Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

David Henderson: September 2009

An Author Archive by Month (30 entries)

Soviet Shoes

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
I mentioned in Tuesday's post that one of my favorite passages from Scott Shane's Dismantling Utopia is the passage about shoes. Commenter Bill asked me for the passage. Here it is: My informal survey suggested that some of the longest... MORE

My First Day of Class

Economic Education
David Henderson
I started my Executive MBA economics class today that I teach in front of a camera to 3 remote locations: D.C., Norfolk, and Oceana. I've taught since 1975 with 4 years off to work at Cato or in the Reagan... MORE

Krugman on Federal Debt

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Read the following from Paul Krugman in 2003 when the irresponsible people increasing the federal debt (he and I agree here) were Bush and the Republican Congress. Two highlights: That may sound alarmist: right now the deficit, while huge in... MORE

Consumer Warning on Drugs

Regulation
David Henderson
An Indiana woman was recently charged with a crime for buying cold medicine. It's due to a bill signed by that great believer in freedom, George W. Bush, in 2006. Many state governments, including Indiana's, followed suit with their own... MORE

Weird Economics at G-20 Summit

International Trade
David Henderson
From the September 22 Wall Street Journal: Those countries running current account deficits, most notably the U.S., would have to define ways to boost savings. Nations running surpluses -- China, Germany and Japan, among others -- would detail how they... MORE

Data on Canadian Medical Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
"The plural of anecdote is data." (attributed to George Stigler) My wife had breast cancer in 1986 and is an active consumer of information about breast cancer. A few days ago she gave me a link to a web site... MORE

Unintended Consequences of Regulation

Regulation
David Henderson
From yesterday's Wall Street Journal, two good old-style news stories on the consequences of regulation. To Outfox the Chicken Tax, Ford Strips Its Own Vans BALTIMORE -- Several times a month, Transit Connect vans from a Ford Motor Co. factory... MORE

Competition in Media Works

Taxation
David Henderson
When I read that President Obama would make the rounds of all the major network news shows except that of Fox News Channel, I was skeptical that any hard information would come out. But we did see the results of... MORE

The Feds' Attack on Freedom of Speech

Regulation
David Henderson
Not the Fed, as in Bernanke, but the Feds, as in the federal government. Here are excerpts from an AP news story that just came in: The government is investigating a major insurance company for allegedly trying to scare seniors... MORE

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

Taxation
David Henderson
That's a question asked by Louis J. Prues and answered by the Wall Street Journal's Kelly Greene in the weekend Journal. Ms. Greene summarizes the findings of an analysis by Tony Webb, a research economist with the Boston Center for... MORE

Obama's Bait and Switch

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
In the spring of this year, President Obama argued that one reason for health care reform was to get long-term spending on government health care under control. As he recognized and as every scholar and analyst who has studied future... MORE

Jimmy Carter's Ad Hominem

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Former President Carter Presents Us With a Teachable Moment One of the terms most misused in recent years is the charge of ad hominem. Once, when I testified before the Food and Drug Administration and quoted an FDA bureaucrat, Dr.... MORE

One More Step toward Fascism

Regulation
David Henderson
The Wall Street Journal reports the following today: Policies that set the pay for tens of thousands of bank employees nationwide would require approval from the Federal Reserve as part of a far-reaching proposal to rein in risk-taking at financial... MORE

Economics of Mandated Health Insurance

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Today's Wall Street Journal contains an interesting front-page news story about mandated health insurance, focusing on the case of Massachusetts. When Mitt Romney was governor, he pushed through a mandate, with subsidies for low-income people to buy it and taxes... MORE

Me On KQED-FM

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
On Tuesday, September 15, at 9:00 a.m. PDT (noon, EDT), I'll be on KQED-FM (88.5) Forum out of San Francisco, talking about the first anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse. The other guests will be Joe Grundfest of Stanford Law... MORE

Tea and Empathy

Economics of Education
David Henderson
[BTW, I almost made it to the top of Half Dome. Last year, I was intimidated by the series of steep switchbacks just preceding the cables at the top. On Saturday, I got to the switchbacks, felt intimidated again, had... MORE

The Fed's Hold on Economists

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
And celebrity is no shield against Fed excommunication. Paul Krugman, in fact, has gotten rough treatment. "I've been blackballed from the Fed summer conference at Jackson Hole, which I used to be a regular at, ever since I criticized him,"... MORE

Trip to Yosemite

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
I'm heading for Yosemite later this afternoon. My goal: get to the top of Half Dome. I made it almost the whole way last year. If I get to the cables (in this picture from the web--that's not me; that's... MORE

Obama's Contradiction on Health Care: II

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Three commenters on my post last night (ed, mark, and Karl Smith) pointed out, correctly, it turns out, that I missed Obama's point. I accused him of contradicting himself by claiming that he wouldn't put any government funds into the... MORE

Obama's Contradiction on Health Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Here are two segments of Obama's speech this evening. They were within two paragraphs of each other: Despite all this, the insurance companies and their allies don't like this idea. They argue that these private companies can't fairly compete with... MORE

Friedman vs. Bernanke, II

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
As noted in my previous post on this, Tyler Cowen and I have converged: we agree that Bernanke's and Friedman's views on the causes of the Great Depression differed and that, although there is some ambiguity, there is no clear... MORE

The FDA's $2.3 Billion Attack on Free Speech

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Even Google didn't believe it. After Pfizer's $2.3 billion settlement with the Food and Drug Administration was announced, if you were to search for the words "Pfizer 2.3 billion legal settlement," Google responded with, "Did you mean: Pfizer 2.3 million... MORE

Obama's Baby Step on Free Trade

International Trade
David Henderson
Finally, I have something positive to say about Obama's economic policy. Last Thursday the U.S. government lifted a number of restrictions on trade with Cuba. The Treasury Department lifted most restrictions on family travel to Cuba and also lifted limits... MORE

Henderson Speech at Hillsdale College

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
I'll be speaking at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan on September 15. Topic: The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey. Location: Lane 125. Time: 6:45 p.m. Sponsored by: Praxis, a political economy club on campus. Open to the public.... MORE

Labor Day is Not Union Day

Labor Market
David Henderson
The present recession has increased private-sector unemployment to over ten percent, and feckless attempts by government to ameliorate the recession have greatly expanded government employment. I predict that BLS data for 2009 will show government unions crossing the 50 percent... MORE

Casey Mulligan on Employment

Labor Market
David Henderson
Casey Mulligan's blog is a gold mine. My two highlights are his two latest blogs. First, he points out that, according to the household employment data, seasonally adjusted employment last month fell by about 400,000. He attributes some of this... MORE

Implicit Marginal Tax Rate Could be 131 Percent University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan, in his latest NBER piece, finds greater than 100 percent marginal tax rates across a large swath of the U.S. population. How so? From his NBER... MORE

Friedman vs. Bernanke

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
In the back and forth between Tyler Cowen and me, with a lot of heavy hitters commenting, we have actually made progress. I posted the following on August 31: To put it another way, Friedman and Schwartz argued that the... MORE

Capitalism and the Jews

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
My co-blogger, Arnold Kling, posted yesterday on American Jews and politics. I found the articles interesting, but I wonder if any of the Commentary writers are aware of Milton Friedman's attempt to explain why Jews, who have done so well... MORE

More on Monopoly

Microeconomics
David Henderson
My co-blogger, Bryan, posted an excellent piece on the origins of monopoly. I think it also led to one of the highest-quality set of comments I've seen on Econlog. Here's some additional backing for Bryan's points from some of my... MORE

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