- Steven Rattner on The Great Corn Con
FEELING the need for an example of government policy run amok? Look no further than the box of cornflakes on your kitchen shelf. In its myriad corn-related interventions, Washington has managed simultaneously to help drive up food prices and add tens of billions of dollars to the deficit, while arguably increasing energy use and harming the environment.
- Roger Kerr on The truth about privatisation 15 - profits going offshore
Last year the Treasury provided a report to its ministers headed Should we be concerned about profits going offshore? It is a competent analysis and very relevant to the privatisation debate.
- Art Carden asks The drug war: what is it good for?
Bugger all that I can see.
- Walter Russell Mead on The Failure of Al Gore: Part One and The Failure of Al Gore: Part Deux
The green movement’s core tactic is not to “hide the decline” or otherwise to cook the books of science. Its core tactic to cloak a comically absurd, impossibly complex and obviously impractical political program in the authority of science. Let anyone attack the cretinous and rickety construct of policies, trade-offs, offsets and bribes by which the greens plan to govern the world economy in the twenty first century, and they attack you as an anti-science bigot.
- Tim Worstall notes that Smoking Reduces Obesity
Do obese people smoke more than thin people? Does one unhealthy habit lead to another that is? Or do people tend to be only one of the two, either smokers or obese?
- Economic Logic on Venezuela's downfall
Venezuela was once the poster child in Latin America on how to do well (the opposite being Argentina), growing richer than European economies in the 1950's from quite modest means in less than two generations. And then all went downhill, and the country continues to slide into poverty. While many like to put blame on Chavez and his "revolution," the trend started long before he came to power.
- The Economist on Two thousand years in one chart
Over 28% of all the history made since the birth of Christ was made in the 20th century. Measured in years lived, the present century, which is only ten years old, is already "longer" than the whole of the 17th century. This century has made an even bigger contribution to economic history. Over 23% of all the goods and services made since 1AD were produced from 2001 to 2010
- Willem Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari on The ‘strong dollar’ policy of the US: Alice-in-Wonderland semantics vs. economic reality
The strong-dollar rhetoric of the US government contrasts with a weak-dollar reality. This column argues that talking a strong-dollar talk while walking a weak-dollar walk has damaged the reputational capital of the US monetary and fiscal authorities. That has reduced their ability to use statements of intent or announcements of future policy actions to influence markets.