Econ Archive

Not everyone can share a birthday with one of the greatest intellects of all time, but my Dad, who is no intellectual slouch himself, shares one with the late, great Friedrich Hayek. Previous Birthday wishes to both. (Go here for more info on Hayek and links to essential readings.) Even Reason can’t keep track of [...]

Like Brian, Radley and Virginia, I have known about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act for a while, but failed to write about it because I’ve been busy with other things and it’s hard to know where to direct your efforts when there are so many foolish laws and regs luging through the halls of [...]

Booking Blagojevich

Ok, so the title’s misleading. Blago has not yet been brought to justice for attempted simony (in the loose sense of buying/selling power). But since I’m just now getting around to reading Freakonomics (available here), I thought that the passage below was pretty interesting. It’s from page 159 in the economics of parenting chapter. The [...]

First, the lunacy. Alabama’s Senator Richard Shelby, despite his love of pork and earmarks generally, has taken a semi-principled stand against the financial bailout and, now, the automaker bailout. I applaud him for that and wish that more of our congresscritters would oppose these needless, wasteful bailouts. However, Joe Babiasz, a GM employee, believes that [...]

Absolutely nothing. Too big to fail? More: Russell Robert tackles the Fannie/Freddie debacle here and here. Too big to be fair? Imagine if we used antitrust laws on other successful organizations, like sports franchises. Sorry Celtics, you’re disqualified from the playoffs this year because you already have too many titles. The same goes for you [...]

The Calculus of T. Boone Pickens

Is this a surprise to anyone? When I first saw the T. Boone Pickens “plan” advertisement, I promptly ignored it. A billionaire oilman finds religion and is now promoting green energy? That narrative certainly has a heartwarming appeal doesn’t it? (Btw, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a billionaire or an oilman; it’s [...]

Will links to an excellent essay on cultural authoritarianism, for lack of a better term, by Kenan Malik. Malik’s essay demonstrates that many in the multiculturalist left have moved beyond celebrating diversity to actually forcing a particular set of cultural “norms” on individuals who by genetic or geographic happenstance are part of a particular ethnic [...]

NIMBY in Hoover

This is the unfortunate result of what happens when land use decisions are made by politicians rather than the individuals involved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily opposed to all zoning regulations, but it seems that the most serious cases can be effectively resolved through peaceful negotiation and, if not, the law of nuisance, [...]

Overheard at the post office

Postal worker to lady: you know the first-class rate has increased to 42 cents Lady: Really? It’s gone up again?! You’d think with all the online stuff, the price would be going down… (referring I suppose to the cost efficiencies a “normal” firm might have realized from transferring much of their operations from relatively more [...]

I’m an anti-dentite

But only when they attempt to use their guild (hint: the ADA) to bully dental therapists in Alaska to thwart competition and keep their rents high. Tyler Cowen has the whole sordid tale at Marginal Revolution. Cases like the above are occurring in nearly all of the “professional” fields (like law, medicine and, um, flower [...]