Archive for the 'Economics' Category

Milton Friedman vs. Naomi Klein

Happy New Year! To start off the year right, let’s have a look at a mock-up of a debate between Naomi Klein, reporter-activist extraordinaire, and Milton Friedman, king of economic liberty (via Instapundit).
This video was put together by Devil’s Advocate at Copious Dissent, where you can find the others in this series.
This […]

Senate Committee Issues Climate-Consensus Busting Report

According to the press release (my emphasis):
Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called “consensus” on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made […]

Taxation Myths

To hear many a commenter talk or write one would believe that over the last thirty years, and especially the last seven, the tax burden has become increasingly tilted in favor of the wealthy. Greg Mankiw begs to differ, and here is the data:
The first number below is for 2005, the most recent year available. […]

Germany Warned About Minimum Wage Laws

Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank, called them a “brake on employment”:
The warning came after several competitors to Deutsche Post, the former state monopoly, announced redundancies and the cancellation of investments in response to Berlin’s decision to impose a minimum wage in the postal sector last week.
Minimum wages are shaping up as […]

Hugo Chavez: Genius!

From E. Frank Stephenson:
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez thinks it’s curtains for America as a world power. “By the crash of the dollar,” he says, “America’s empire will crash.”Tyler Cowen’s suggestion that currencies are not markers of economic success notwithstanding, I hope Chavez’s theory that declining currencies signal the end of regimes […]

Now, it is time to save marriage

Why? Because it is good for the environment:
Divorce can be bad for the environment. In countries around the world divorce rates have been rising, and each time a family dissolves the result is two new households.
“A married household actually uses resources more efficiently than a divorced household,” said Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State […]

Some Economic Perspective

Hat tip: Greg Mankiw

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The Housing Crisis

I think this explains it better than I have, at least it is more entertaining:

Technorati Tags: housing, investing, economics, hedge funds, mortgage debt, crisis, humor

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Talent, Economics 101 and Health Care

Personally I find this observation from a paper by Mark Ramseyer unsurprising to say the least:
The Japanese national health insurance provides universal coverage. Necessarily, this entails a subsidy that dramatically raises the demand for medical services. In the face of the increased demand, the government suppresses costs by suppressing prices. By combining extensive biographical (including […]

Whither The Middle Class?

Hillary and Obama agree on taxing Americans more, they just can’t agree on whether it’s the “middle” or “upper” class that they’re prepared to squeeze for votes (HT: Paul Caron):
Class, always an awkward topic in the United States, made a rare cameo appearance [Ed. note: Rare? Apparently Joel Achenbach is new to politics?] […]

News Brief, Comfortable Headphones Edition

From Russia The Conjecturer, with love.
Defense & The War

SimIraq? Could make for an interesting variant of the latest Sim City game, which looks interesting enough to pirate.
Triple Canopy for sale? Oh noes! Meanwhile, a federal grand jury has convened to investigate the Blackwater Massacre. They’re being charged under MEJA. That’s good! But the realities of […]

Bad News in Housing

Foreclosure rates could drop!!!
That is bad news?
It is if it is because courts are throwing out cases because mortgage companies holding securitized mortgages  don’t have the actual note. I’ll let Luke explain:
The problem has arisen because most of these sorts of trust do not actually possess the physical mortgage note itself. Instead they have a […]

China: The temporary nature of what we know

In a little-noticed mid-summer announcement, the Asian Development Bank presented official survey results indicating China’s economy is smaller and poorer than established estimates say. The announcement cited the first authoritative measure of China’s size using purchasing power parity methods. The results tell us that when the World Bank announces its expected PPP data revisions later […]

Health Care Innovation: Updated

The meme that our private sector, especially our pharmaceutical and medical device companies, has nothing to do with our success as a health care innovator is unfortunately widespread:
The great breakthroughs in the history of medicine, from the development of the polio vaccine to the identification of cancer-killing agents, did not take place because a for-profit […]

New Friedman Interview

A fantastic interview with Milton Friedman recorded in 2005, but just released, with Richard Fisher of the Dallas Federal Reserve can be found here, along with a wealth of other Friedman material, including a series of discussions of Friedman by:

Ben Bernanke, Chairman, Federal […]

Bob Herbert and Rolling Eyes

Brad Delong should head this up:
[T]he most popular measure of inflation, the Consumer Price Index, does not include the cost of energy or food, “the two most significant aspects of the increased cost of living for the American people.”
[Delong comments:] Yes, it does.
How has the New York Times managed to pick Bob Herbert out of […]

News Brief, Caribou Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer.
Defense & the War

While recognizing the horror of Blackwater’s atrocities being so common they’re… common, Mountain Runner points out the very real, very messy problems that arise when the Iraqis start to raid contractor compounds. As he said, “Phase out contractors or bring under our wings, don’t let them hang outside because […]

Sotheby’s Stock Drops Sharply After Disappointing Auction- Van Gogh still on the shelf

Is art the next asset to start reversing?

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The cost of not paying

Wilson Mixon notices a rather predictable, but nevertheless ironic aspect data on the cost of health care:
Russ Roberts provides a snapshot of how much third-party payments have grown since 1960.
My computations below are from the table from which he excerpts, with per-capita out-of-pocket expenditures computed and converted to real terms.
Year […]

Gratuitous Eye Candy and the Dollar

What does Gisele Bundchen have to do with the dollar? You need to ask Doug Mataconis.

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Mankiw Responds

Greg Mankiw responds to questions about his views on health care following his piece on the misuse of statistics in the health care debate:
Q: There has been a lot of blogosphere commentary on your piece. Are you going to respond to it?
A: No. Life is too short. But I will note that I am a […]

Taxing Michigan

Hat tip: The Everyday Economist
From Karen DeCoster:

Already, there is tremendous confusion as to what services will or will not be taxed. It’s funny to note how lobbying efforts have influenced what services are excluded under this new law.
* Real estate will not be taxed thanks to the massive real estate lobby in Michigan.
* Travel […]

Milton Friedman: Capitalist Hero

Brian Doherty discussing one of his “Radicals for Capitalism,” Milton Friedman, on Reason TV.

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Price Controls in Russia

Tyler Cowen:
As the New York Times noted last week, food prices have been on a tear in Russia. With elections approaching, Vladimir Putin decided pricey potatoes and pierogies just wouldn’t do. The solution: Soviet-style price controls.
I am a fan of Daniel Gross’s Slate writings, but I don’t think that claim is quite correct. […]

The Ultimate Resource Returns

Starting this Friday, November 2nd, Free to Choose Media is continuing the work of its inspiration, Milton Friedman, of bringing the benefits of freedom to the people of this world, including its most remote corners. A new documentary, “The Ultimate Resource” which aired last Spring on HDNet is now coming to a wider audience through […]

News Brief, Happy Belated Power Bottom Appreciation Day Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer
Defense & The War

Infamous mercenary Tim Spicer, who runs the infamous paramilitary organization Aegis (née Sandline) might take over Blackwater’s contract. This is because all State Department convoys are being placed under DoD command, and Aegis runs the Regional Operations Centers that would handle this coordination. Given horrors like Spicer’s attempted coup […]

Congress’ Sweet Tooth

Absolutely mind boggling:
Both the House bill, which was passed in July, and the Senate version, which could be voted on as early as this week, guarantee that the government will buy from American farmers an amount of sugar equivalent to 85 percent of domestic consumption — regardless of how much comes in from abroad. To […]

Milton Friedman and Phil Donahue

From the Liberty Papers:

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The Subtle Oil Shock

It hasn’t been all that shocking. Why not? Greg Mankiw supplies a few possibilities. My favorites? Well let us start here:

In contrast to much rhetoric to the contrary, capitalism is the most powerful weapon to achieve energy efficiency we have.
He provides us with some things I am fond of, conjectures. So I will call this […]

Tax Reform from Charlie Rangel-Updated

Greg Mankiw gives us some different views. Personally I would suggest scrapping corporate taxes altogether, and Kevin Drum sort of agrees with me.
Update: Greg has more:
Thus, as a first approximation, the plan increases the progressivity of the tax code by redistributing income from the very rich (e.g., CEOs, hedge fund managers, superstar athletes and actors) […]