppose cutting Medicare."

This Is Going to Hurt | Michael D. Tanner | Cato Institute: Commentary

A Misleading Barometer of Growth

"GDP is not only causing smart people to misdiagnose the economic impact of disasters and fanning fallacies. It has become so entrenched as barometer of growth that policy is being judged not by its effect on prosperity but its ability to boost GDP."

GDP no real guide to wealth or welfare | The Australian:

Going After Wal-Mart

"If there was ever such a thing as junk justice, the suit against Wal-Mart now in the Supreme Court is exhibit A."

Going After Wal-Mart -

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Keeping the Poor in the Dark

"Electricity is an absolute minimum precondition for entry into the modern world. If half the energy devoted to stopping climate change was applied to providing energy to the poor, the world would be a much better place indeed."

Keeping the poor in the dark | Rob Lyons | spiked:

As Minority Populations Grow

"When we let in skilled immigrants with H1B visas, we get the expertise that will power our productivity for decades to come....

When we let in less-skilled immigrants, we are fulfilling America’s promise as a place of opportunity for everyone – a promise that was offered to all of our ancestors."

Edward L. Glaeser: As Minority Populations Grow -

Recycled Determinism?

This article by Charles Kenny claims "The reason you earned as much as you did last year has far less to do with how hard you worked than with where and to whom you were born."

Isn't this just another version of determinism, the belief that whatever we are and will be is determined by circumstances and forces out of our control?

And if economic success is truly out of an individual's control, why should we assume that it is under the control of the individuals who write the tax code?

Seems to me that Kenny undermines his own argument.

Don't Mess With Taxes - By Charles Kenny | Foreign Policy

Socialism's Legacy: Lest We Forget

"Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, many optimists claimed that the world was now somehow 'after socialism.' There are reasons, however—structural, political, moral, and intellectual—why the collapse of Communism did not entail the end of socialism. This talk will explain why there can be no 'after socialism' until the West comes to ultimate terms with the catastrophic legacy of international communism."

The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hoenig Says Fed Anti-Capitalistic

"[Thomas] Hoeing’s courage and principled vision elevate him to the status of a “good economist,” as defined by Frederic Bastiat over 150 years ago. "

Hoenig Says Fed Anti-Capitalistic, Taking Shortcuts To Greatness - Great Speculations - Buys, holds, and hopes - Forbes

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Union Thuggery Run Amok

"...disturbing signs of a union going mad over its own irrelevance and taking up more goonish tactics."

Editorial: Union Thuggery Run Amok -

The Myth of the Robber Barons

"Hillsdale College history professor Burton Folsom describes the role of key entrepreneurs in the economic growth of the United States from 1850 to 1910. This lecture was given to students attending 2010 History and Liberty in Atlanta, Ga."

The Myth of the Robber Barons | Foundation for Economic Education

Worst Jobs in the World

A matrix that goes from Treacherous to Tedious, and Difficult to Disgusting.

Art - Lapham’s Quarterly

Does Illusion Drive Economic Development?

The High Cost Of Easy Payments

"The nature of credit cards ensures that your brain is anaesthetized against the pain of payment."

As fascinating as this is, it's all chump change. Nothing numbs the pain of spending like getting elected.

The High Cost Of Easy Payments | Wired Science |

America's Fastest-Dying Business?

"At the center of a perfect storm of boomer burnout, a brutal recession, and a rapidly changing industry, the mobile home retail market could be the worst industry in America. Here's why."

America's Fastest-Dying Business? It's Mobile Homes - Derek Thompson - Business - The Atlantic

Peculiar People

"How far should one push the idea that companies have the same rights as ordinary people?"

Schumpeter: Peculiar people | The Economist


Problems With Performance Tests

"The larger lesson is that we've built our society around tests of performance that fail to predict what really matters: what happens once the test is over."

Jonah Lehrer on Problems With SATs, GREs, the NFL Combine and Other Performance Tests | Head Case -

Why Experts Get It Wrong

"There is a blanket assumption that knowledge and expertise are always good,' Mehta says. 'What we show is that it's not always true. Expertise is a double-edge sword."

Why Experts Get It Wrong - James Warren - National - The Atlantic

Campaigner For Free Trade, Political Economist, And Politician

"David Hart’s talk on Frédéric Bastiat’s contribution to the classical liberal movement, as well as outline his major works and key ideas such as free trade and peace. This lecture was delivered on February 26th, 2011 at FEE headquarter in Irvington-on-Hudson as part of the Evening at FEE lecture series"

Frédéric Bastiat (1801-50): Campaigner For Free Trade, Political Economist, And Politician In A Time Of Revolution | Foundation for Economic Education

The Broken Window

Saturday, April 2, 2011

“Renegade History”

"The market economy has always been a friend of renegades and an enemy of moral guardians"

“Renegade History” Against the “Respectable” Bosses

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Federal Sugar Racket

"The collapse of communism brought an end to many of the world’s command-and-control economic systems and central planning by government bureaucrats. But a notable exception is the United States government’s sugar program."

Lugar Targets Federal Sugar Racket | Cato @ Liberty

When Private Money Becomes a Felony Offense

"It is indisputably clear that the power to coin money and regulate its value is one that the Constitution delegates to Congress. It's an enumerated power, and one of the big ones. It's also clear that the Constitution bars states from making coins other than gold or silver legal tender. But it is not clear that there is a constitutional basis or a logic for prohibiting individuals from making and selling pieces of gold and silver and using them, on a voluntary basis, as money—i.e., to 'compete with' the official coinage of the U.S."

Seth Lipsky: When Private Money Becomes a Felony Offense -

Businesses Try To Rebuild

"The March 11th earthquake in Japan destroyed countless businesses and left many others closed. Some suffered earthquake damage. Others were flooded by the tsunami. And some near the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex can't get supplies. But despite the challenges facing small businesses in the area, many owners are trying to reopen."

In Quake-Struck Japan, Businesses Try To Rebuild : NPR

Saving the Planet or Killing Jobs?

"New CARB rules are putting me out of business" - Videos > The Green Regulation Machine: Saving the Planet or Killing Jobs?

Driving Out Dollars

"A New Jersey state senator wants to establish a millionaires tax. Have Trenton policymakers learned nothing from their state's experience with fleeing wealth?"

Driving Out Dollars -

Guess Who's Complaining Now?

"Microsoft has a surprising ally in its argument that Google is an abusive monopolist: Samuel Miller, the prosecutor who led the federal government's first antitrust case against Microsoft more than a decade ago."

DOJ's Microsoft prosecutor: Google is a monopoly - Mar. 31, 2011

Bad News, In Perspective

"For 200 years living standards have been accelerating upwards because trade and communication have been getting easier.

On present trends the average citizen of earth will be at least twice as rich as the average American is today by 2100 - corrected for inflation."

IN the past month the news has been all bad, but here an academic puts it into perspective | The Sun |Features

Walking the Line Between Good and Evil

"One thing we can do as a society is recognize that some rules may be broken, some rules should be broken, and some rules need to be broken."

Guest Blog: Walking the Line Between Good and Evil: The Common Thread of Heroes and Villains

The Price of Taxing the Rich

"The working class may be taking a beating from spending cuts used to close a cavernous deficit, Mr. Williams said, but the root of California's woes is its reliance on taxing the wealthy."

The Price of Taxing the Rich -

Big Management Thinker

"Why thinking is the enemy of innovation."

Management: Today's big management thinker | The Economist