Monthly Archives: January 2011

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Ends and Means

The more we depend on the government to make market decisions, the more we replace  individual choice with political power. This requires more reliance on lobbyists to protect individual and special interests. A market based economy is more tolerant of…

Read More

The Triumph of Hope over Experience

Michael Tanner writes in the National Review Online, Contested Ground, Not Common Ground. (1/26/11) Excerpts: In calling for more government action, the president’s attitude reminds one of Samuel Johnson’s description of second marriages: the triumph of hope over experience. As…

Read More

Wasting a Crisis

In the Wall Street Journal, Culprits From Beltway Casting- The financial inquiry commission lets a crisis go to waste, (subscription required), takes exception to the partisan conclusion of the commission.    The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission reached a conclusion that…

Read More

Political Greed and Crony Capitalism

Ever since Michael Douglas’s character Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street declared “Greed is Good” capitalism has been cast in a sinister role that it has yet to overcome. The movie speech was rumored to be taken from a…

Read More

Where True Growth Originates

Economist Scott Grannis writes in his excellent blog, The Calafia Beach Pundit, Coach Obama still doesn’t understand the game. Excerpts: If he learned anything in the past two years, it was that the public doesn’t like the concept of stimulus…

Read More

A Concentration of Stagnation

George Will writes in the Jewish World Review, Hubris Heading for a Fall ( January 20,2011 – 15 Shevat, 5771)  a great analysis of why government is failing and why the political divide is widening. Excerpts: The idea that America’s…

Read More

Ignoring the Bitter Choice

That people should wish to be relieved of the bitter choice which hard facts often impose upon them is not surprising.  But few want to be relieved through having the choice made for them by others.  People just wish that…

Read More

The Social Bribery Fund

There is a certain dynamism and egalitarianism built into modern industrial society. For “Industrial society is the only society ever to live by and rely on sustained and perpetual growth, on an expected and continuous improvement,” (Ernest) Gellner writes. Indeed…

Read More

All Politics is Local…. unless..

Tip O’Neil was noted for saying “all politics is local”, and wrote a book with that title.  Apparently many local leaders feel the opposite.  Local issues are rarely partisan; it is about he mundane tasks of maintaining roads, funding firetrucks…

Read More

Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, but Nobody Wants to Die

The real test of the Tea Party and the new conservative majority in Congress is how committed they are to cutting the expenses of government. It is foolish to think it can be cut by a meaningful amount without cutting…

Read More

The Most Free and Unfree

One of the benefits of a federalist system is the opportunity of states to experiment with policies (such as health care) and observe the outcome.  It also gives us a chance to see what does not work. Victor Davis Hanson…

Read More

Only a Footnote

In a 2004 article in the Nation, … Paul Krugman wrote that “According to estimates by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez- confirmed by data from the Congressional Budget Office- between 1973 and 2000 the average real income of…

Read More

Why Increasing the Taxes on the Wealthy Fails

If you lived in a bad neighborhood and was frequently robbed, you would either defend yourself or leave. Most people are more inclined to take the less confrontational route than emulate Paul Kersey, the vigilante played by Charles Bronson in…

Read More

Looking for Outrage in All The Wrong Places

I conducted a survey this morning.  I went into my office in Macon, Georgia and interviewed all 15 or so office workers.  They are engineers, sales people, accounting personnel, and purchasing agents.  All of them are at least high school…

Read More

Illuminating the Data on Income and Wealth

The March 2006 Washington Post editorial that claimed real median wages had fallen for 25 years also concluded that “the rising tide helped only workers at the top [ 10 percent].” In 2003, a New York Times journalist likewise wrote,…

Read More

The Fallacy of Stimulus

Charles Wolf writes in The Weekly Standard,  Where Keynes Went Wrong– What if government spending depresses instead of stimulates? 11/7/11 Excerpt: Keynes assumed that the initial deficient level of aggregate demand would remain unchanged until the stimulative (“pump-priming”) effect of…

Read More

Tragedy and Political Dissent

It was no surprise that pundits would try to score political points from the  Arizona tragedy.  Calls to curtail the legitimate language of dissent were broadcast before any information on the shooter surfaced.  From Townhall.com Carol Platt Liebau writes Left-Wing…

Read More

A Catch 22 Economy

Interest rates and inflation are at a record low, yet stimulus spending has flooded the markets with currency.  The valve that turns money creation into inflation is velocity. The velocity is very low because businesses are reluctant to invest and…

Read More

Intellectual Ignorance

The difference between academic credentialsim and real intelligence is understanding and knowing the limits of certainty.  It isn’t what you don’t know that gets you. It is what you think you know that isn’t so. It is curious that the…

Read More

We are all economists now

To say that economics is about money is like saying art is about color.  Money is a critical element, but it explains very little about the discipline. Many laymen confuse economics with finance. While the subjects substantially overlap, our recent…

Read More