Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

David Henderson: September 2010

An Author Archive by Month (33 entries)

Rational Optimist Review

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
This is how I end my review of Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist. I defended it from some of the charges against it by William Easterly. And a book that "only" shows us how economic freedom makes most Americans and... MORE

Dorman on Minimum Wage

Labor Market
David Henderson
A few days ago I posted about economist Peter Dorman's views on the minimum wage and just noticed that a few days later he replied as a commenter. This is my reply to him. Professor Dorman writes: Mainstream empirical research... MORE

Ed Crane on David Brooks

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
David Brooks wrote what I thought of as one of his strangest editorials last month and I didn't get around to commenting on it. Titled "A Case of Mental Courage," it led off with a gruesome story about a woman... MORE

Hedengren et al and Dorman Advance the Ball

Labor Market
David Henderson
In an article in Econ Journal Watch, David Hedengren, Dan Klein, and Carrie Milton present data showing a sharp divide among economists who sign petitions on economic policy issues. They segment the petitions into liberty-reducing and liberty-augmenting. Economists who signed... MORE

The Attack on Civilization

Growth: Consequences
David Henderson
Somewhere along the way, during the last 50 years, the critique of capitalism changed from condemning its failure to spread the wealth to condemning the very opposite. Suddenly the great sin of capitalism was that it was producing too much,... MORE

Goodbye Mini-meds

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
And so it begins. Today, one part of Obama's new health care law kicked in. It's a part that, if enforced literally, is likely to eliminate so-called "mini-med" insurance. As I wrote: But the reason the mini-meds are so affordable... MORE

David Friedman on Nuttiness

Economic Methods
David Henderson
David Friedman has an excellent post titled "What Should Count as Nutty?" It follows two of his earlier posts on Christine O'Donnell. A couple of excerpts: In trying to make sense of all this, I fall back on the observation... MORE

Economists Signing Petitions

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Dan Klein and David Hedengren have a piece at Cato on economists signing petitions. One of their basic findings is how little overlap there is between the group of economists who sign anti-freedom petitions and the group who sign pro-freedom... MORE

Not From the Onion

Taxation
David Henderson
UK Proposes All Paychecks Go to the State First Update at bottom. That's the headline on a CNBC story and these are the first two paragraphs: The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send... MORE

Me on WGN, Chicago

Taxation
David Henderson
Last week, I was interviewed for 16 minutes by Mike McConnell on WGN, Chicago. He was a cut above in his understanding of the various economic issues. My test for whether it's working with the host is whether he invites... MORE

Markets for Everything, Including Bad Grammar

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
Gun Control is when you keep firearms plus guns away from people. Many people think that gun control is right because they think keeping people away from guns will reduce the amount of deaths each year. They also think that... MORE

Caplan On Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
I would say that Bryan Caplan hit a home run with his recent lecture on immigration, but that would be an understatement. Bryan was the Mr. October of economists. He laid out the arguments beautifully and in the right order,... MORE

Real Estate Time Bomb?

Property Rights
David Henderson
One more problem with securitization. This morning, Yves Smith over at Naked Capitalism has a sobering article about a not-very-well-known time bomb in real estate. Here's a relevant section: Given how many sales will be done out of REO, and... MORE

Two Talks in St. Louis

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
On Thursday, September 23, I'll be giving two talks in St. Louis. The first is at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. It's in 411 Woods Hall and, including Q&A, goes from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Title: Seven Myths... MORE

End the Penny

Money
David Henderson
Here's an entertaining criticism of the penny. In 2006, I supervised a thesis in which my student made the case for eliminating the penny. The author, Stephanie King, was at the time a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps. A... MORE

Phil Maymin on Glenn Beck

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
But Beck does not make a single case against immoral government behavior. In fact, he agrees with the principle. And this is the third, and biggest, problem that I have with him. He started and ended his show with the... MORE

Data Bleg on Post-WWII Transition

Business Economics
David Henderson
I'm completing a study on how quickly the U.S. economy transitioned after WWII from a wartime economy with strong elements of central control to a relatively free-market economy. I've got all that. What I'm missing is stories such as, "The... MORE

Are Social Security Commitments a Sunk Cost?

Social Security
David Henderson
In a word, No. In a comment on my post yesterday, Jim Glass writes: This $15 trillion transfer owed to pre-2010 participants is a sunk cost. He goes on to explain: Whether it was a good idea or bad one... MORE

Social Security: The Privatization Shell Game

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Bryan posits a policy in 2005, had Bush succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, of privatizing Social Security. Bryan gives an argument against that. But there's a more basic argument that I made on a late 1990s talk show with Roger... MORE

Hummel on Government Military Pay Policy

Labor Market
David Henderson
Unlike in previous wars, Congress did not wait for World War II's termination to dispense generous social welfare to veterans. An American legion sponsored Serviceman's Readjustment Act, popularly known as the GI Bill of Rights, sailed through Congress in 1944,... MORE

My 2003 Bet

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
I mentioned on my post yesterday that I had made a bet in 2003 about an outcome in the MIddle East in 2008 and that I won my bet, although the other bettor didn't pay up. Interestingly, none of the... MORE

Unemployment Bet

Labor Market
David Henderson
Bryan is right to record bets. In 2003, at the Mont Pelerin Society meetings in Chattanooga, I made a bet about the Middle East for outcomes in 2008. I bet $1,000, her acknowledgement of it was in my computer in-box,... MORE

Taking Up Bryan's Challenge

Economics of Education
David Henderson
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. The above is a famous quote from Mark Twain and it relates to the challenge Bryan posed about whether there any countries in which there is too little education. I... MORE

Martin Wolf on Freedom of the Press

Regulation
David Henderson
[Libertarianism] is hopeless intellectually, because the values people hold are many and divergent and some of these values do not merely allow, but demand, government protection of weak, vulnerable or unfortunate people. Moreover, such values are not "wrong". The reality... MORE

Germany's Economic "Miracle"

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
Larry White has a good op/ed in tomorrow's Wall Street Journal on Germany's post-World-War-II economic miracle. He attributes this correctly to Ludwig Erhard's abolition of Hitler's price controls that the Allies had continued to enforce after the war ended. He... MORE

Unintended, but Totally Predictable, Consequences

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Even though this action was a totally predictable response to the incentives we set up, it's unwarranted and unnecessary. Last April, I posted on how the health care law passed by Congress would likely cause some insurance companies to drop... MORE

More Gangs, Less Crime

Public Goods
David Henderson
Our analysis suggests not that gangs cause violence, but that violence causes gangs. In other words, gangs form in response to government's failure to protect youths against violence. The surprising implication of our insight is that efforts to reduce gang... MORE

The Medicare Fraud in Our Future

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
In tonight's 60 Minutes episode, the lead item was on the huge amount of Medicare fraud that takes place. Scam artists get lists of patients, lists of expensive items they can bill to Medicare, and a bank account. Then they... MORE

Tax Rates, 1990 to Now

Taxation
David Henderson
In a comment on my post, "From the Vault: My Review of Krugman," commenter David C writes: I'd like to point out that on taxes at least, Krugman's position hasn't changed from 1990. He still thinks the tax rates we... MORE

WSJ Survey Biases the Options

Taxation
David Henderson
Greg Mankiw posts about how some economists responded to a Wall Street Journal poll about whether the Bush tax cuts should be extended. According to Greg: 6 percent said no, all the tax cuts should be allowed to expire, 24... MORE

Good News about the Oil Spill

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Terry Hazen, a microbial ecologist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who published a groundbreaking study of microbial activity Tuesday in the online research journal Science Express, has had a team of researchers out in the Gulf since May 25... MORE

From the Vault: My Review of Krugman

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
I was web searching this morning in the Fortune archives--I wrote a lot of articles and books reviews for Fortune between 1983 and the late 1990s--and I came across my December 31, 1990 review of Paul Krugman's 1990 book, The... MORE

David Friedman on Eggs and Quality

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
David Henderson
I had missed David Friedman's post last week on eggs and quality. The whole thing is worth reading. He points out that even though the British government doesn't require vaccination of hens against salmonella, 90 percent of egg producers have... MORE

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