Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

David Henderson: March 2010

An Author Archive by Month (35 entries)

Alan Reynolds on Top Tax Rates

Supply-side Economics
David Henderson
In today's Wall Street Journal, Alan Reynolds has an excellent piece on how much revenue can be expected from the Obama tax rate increases to pay for Obamacare. Bottom line: much less than Obama estimates. Reason: elasticity of taxable income... MORE

Biggest Flaw in Labor Theory of Value

Political Economy
David Henderson
On his blog today, Tyler Cowen responds to the question, "What is the biggest flaw in the labor theory of value?" Tyler does list some sophisticated flaws that have to do with capital and other inputs, but here's my candidate:... MORE

Response on Means Testing

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Bryan writes: I'm a big fan of means-testing the welfare state, but many of my favorite people disagree. I've got a challenge for these hold-outs. Here goes: Right now we already means-test a lot of programs, such as Medicaid, food... MORE

Gary Becker Interview

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
In today's Wall Street Journal, Hoover's Peter Robinson reports on an interview with Gary Becker. Becker is not only one of the world's finest economist, but also one of nicest people I've ever gotten to know. His warmth and benevolence... MORE

Health Care: Finally Some Good News

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Ben Stein writes: But among the glorying, there was little or no mention of my former boss, Richard M. Nixon, and this was a monstrous wrong, one of an innumerable number of wrongs directed at Mr. Nixon. The flat truth... MORE

Great Moments in Property Rights

Property Rights
David Henderson
My back yard is empty, but that does not give Netanyahu the right to put up an apartment complex on it. This is from Juan Cole's article, "Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem does not belong to Jewish-Israelis." The whole thing... MORE

John Dingell's Mask Slips

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
On March 22, on a radio talk show, Detroit-area Congressman John Dingell stated that it would take a long time to get the regulations together to implement Obamacare because, in his words, "it takes a long time to do the... MORE

Varadarajan on Frum

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
Tyler Cowen cited David Frum's analysis of the Congressional Republicans' "mistakes" in the recent health care debate, saying he was "right on the mark." I occasionally like to beat on Republicans too. They aren't called the "stupid party" for nothing.... MORE

Obama's and Kucinich's Conversation

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
I think Bryan has done an admirable job of explaining how the immediate ban on pricing for pre-existing conditions will cause major adverse selection and will break down health insurance as insurance. Arnold says that Tyler Cowen believes the Republicans... MORE

Walter Block on Capitalism

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Walter writes: I readily admit that "capitalism" has a bad press, and its historical use is none too salutary either. But, the enemies of libertarianism are always trying to take words away from us. They have already long ago stolen... MORE

Health Insurance: What Krugman Didn't Say

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Stop Us Before We Cheat Again In his pitch for the Obama health care restructuring, Paul Krugman quotes a Reuters story about a young man who was denied benefits for a pre-existing condition even though he didn't have such a... MORE

My Top Books

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Tyler Cowen led the way by listing the ten books that influenced his worldview most strongly. Then co-bloggers Arnold and Bryan followed. Here are my seventeen, not in order of importance, but in chronological order (the chronology being, of course,... MORE

Oops. My Mistake

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Commenters on my post last night pointed out something I had not been aware of: the special treatment local governments give Bass Pro Shops to set up. It turns out that the store I went to in Manteca last night... MORE

I Love Capitalism, Again

Growth: Consequences
David Henderson
Driving home from skiing today--it was a gorgeous day in California, by the way--I saw a Bass Pro Shops in a city called Manteca. I had only seen it advertised on TV, but had never seen a real one. On... MORE

The Social Security "Trust Fund"

Social Security
David Henderson
The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration. It's time to start cashing them in.... MORE

Does Schooling Create Positive Externalities?

Economics of Education
David Henderson
Last night, I was a guest of San Jose State University's economics department on a bus ride through Pebble Beach, complete with drinks and hors d'oeuvres. The reason for the event: the annual Public Choice meetings are being held in... MORE

Cognitive Dissonance on Vehicle Safety

Regulation
David Henderson
In this morning's Monterey Herald are two articles from the Associated Press, the first co-authored by Ken Thomas and Natasha Metzler and the second co-authored by Ken Thomas and Natasha Metzler. First article headline: Roadway deaths fall to lowest level... MORE

Confusing Health Care and Health Insurance

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
President Obama Walks Into His Own Trap And the insurance companies continue to ration health care based on who's sick and who's healthy; on who can pay and who can't pay. The above is from President Obama's speech in Pennsylvania... MORE

We Smell a Rat

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Which group should the U.S. Food and Drug Administration care about more: humans or rats? That's not a trick question. The FDA's recent decision to reject the drug Horizant suggests that, at least in this case, it cares more about... MORE

Taxation of Unemployment Benefits

Labor Market
David Henderson
On the comments yesterday on my post on the effect of unemployment benefits on unemployment, Noah Yetter wrote: You have to pay taxes on unemployement benefits? Am I the only one who finds this to be unalloyed lunacy? I actually... MORE

My Letter on California Student Protests

Economics of Education
David Henderson
The following by me was the lead letter in my local newspaper, the Monterey County Herald, this morning: Professors went too far In a story Friday about the student protests of budget cuts, The Herald reported, "Some professors took students... MORE

Does standard microeconomics fail when there's a recession? Last week, I addressed the issue of how much of the current unemployment is due to the many extensions of unemployment benefits. In some states you can now receive benefits for as... MORE

Performance Enhancers in Sports

Labor Market
David Henderson
Belsky starts by asking, "Where do you draw the line where enhancement is acceptable?" Verstegen begins by taking about technology is producing better equipment, better technology and specifically discusses how the swimsuit used by athletes in Beijing allowed swimmers to... MORE

More on Callahan

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Arnold called for a real health care debate between him and Daniel Callahan and quoted from his book. Actually, some of that debate has already happened in my review of Callahan's book. Here's what I wrote on one of the... MORE

More Evidence for Block

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
Bryan, in his earlier post today, refers to an excellent quote from Walter Block that I hadn't been aware of. I have some striking evidence for it that suggests that Walter actually understated the case. Here's the story. In about... MORE

Sanctions and Game Theory

Game Theory
David Henderson
Jacob Hornberger had an insightful blog post on Friday in which he applied basic game theory to the issue of sanctions. He didn't use the term "game theory," but he did the key thing that game theorists do: in thinking... MORE

De Rugy on VAT

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Veronique de Rugy recently published an excellent article on the perils of a value-added tax (VAT). She gives a nice history of the VAT along the way. Great paragraph: The first thing to note is that Greece collapsed in spite... MORE

Sloppy Reporting on Greece

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Demonstrators and police clash Friday near the Greek parliament in Athens. Greece has frozen pensions and increased taxes to cut spending by 4.8 billion Euros in a bid to persuade the EU it can avoid default. See A10. So reads... MORE

Another Network Lie about Vehicles

Business Economics
David Henderson
As I wrote here, in the early 1990s, NBC was caught lying about trucks produced by General Motors. I wrote: NBC tried to stage an accident in which a collision would cause an explosion. It didn't work. So NBC rigged... MORE

Though participants agreed there was considerable slack in resource utilization, their judgments about the degree of slack varied. The several extensions of emergency unemployment insurance benefits appeared to have raised the measured unemployment rate, relative to levels recorded in past... MORE

From the Vault: My 1983 Piece on Market for Kidneys

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
I came across this memorandum I wrote while I was the senior economist for health policy with the Council of Economic Advisers. MEMORANDUM COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS December 29, 1983 TO: Bill Poole Geoff Carliner FROM: David Henderson SUBJECT: More... MORE

John Goodman on ObamaCare

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
John Goodman writes: The two most serious defects of ObamaCare were never discussed at the Health Care Summit or in the President's speech this afternoon. I blame the Republicans for that. As a result, things have gotten worse for the... MORE

Logic: Denying the Antecedent

Economic Methods
David Henderson
My favorite part of the introductory philosophy course I took at the University of Winnipeg was the segment on logic, especially on logical fallacies. One of the most common logical fallacies is "denying the antecedent." Here's the example used in... MORE

In Defense of Cato

Economic History
David Henderson
Nathan Smith, a commenter on Arnold's recent post, stated: Cato libertarians are ferociously ignorant about all things foreign-policy-related, ignorant not in the sense of being unaware of facts but of refusing to be influenced by them, and their views are... MORE

GDP Fetishism

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
Econlib's featured article this month is GDP Fetishism by me. Opening graf: When economics professors teach the basics of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), we usually caution our students that it is not a good measure of welfare. Unfortunately, many economists... MORE

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