Friday, 24 June 2011

Interesting blog bits

  1. Russ Roberts on Obama vs. ATMs: Why Technology Doesn't Destroy Jobs
    Doing more with less is what economic growth is all about. Not that many politicians see that. The president calls this a structural issue—we usually call it progress.
  2. Steven Horwitz points out that Yes, It Is a Police State: A line has been crossed.
    Since 9/11 the biggest threat to the American people is not radical Muslim terrorists, nor deranged domestic terrorists, but the terrorists with the blue uniforms, badges, and body armor. Their weapons of mass destruction are not bombs, but state-approved guns, latex-gloved hands, and a profound disregard for our rights. Until we stand up and say, “Enough!”these terrorists will keep winning and our rights will continue to be lost.
  3. David Henderson on Life in the USSA
    In his Thanksgiving 1981 interview with Barbara Walters, President Ronald Reagan, speaking during one of the warmer parts of the Cold War, told Ms. Walters that the biggest threat to our freedom was not the Soviets but our own governments. How right he was. The same applies to our own governments vis-a-vis terrorists today.
  4. David Henderson on Life in the USSA (2010 version)
    An excellent illustration of two of the main themes in the life work of the late economist Friedrich Hayek, who shared the Nobel Prize in economics in 1974. One theme, which he emphasized in his 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, is that when government grows and takes on more power over our lives, it threatens our freedom. The second theme is that central planning of an economy doesn’t work. Although Hayek never applied his insights about central economic planning to central anti-terrorism planning, the reasoning, as we shall see, is the same. So is the bottom line: It doesn’t work.
  5. Lynne Kiesling on Horwitz, Henderson, Hayek on the police state
    On a subject too important to overlook … today Steve Horwitz wrote a short, clear argument providing evidence that we are indeed living in a police state.
  6. Deirdre McCloskey on A Kirznerian Economic History of the Modern World
    I think the history of How I Discovered Israel illuminates the trouble that Austrian economics has had against Samuelsonian economics (which we commonly but self-defeatingly call the "mainstream"). And it shows how in the end the Austrians can save economics from itself.
  7. Matt Ridley on The vested interests in doom
    POLLYANNA is a fool; Cassandra was wise. As a self-proclaimed "rational optimist" who argues that the world has been getting better for most people and that the future is likely to be better still, I am up against a deep prejudice towards pessimism that dominates the intelligentsia. As John Stuart Mill put it, "not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage".
  8. Roger Kerr on The Truth About Privatisation: #14: Dividends
    New Zealand Herald political commentator John Armstrong was dispensing advice to the Labour Party on privatisation issues in his column last Saturday (June 11).

    First, he wrote:

    Labour needs to make merry hell with the foreign ownership bogie – perhaps to a point bordering on xenophobia.

    What sort of responsible economic journalism is that?
  9. Bryan Caplan on The Ideological Turing Test
    If we did an apples-to-apples comparison, would liberals really excel on ideological Turing tests?
  10. David Friedman on Caplan Contra Krugman: A Very Clever Post
    Paul Krugman has recently been claiming that people on the left understand the views of those on the right much better than people on the right understand the views of those on the left.
  11. Roger Kerr is Playing the Well-Being Game
    We all know that GDP/head isn’t everything. But it’s amusing to see governments in countries that are economic losers wanting to focus on other elements of well-being. Sarkozy in France with his happiness trope, aided and abetted by Joseph Stiglitz, is a case in point. Unfortunately for people like Sarkozy, the happiness literature suggests that happiness seems to correlate quite closely with income and wealth!
  12. Homepaddock on No need for another investigation into milk price
    The Ministries of Agriculture and Economic Development and Treasury havelaunched a second probe into Fonterra’s pricing of milk. They could save themselves a lot of time and effort by reading the National Bank’s Agrifocus.
  13. Gavin Kennedy notes that A Serious Scholar Disagrees
    Over at the excellent Anti-Dismal Blog, Paul Walker raises important criticisms of my Monday post this week on Lost Legacy. What can I say?!

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