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David Henderson: May 2011

An Author Archive by Month (34 entries)

Minimum Wage and Internships

Labor Market
David Henderson
Co-blogger Bryan raised two good questions the other day about unpaid internships. That gets to one of the points I often make when I talk about the minimum wage in speeches or in interviews: The government is saying, in effect,... MORE

Last week, NPR did a great interview with Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times in which she discusses highlights of her recent book, Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. It's co-authored with Joshua... MORE

U.S. Government as ARM Borrower

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
From my most-recent Mercatus study, "Canada's Reversed Fiscal Crisis," Working Paper No. 11-15, May 2011, co-authored with Jerrod Anderson: The average annual decrease in government expenditures on interest payments due to falling interest rates ranged from about 0.46 percent to... MORE

UCS's Flawed Economic Reasoning

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Last week, I received a request from the Union of Concerned Scientists to sign a letter asking the government to impose even higher miles-per-gallon standards on cars. The letter explains: Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Highway... MORE

John Papola on Teaching Economics

Economic Education
David Henderson
I gave a talk at a joint Institute for Humane Studies/Mercatus Center event in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. One of the other speakers was John Papola who, along with Russ Roberts, made the two Keynes/Hayek videos (here... MORE

End the IMF

International Macroeconomics: Exchange Rates, International Debt, etc.
David Henderson
Various bloggers are talking about who should be the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Here's my nominee: nobody. The IMF should be abolished. I came across an article I wrote in Canada's Financial Post in 1999. I... MORE

Just Say Yes

Family Economics
David Henderson
Bryan's "Yes Mom" post reminded me of a decision I made early in my daughter's life that was one of the best decisions I ever made. I had heard so many parents with teenagers and young adult children express their... MORE

Mr. Smith Goes to Public Choice

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
I woke up early Friday morning and, rather than turning on ESPN, which is my wont, I surfed movies and found that "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" had started only a few minutes earlier. Once I start watching that movie,... MORE

David Friedman on Markets vs. Coercion

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
Earlier today, David Friedman posted a thoughtful piece on a speech by a retired judge who told the audience how badly government works and why they should, therefore, try to make it work better. David points out that the judge... MORE

Tennessee's Roving Bandits

Taxation
David Henderson
Check out this video news story about Tennessee police stopping people and taking their money for keeps, simply on the suspicion that the money was earned on illegal drugs. The whole thing is well worth watching. Here are nine highlights... MORE

Two Favorite Lines of the Week

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
1. From the blogosphere: Look, I think we should assume honesty of scientific peers until we have reason not to. This is from Daniel Kuehn's excellent statement of the strengths and weaknesses of the Conley and Dupor paper on the... MORE

Nikita Khrushchev on War

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
I've been reading John Mueller's excellent book, Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda. I just finished Chapter 3, "Deterring World War III," in which he argues that nuclear weapons weren't necessary to deter World War III because World... MORE

Alan Bock, RIP

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
David Henderson
Alan Bock, a pro-freedom editorial writer for the Orange County Register, died yesterday. I first saw a blog post about his going to a hospice just yesterday. That was fast. Alan was 67: I had actually thought he was younger.... MORE

Steven Levitt's "Daughter Test"

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
It wasn't until the U.S. government's crackdown on internet poker last week that I came to realize that the primary determinant of where I stand with respect to government interference in activities comes down to the answer to a simple... MORE

Good News on California Schools

Economics of Education
David Henderson
California could cut school year by several weeks That's the headline of a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News. The article states: While plans aren't settled or even proposed, Gov. Jerry Brown and other officials have suggested that... MORE

Macaulay on Southey

Economic History
David Henderson
Don Boudreaux reminds us to read, or reread, Thomas Babington Macaulay's classic, "Southey's Colloquies on Society." In it, Macaulay skewers Southey's reasoning or, more typically, lack of reasoning, about modern society. This is the first time I've read it all... MORE

Atlas Shrugged--And I Didn't

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
My title is a takeoff on the title of P.J. O'Rourke's panning of the movie Atlas Shrugged. He obviously didn't like it and, with an eye for detail, noticed the strange world in which cell phones exist but oil pipelines... MORE

Show Me Compassion: Throw Me in Prison

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
Washington Post columnist and former Bush speech writer, Michael Gerson, gives a strange argument against Ron Paul. Paul had defended people's right to put what they want in their own bodies, up to and including heroin. To make fun of... MORE

Richard Ely, Racist and State Worshipper

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Who Was This Guy? As many long-time members of the American Economics Association (I was one for about 25 years) know, one of the famous economists to whom the AEA pays respects is Richard Ely. An annual lecture at the... MORE

Check out this segment from CBS News. Obama is questioned by a woman who just lost her government job--in the zoo. Obama, after hearing where she works, says: 1:25: "Workers like you--for the federal, state, and local government--are so important... MORE

Chapman on Inflation

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
One thing I've always liked about Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman's writing is its high degree of sophistication in economics relative to the usual in regional and even national newspapers. Exhibit A is his column today on inflation. He brings... MORE

All the Medical Care that Money Could Buy

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
I believe we could spend our entire national income on health care. Not by frittering money away, but by spending it on goods and services that even in small ways could improve the odds of better health. (Examples below.) I... MORE

Nyman's Non Sequitur on Health Insurance

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Co-blogger Arnold Kling posted last week on health economist John Nyman's 2004 article, "Is 'Moral Hazard' Inefficient? The Policy Implications of a New Theory," Health Affairs, 23, No. 5: 194-199. I won't repeat Nyman's argument, which is brief. Instead, I... MORE

Happy Mothers' Day

Economic History
David Henderson
One thing I hadn't known is the anti-war, pro-peace aspect of Mothers' Day. An early proponent of Mothers' Day was Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the (pro-war) lyrics to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Maybe she had second thoughts.... MORE

The Feds' Attack on Forest Laboratories

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
At first, the FDA "grandfathered" older drugs. But in 1997, the FDA decided that some older drugs were actually "new drugs." Therefore, Forest needed to navigate the FDA's expensive and difficult new drug approval process. Forest didn't act quickly enough... MORE

Good Short Book in Economics

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Tyler Cowen, in asking for advice on what short book one should read for a good introduction to economics, quotes one of his regular readers as saying, "Henry Hazlett [sic] is out of date." Not so. I gave a talk... MORE

My Response to Nick Schulz

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
David Henderson
I'm used to stories about Brad DeLong deleting comments from his blog that he doesn't like. [Please: this is not an invitation for you to post all your frustrations about Brad DeLong.] It appears (and correct me if I'm wrong,... MORE

A Buck is a Buck

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Nick Schulz takes on Ezra Klein and me, calling our argument "preposterous." Recall that Ezra and I had both argued that in response to 9/11, which I presume Osama bin Laden was behind, the U.S. government spent a lot of... MORE

Gratzer leaves out the tremendous accomplishments of the Liberal Party between 1995 and 2006. Since the early 1960s, when the Liberals won the first of 10 victories in 13 elections, Canadian governance largely focused on welfare statism. Between 1963 and... MORE

Who is "We"?

Regulation
David Henderson
In a comment on my most-recent post, Arnold Kling seems to set up a straw man. I had made the point that if you looked at Osama bin Laden's goals, you would conclude that he achieved a good portion of... MORE

How Osama Won

Regulation
David Henderson
I just finished reading the best piece by Ezra Klein that I've ever read by him. Klein argues that Osama bin Laden achieved many of his goals. One of bin Laden's main goals, claims Klein, was to bankrupt the U.S.... MORE

The Race Between Technology and Oppression

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Will Twitter Undercut Censorship? Although I know my vote doesn't matter and I agree with Bryan Caplan about most of his criticisms of democracy, I'm somewhat of a political junkie. So I've been on line all evening watching the highlights... MORE

Chad Seagren on Service in a Free Society

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Today, while most Americans celebrate, quite appropriately, the killing of a mass murderer, Osama bin Laden, we are likely to hear encomiums to people in the U.S. military. In the May Econlib Feature Article, one member of that military, Major... MORE

Yay is for Apple

Business Economics
David Henderson
After my devastating fire in 2007 in which I lost my computer, I switched from PCs to a Mac. I didn't fall in love with the Mac instantly, as my Mac friends predicted I would. It took about 6 months.... MORE

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