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David Henderson: December 2009

An Author Archive by Month (27 entries)

The Gist of Julian Simon

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
In a comment on Bryan Caplan's post today, Steve asks: Could someone please provide a distillation of Simon's work? The link is to his website, where all I can find is a list of published papers. I gave such a... MORE

How Free Markets Make Bad Behavior Costly

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
Although she [Ayn Rand] was normally generous in her responses to general audiences, NBI [Nathaniel Branden Institute] students were held to higher standards. Rand was likely to denounce anyone who asked inappropriate or challenging questions "as a person of low... MORE

Failure to "Get" Hayek

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
When I teach my Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom, I tell a story to illustrate part of Pillar Five, "Information is valuable and costly, and is inherently decentralized." The part this illustrates is the "inherently decentralized" part, which I owe... MORE

Bob Murphy on Krugman

International Trade
David Henderson
Krugman Confuses an Accounting Identity With Causation In a post titled, "Things Free Trade Doesn't Do," Krugman wrote: There are a lot of good things you can say about international trade. But it does not, repeat not, do anything to... MORE

The Lesson of Ebenezer Scrooge

Taxation
David Henderson
When Scrooge wakes up, he realizes that indeed he can change. In my favorite scene in the movie, Scrooge dances around in his nightshirt like a kid in a candy store, celebrating his power to change. And what is the... MORE

Joe Salerno on Central Bankers

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
Central bankers are politicians with tenure. This was economist Joe Salerno's response to Stuart Varney's claim that giving Congress more control over the Federal Reserve would put politicians in charge of monetary policy. (It's at about the 4:09 point.) I've... MORE

More on Economic Sanctions

International Trade
David Henderson
Because discussion after about 12 hours on a given post tends to be ignored, I'm using this post to respond to some of the comments on my previous post. Commenter Mike Rulle argues: It is incorrect to say that people... MORE

The Problem With Economic Sanctions

International Trade
David Henderson
When governments impose sanctions on people in another country, the main goal of the officials who favor the policy is to harm the person or people in charge of that country's government so that they will change their policies. That's... MORE

Double-Digit Inflation Bet with Bob Murphy

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
Like co-blogger Bryan, I am much less pessimistic about inflation than Bob Murphy is. I think inflation will rise, but there's a lot of room between its current level and 10%. Also, I'm less optimistic about inflation long-term than Bryan... MORE

Hayek on Knowledge

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
I don't want to weigh in comprehensively on co-blogger Bryan's claims about Hayek. What I will say is that it's important to distinguish between three claims: (1) the claim that many modern libertarians and economists overrate Hayek (a claim with... MORE

Inspiration from Ayn Rand

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Some of the commenters on my post on Ayn Rand didn't like the fact that the book I discussed revealed some of the pretty-negative parts of Ayn Rand's character. One commenter, Brianna, wrote: What matters in the end are her... MORE

Signaling and Jury Duty

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
A junior colleague of mine, Noah Myung, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cal Tech, told me the following hilarious story. He was a math/econ major at UCLA and had just completed a course on game theory, taught by... MORE

Is Blinder Going Off the Reservation?

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Co-blogger Arnold focused earlier this morning on part of Alan Blinder's Wall Street Journal article, "The Case for Optimism on the Economy." Arnold focuses on what he calls "the job assignment problem." Arnold sees the problem as one of people... MORE

My WSJ Article on Samuelson

Economic Methods
David Henderson
My article on Paul Samuelson's work is in today's (Tuesday's) Wall Street Journal. They cut it by about 600 words to fit the space. My favorite paragraph that appeared is this one: "Let those who will write the nation's laws... MORE

Wall Street Journal on Health Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Today's lead unsigned editorial on health care in the Wall Street Journal is one of the best they have run. One good paragraph: They might have piped up earlier: What they're finally admitting is that all the grandiose talk about... MORE

Borenstein's Biased Reporting

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
I posted last week on Andrew C. Revkin's and John M. Broder's New York Times news story, to show how clever journalists can bias the reader at every turn. In today's local Monterey County Herald appears an Associated Press news... MORE

Ayn Rand and the World She Made

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
I posted briefly on Anne C. Heller's book, Ayn Rand and the World She Made, and have now finished it. It was good from cover to cover. When I finished the last page Sunday night, I turned to my wife... MORE

The Best Sentence of the Week

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
Some students and I, in a special readings class, were working our way through some chapters of David Friedman's law and economics book, Law's Order. In an interesting section where he makes a persuasive case for allowing a market in... MORE

Murphy on Geo-Engineering

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
The option of geo-engineering makes it much safer to continue using fossil fuels and thereby pass on extra trillions of dollars of wealth to the next generation at possibly little or even no cost. So writes Robert Murphy in the... MORE

Last week, I blasted CBS's show 60 Minutes. This week I've come to praise it. 60 Minutes's long segment was with referee Tim Donaghy. I thought it would be a standard story about a guy betting on one side and... MORE

Calomiris on the Financial Crisis

Finance
David Henderson
I posted last month on one part of Russ Roberts' interview with Charles Calomiris. Some of the commenters highly recommended the whole podcast and I agree. I've listened to it twice all the way through and taken notes. Calomiris often... MORE

NY Times' Non-Reporting Reporting

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
If you want to see a great example of a purported news story in which the reporters try to bias the story one way, check out today's New York Times story on Climategate. I preface this by saying that I... MORE

A Glimmer of Hope on Freedom

Regulation
David Henderson
In some ways, Canada has much less freedom of speech than we have in the United States. Specifically, someone can be fined, told to apologize, and prohibited from speaking on the subject again if he engages in certain kinds of... MORE

Dean Baker Nails It on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In a Washington Post story today, reporter Philip Rucker bemoans the fact that the expansion of demand for medical care that would follow from the passage of Congress's health care bill would butt up against a restricted supply of doctors.... MORE

Ridiculous Sentence on Economic Policy

Economic History
David Henderson
Co-blogger Bryan asked for candidates for ridiculous sentences on economic policy. I have one candidate and another possible. The first is the old socialist saw: Production for use and not for profit. The second, which I can't find quickly, is... MORE

Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics in Alexandria

Political Economy
David Henderson
The predecessor to The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics was The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics. I received the following e-mail from Mark Skousen, just back from a trip to Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and Italy (edited for space): I lasted visited... MORE

Ayn Rand Discovers Public Choice

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
He [Parnell Thomas, chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee] tried to placate her [Ayn Rand] with promises of a "whole [new] special hearing devoted to nothing but ideology," where she could bring out "all the facts." She told him... MORE

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