Thursday, 28 July 2011

Interesting blog bits

  1. Karyn Scherer writes about Roger Kerr: The happy warrior
    Government indifference, public hostility, even cancer - despite it all, the Business Roundtable's Roger Kerr can't help being an optimist
  2. Mark Pennington on What Ha Joon Chang Doesn’t Tell You about ‘Free Market Economics’
    Professor Ha Joon Chang has become something of a hero to those who champion heterodox economic theory and who rail against the supposed intellectual hegemony of ‘neo-liberalism’. In a number of books such as Kicking Away the Ladder Chang sets out to overturn the alleged orthodoxies of mainstream economics by questioning the case for free trade as an appropriate development strategy in poorer countries and more widely making the case for a high regulation/big government agenda. These themes are vividly on display in Chang’s latest best seller 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism. Unfortunately, also on display in this book is Chang’s penchant for misrepresenting opponents, the use of straw man analyses and claims to theoretical innovation for what amounts to ‘re-inventing the wheel’.
  3. Tim Worstall notes that The Washington Consensus Works
    I know this isn’t what Dani Rodrik is trying to point out in this blog post but it is the lesson that I take away from it
  4. Art Carden has a few Thoughts on Liberty and Society
    I spent this week teaching at an Institute for Humane Studies “Liberty and Society” Summer Seminar. The weekend closed with a panel wherein the members of the seminar faculty answered questions about the importance of liberty, strategies for advancing liberty, our worldviews, and so on. Here are a few thoughts based on the questions that jumped out at me.
  5. Tony Wrigley on Opening Pandora’s box: A new look at the industrial revolution
    Before the industrial revolution, economists considered output to be fundamentally constrained by the limited supply of land. This column explores how the industrial revolution managed to break free from these shackles. It describes the important innovations that made the industrial revolution an energy revolution.
  6. Matt Nolan on Keeping NZ inflation in perspective
    Holy shit. Since I’ve started getting the chance to read opinion pieces again I’ve noticed one extreme theme running through them – a sharp and angry fear of inflationary pressures
  7. David Friedman on Austrian Fantasy
    Browsing the web, I came across the following claim by Lew Rockwell:

    " Need I note, as this article indirectly indicates, that the whole world is reading Rothbard, but that Friedman is almost a nobody outside of mainstream academic economics?"
  8. Eric Crampton on A public responsibility?
    When we have a public health system, and when folks worry about costs others impose through the health system, all kinds of private behaviours have external effects.
  9. James Otteson on Stiglitz on Deregulation and the Rich
    Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argued recently that both the economic downturn of the last two years and the looming debt crisis are the fault of “a powerful ideology—the belief in free and unfettered markets,” whose “30-year ascendance” has “brought the world to the brink of economic ruin.”

    As an economist, I can’t hold a candle to Stiglitz. Still I am puzzled by a couple of Stiglitz’s claims.

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