'Cash for Clunkers' was a classic government folly →
Theft and/or Counterfeiting →
The only ways government can raise money.
Needs More RAM →
Two years ago the Chesapeake, Virginia, police made some decisions that led to an officer’s death, then tried to convict a scapegoat of capital murder. In April, following an outcry, the police department announced a change in how it will conduct drug raids. But it wasn’t the change you might have expected.
The Triumph of Crony Capitalism →
The new financial overhaul bill is the greatest government takeover of the financial sector of the economy since the National Recovery Act of 1933 when Franklin Roosevelt attempted to introduce central planning in America. More than just a new law, the Dodd-Frank “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act”…...
Amen to the Imam →
FDR and the Lessons of the Depression →
The economy did not tank in 1937 because government spending declined. Increases in tax rates, particularly capital income tax rates, and the expansion of unions, were most likely responsible. Unfortunately, these same factors pose a similar threat today.
Something for Nothing →
Perhaps the most difficult economic lesson is that we live in a world of scarcity and everything has a cost. TANSTAAFL.
The Cold Logic of Global Economics →
A beautiful consequence of the so-called “cold logic of global economics” it that it knits people from around the world into a kind of community – into a worldwide web of peaceful and productive mutual dependence. Commerce over large geographic areas undermines the nativism and insularity – and poverty – that result when people live in local communities with little or no contact with...
'Satisfactory Profits'? →
Hatching Bigger Government →
There have been a lot of unsurprising news stories lately. Rod Blagojevich going on TV. Tiger Woods and his wife divorcing. The economy racing along like an elderly tortoise. And the Food and Drug Administration saying the salmonella outbreak proves the agency needs more power. We should have seen that coming. In the private sector, entities that fall short of doing their jobs find themselves...
Public Pensions and Our Fiscal Future →
Few Californians in the private sector have $1 million in savings, but that’s effectively the retirement account they guarantee to public employees who opt to retire at age 55 and are entitled to a monthly, inflation-protected check of $3,000 for the rest of their lives.
Let the private sector fund stem-cell research →
The Failure of NOT Recognizing Successful Teachers... →
Once the government becomes the supplier of people’s needs, there is no...– Lawrence Auster
California’s Gift of Shame →
Outgoing Gov. Schwarzenegger is using fiscal emergency as leverage toward a permanent solution to the public employee pension crisis that has gutted California’s budget and hamstrung other states. If he succeeds, the example could point to a solution for the many states that need to get a handle on their public employee commitments.
Scrap the Minimum Wage →
Do you want to get serious about expanding employment? Then it’s time to realize that spending on jobs programs is the wrong approach. It would be much better to eliminate hurdles for people who want to find work. One of those hurdles is the minimum wage.
I Am Libertarian →
Yes on free trade, deregulation, legalizing drugs, opening borders, the state treating all individuals (even gay Republicans) equally, getting the government out of education, and more. I do not own a beret and have never smoked a clove cigarette. I believe that my legs have a right of self-determination equal to my arms’. I could go on, but I think my meaning is clear: Libertarian is...
CBO Knows Jack →
This is what the CBO was getting at with all those caveats about the likelihood of the health care law’s Medicare cuts being implemented successfully. And it’s one of the major reasons why critics of the health care bill did not take the CBO’s projections of the PPACA’s deficit effects as proof positive that the law would actually result in a smaller deficit. The CBO’s projections are, by...
"Moral Hazard" in Politics →
International studies show that people in countries with more generous and long-lasting unemployment compensation spend less time looking for jobs. In the United States, where unemployment compensation is less generous than in Western Europe, unemployed Americans spend more hours looking for work than do unemployed Europeans in countries with more generous unemployment compensation. ...
Court Says Gov't Can Track You by GPS →
…without a warrant. Scary to think that the court ruled we have “no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.” Here’s how to protect yourself: first find out if you are being tracked, then get yourself a jammer.
The myth of a Left-libertarian alliance →
[B]uilding political alliances between libertarians and liberals [is] not impossible in theory. [They] generally agree on constraining federal surveillance powers, reforming detention of terror suspects, and humanizing our criminal justice system. Gay marriage, abortion, and embryo research also provide common ground. [M]any Beltway libertarians vocally supported Obama in 2008. But then...
The True National Debt →
Eminent domain, but even worse →
This is happening right now in Montgomery, Ala., and here is how it works: The city decides it doesn’t like your property for one reason or another, so it declares it a “public nuisance.” It mails you a notice that you have 45 days to demolish your property, at your expense, or the city will do it for you (and, of course, bill you). [I]f you don’t pay it within 30 days (or pay your installments...
Where Are the New Jobs? →
Why bigger government isn’t working: The problem today is that the economy is not being left alone. Instead, it is haunted by uncertainty on a hundred fronts. When rules are unintelligible and unpredictable, when new workers are potential threats because of Labor Department regulations, businesses have little confidence to hire. President Obama’s vaunted legislative record not only...
Use Caution When Commenting On This Post →
The FTC recently granted itself the power to… [police] comments left on commercial websites and punishing individual commenters who do not disclose their business interests to the government’s satisfaction. … [T]he implication of today’s action is that merely posting a comment on a website can now make you the target of a federal investigation, even if there’s no evidence that any...
If You Like Your Health Care Plan... →
…You Can Start Beating Your Head Against the Wall Now
Divided Government Is Our Greatest Hope →
Get ready for the most productive and decent political condition known to man: sweet gridlock. You get nothing. And after what you’ve been through these past few years, you deserve it.
Medical Care Facts and Fables →
The most basic fact is that it is cheaper to remain sick than to get medical treatment. What is cheapest of all is to die instead of getting life-saving medications and treatment, which can be very expensive. Despite these facts, most of us tend to take a somewhat more parochial view of the situation when it is we ourselves who are sick or who face a potentially fatal illness. But what if...
Billionaire Welfare-Queen Liars →
The great sports website Deadspin has obtained and posted a bunch of infamously well-guarded financial documents from Major League Baseball teams, and unsurprisingly, people combing through them are coming to unhappy conclusions about those tens of billions in taxpayer dollars that poverty-pleading billionaires have loosed from the public’s pocket. More: [T]he Marlins’ taxpayer-funded...
Forget term limits. We need session limits.
On a message board I frequent, a poster raised the issue of the need for congressional term limits as a way to minimize the damage done by the turkeys who entrench themselves in the corporatist machine. I responded that what we needed were session limits, not necessarily term limits. Instead of limiting who I can vote for, I would prefer we limit the days the elected can pass legislation to one...
Nine Principles of Economics →
People Act. Every Action Has a Cost. People Respond to Incentives. People make decisions at the margin. Trade makes people better off. People are Rational. Using markets is costly, but using government can be costlier still. Profits tell businesses that they are helping others, while losses tell businesses that they are wasting resources. We shouldn’t ignore the long-term and unintended...
Iraq and the Big Picture →
Those who advocate a reduced global American military presence are often accused by defenders of the status quo of somehow being naïve or unable to see the big picture. But the exact opposite is true — it is those who insist America must be everywhere at all times who are also all over the place in their logic, as their advocating for perpetual war continues to lead to permanent disaster.
National Standards = Progressive Agenda →
Education has had a progressive slant since Woodrow Wilson. It, of course, became worse once the Department of Education started meddling in local affairs in ‘80. Now, it looks like they are readying to ramp it up another notch: Fourteen states have also climbed aboard its effort to refocus American K-12 education on global awareness, media [and environmental] literacy and the like – and...
What is the greatest lie ever created? What is the most vicious obscenity ever...– Andrew Ryan from Bioshock (via purelypragmatic)
Tasers don’t kill people... →
But cops armed with Tasers sure as hell do.
"We Were Just Kidding," Treasury Sez. →
Peace with China →
The single best hope for continued peace is politically unfettered vibrant commerce between Americans and the Chinese. Economically integrated, mutually dependent peoples have powerful incentives not to destroy each other.
More on the Loco-Vores →
How can we possibly gather enough information to compare the opportunity costs of land, fertlizers, equipment, workers, transportation and energy costs (among many others) and reach a conclusion about which tomato imposes the fewest costs on our neighbors? Well, it turns out there’s actually a way to do that. You do it by looking at a single number that does an excellent job of reflecting all...
The Professional Left vs. the Amateur Right →
L.A. Times Runs Most Biased Top Story Ever... →
You’re shocked, I know.
The State’s ‘Inception’ Fails →
In the movie, the goal of the dream incubation was to implant an idea into an unsuspecting subject’s head that would cause him to act differently than he otherwise would have. In the real life version of inception, the state tried to implant in all our heads the idea that there was no depression, no economic collapse, no housing crisis, no push back on real estate prices, and really no serious...
Obvious Failure of Stimulus Becomes Obvious Even... →
Where do Keynesians go now that even public radio is talking about the failure of one of history’s costliest Keynesian stimulus efforts?
Was the Austrian Oak Cut Down To Size? →
A short retrospective on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The High Cost of Cheap Power →
When people spend money that’s not theirs, the money is never spent wisely.
The Stunning Decline of Barack Obama →
[Ten] key reasons why the Obama presidency is in serious trouble, and why its prospects are unlikely to improve between now and the November mid-terms.
Saving Jobs Means Saving Us from Prosperity →
One of the most pernicious fallacies in popular economic discussions is that we should adopt policies designed to save jobs. What was once just language used by those with a special interest in particular jobs (such as unions calling for import quotas as foreign cars became more popular) is now part of the Obama administration’s defense of its counterproductive “stimulus” program. “Jobs created...