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David Henderson: January 2010

An Author Archive by Month (30 entries)

Bhagwati vs. Blinder

International Trade
David Henderson
My review of Jagdish Bhagwati and Alan S. Blinder, Offshoring of American Jobs, appears in the latest issue of Regulation. I show that although Bhagwati had accused Alan Blinder of dropping his belief in free trade, the accusation was unfounded.... MORE

Art Carden on SOTU

Labor Market
David Henderson
Over at the "Division of Labor" blog, Art Carden has a great post on President Obama's State of the Union address. (Unfortunately, clicking on the link takes you to the site but not necessarily to the specific post.) Rather than... MORE

Gunnar Myrdal on Minimum Wages

Labor Market
David Henderson
Yesterday, Chris Koresko, one of the commenters on my post on how the minimum wage had helped destroy the tuna canning industry in Samoa, stated: Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my vague memory is that the first minimum... MORE

Insuring Kenyan Cattle

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
David Henderson
A new insurance scheme has been launched in northern Kenya which offers herdsmen a chance to protect their livestock against drought. The initiative uses satellite technology to check the pasture available for the herders. This is from "Satellite Images Help... MORE

O'Grady on Haiti

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
You can't make this stuff up. Apparently-serious people are suggesting that Bill Clinton be made the aid czar. Mary O'Grady of the Wall Street Journal says why this is a bad idea. An excerpt from her piece: According to sources... MORE

60 Minutes "Gets" Minimum Wage, Kind Of

Labor Market
David Henderson
The island [Samoa] may lose its tuna industry. One cannery, Chicken of the Sea, has left. And because the U.S. Congress wanted to help Samoa by imposing American minimum wage, Governor Tulafono is worried that the last cannery, Starkist, could... MORE

Too Small to Succeed?

Finance
David Henderson
Indeed, one of the major contributors to bank failures during the Great Depression was the National Banking Act of 1864. That law, according to monetary historian Jeff Hummel, an economist at San Jose State University, banned any branching (interstate or... MORE

Adverse Selection by Law

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Finally, Krugman admits the problem with a ban on pre-existing conditions clauses in health insurance. From Paul Krugman's column today: Suppose, for example, that Congress took the advice of those who want to ban insurance discrimination on the basis of... MORE

In his latest TV ad for subsidies for wind-generated power, T. Boone Pickens states words to the effect: Much of our oil is imported from countries that hate us. Pickens uses this to argue that the U.S. government should subsidize... MORE

Here's what Megan McArdle advocated today: eliminate the tax-deductibiity of health insurance benefits for people making more than $150K a year in household income, $100K for singles. So now imagine that you're a married person with a family and you're... MORE

Let Them In

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Jacob Hornberger has an interesting post today comparing Obama and FDR. FDR prevented Jews from immigrating from Europe in the late 1930s. Had he let them in, he would have saved lives. Obama's military is broadcasting to Haitians not to... MORE

Huge News Story I Missed in December

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
MItch McConnell Enabled Obamacare Just before Christmas, I read somewhere that Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the U.S. Senate, had made it easier for Harry Reid to pass the ugly Senate health care bill. I hadn't understood it at... MORE

How to Give to Haiti?

Income Distribution
David Henderson
I'm convinced that I want to give money to help people in Haiti. I haven't done so yet because I haven't found the right charity. Tyler Cowen has suggested two but I was underwhelmed by his suggestions. Some have said... MORE

Gifts in Kind vs. Gifts in Money

Revealed Preference
David Henderson
A standard thing we teach our students is that it's more efficient to give money to people than to give stuff. Here's a beautiful statement of the point by Alanna Shaikh, a global health professional. An excerpt: Donating stuff instead... MORE

David Henderson vs. Mark Weisbrot on January 17

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
On Sunday, January 17 (tomorrow), I'll be debating Mark Weisbrot on the big issues: capitalism vs. socialism. You can listen to it live here at 11:00 a.m. PST (2:00 p.m. EST). I was supposed to debate Harold Meyerson, who writes... MORE

Hayek and Central Planning

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
As I've posted about earlier, to understand why socialism must fail, you need to understand Hayek's argument (which he drew from Ludwig von Mises and elaborated on) that the information that's most valuable is information held in the hands of... MORE

Go Quietly, Old People

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
My review of bio-ethicist Daniel Callahan's new book, Taming the Beloved Beast: How Medical Technology Costs Are Destroying Our Health Care System, was posted on-line yesterday. In it, Callahan advocates rationing health care to the elderly, not allowing them to... MORE

In Praise of Facebook

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Over the Christmas holiday, I was talking to a young man I know who works for Facebook. He said that he ultimately wanted to go to graduate school so that he could be of service to people. I told him... MORE

Jonathan Gruber and Me

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Jonathan Gruber has gotten some negative press for not revealing that he received substantial payments from the Obama Administration while also writing a Washington Post article favoring Obama's proposed government interventions in medical care. The main thing I would add... MORE

Avatar as a Defense of Property Rights

Property Rights
David Henderson
In fact, Avatar is a powerful antiwar movie - and a defense of property rights. For that reason, I found it easy to identify with those whose way of life was being destroyed by military might. This is from my... MORE

Friedman and Schwartz Speak Truth about Power

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
One of my favorite parts of Milton Friedman's and Anna J. Schwartz's modern classic, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, is a lengthy footnote on pp. 463-64. It's their explanation of why they think the reported amount of... MORE

Hook-onomics

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
My review of Pete Leeson's book, The Invisible Hook, is on the web at Regulation magazine. Highlights: Despite the book's title, a takeoff on Adam Smith's "invisible hand," Leeson does not claim that pirates were led by their self-interest, as... MORE

Rubin on Palin

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
I'm glad Arnold called our attention to this piece on Palin by Jennifer Rubin. I thought Rubin nicely explained the visceral reaction many Jews, including one woman I'm very close to, have to Palin. I'm not a Palin fan and... MORE

From the Vault: My 2006 Piece on Bernanke

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
Every once in a while, someone asks an easy question. Scott Sumner asked one: Are academics allowed to present someone else's paper in a seminar (if we correctly identify the author?) The answer is unequivocally YES. Here's one of my... MORE

Balance of Payments

International Trade
David Henderson
The latest Freeman just came on-line and carries my piece on the Balance of Payments. It's basic economics that many people who read this blog already know but also many probably don't. Some highlights: Quick. What's the trade deficit between... MORE

The Economics of the Microsoft Case

Regulation
David Henderson
I don't know when it happened, but my review of Page's and Lopatka's excellent book on the Microsoft antitrust case is on-line. It appeared in the Fall issue of Regulation. It's both here and here. My two favorite paragraphs from... MORE

The Economics of Illegal Drugs

Taxation
David Henderson
WSJ article gets a lot right and a little wrong. A recent article by David Luhnow in the Wall Street Journal, "Saving Mexico," contains a lot of good economic analysis of the market for illegal drugs, as well as a... MORE

Predictably Irrational or Predictably Rational?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
This is not to say that people are "perfectly rational." "Perfect rationality" as a statement of human nature, as distinguished from a theoretical device, makes for evolutionary nonsense. Had hominids sought to achieve perfect rationality in their decisions, they would... MORE

Consumer Surplus from Cancer Drugs

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Between 1988 and 2000, life expectancy for cancer patients increased by roughly four years, and the average willingness-to-pay for these survival gains was roughly $322,000. Improvements in cancer survival during this period created 23 million additional life-years and roughly $1.9... MORE

Are Economists Cheap? Or Just Rational?

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
Today's weekend Wall Street Journal carries a hilarious story about how cheap some economists are. Three stories from the piece and then my thoughts. Highlights: Children of economists recall how tightfisted their parents were. Lauren Weber, author of a recent... MORE

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