Bryan Caplan, David Henderson, and Arnold Kling

David Henderson: August 2011

An Author Archive by Month (29 entries)

What I Thought, at Age 16, Academia was Supposed to Be

Economics of Education
David Henderson
And the company offers a treasure trove of traditional academic content that undergraduates paying $50,000 a year may find nowhere on their Club Med-like campuses. This past academic year, for example, a Bowdoin College student interested in American history courses... MORE

The Economics of Gifts

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
The Institute for Humane Studies did an interview with George Mason University economist Chris Coyne just before Valentine's Day on the economics of gifts. Chris lays out one of the standard claims that economists have made about gifts: that to... MORE

Top Economist's Headache

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
In my tribute to the late Bill Breit of Trinity University, I promised to retell a story from my book, Making Great Decisions in Business and Life, co-authored with Charley Hooper. Here it is: A Nobel prize-winning economist was to... MORE

Notes from My Tea Party Talk

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Last Thursday I gave a talk to the Tea Party Patriots of Monterey County. I had not had much connection with local tea partiers since the speech I had given at their July 4 event in 2009. My talk was... MORE

Guitar Felons

Business Economics
David Henderson
Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry... MORE

Bill Breit, RIP

Political Economy
David Henderson
I just learned from Don Boudreaux that economist Bill Breit died on Thursday. He was 78. I first heard of him in the fall of 1971 when I was doing a make-up year in undergrad economics and one grad economics... MORE

Me on Willis Report Today

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
I'll be on the Willis Report on Fox Business Channel today to give my thoughts on this morning's speech by the "The Bernank." Or should we call him "Central Bank Bernank?" I'll probably discover my inner Scott Sumner as well... MORE

Poor Have Higher Time Values than We Thought

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
What I call health policy orthodoxy is committed to two propositions: (1) The really important health issue for poor people is access to care and (2) to insure [sic] access, waiting for care is always better that paying for care.... MORE

Leon Panetta: Wars Will Go On Forever

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
At a speech that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey yesterday, I posed the following question: Good morning, Mr. Secretary. I'm David Henderson, an economics professor here in the Graduate School of Business and... MORE

Price Controls Cause Doctor Shortage in Canada

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
So I used the Health Care Options Directory on the same government website.This allows you to plug in your postal code and find all family doctors listed within a certain radius. It is a particularly soul-destroying experience. The opening page... MORE

Media Watch: Man Bites Dog

Economic Education
David Henderson
In my local paper, the Monterey County Herald, this morning, on the front page above the fold is the following headline: "GOP may approve payroll tax hike." It was a shocking headline and the story, by Charles Babington of the... MORE

The Numerate John Mueller

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
The public has now endured a decade of dire warnings about the imminence of a terrorist atomic attack. In 2004, the former CIA spook Michael Scheuer proclaimed on television's 60 Minutes that it was "probably a near thing," and in... MORE

What Happened to the Mixed Economy?

Economic Education
David Henderson
Open up any principles of economics textbook written between the 1950s and the early (and maybe even late) 1970s, and the odds are high that it will say that the United States has a mixed economy. One part of the... MORE

How I Fought Envy, Part 3

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Here's the third installment (for the first two, see here and here) in how I have fought my envy over the years (taken from The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey.) The third thing that helps me when I feel... MORE

Response to Thomas Boyle

Regulation
David Henderson
Commenter Thomas Boyle points out the following counterexample to Steve Horwitz's claim that the price of almost everything, in labor hours, has fallen: In 1947, the airplane [the Piper Cub] sold for $2,400, or about $25,000 adjusted for inflation to... MORE

Steve Horwitz on Cost of Living

Growth: Consequences
David Henderson
LearnLiberty has an excellent short video featuring St. Lawrence University economics professor taking on the myth that the cost of living has risen over the years. He does it in two ways: 1. First, he looks at the prices of... MORE

Robert Frost and Michele Bachmann on Walls

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Frost: Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence. Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down.' From... MORE

How I Fought Envy, Part 2

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I promised in my post two days ago to tell the other two steps I used, and, truth be told, still occasionally must use, to fight my envy. Here's the next passage from my book, The Joy of Freedom: An... MORE

Betty Yee's Outrageous Untruth

Taxation
David Henderson
Having just returned from my vacation in Canada, I got around to reading tax advocate Betty Yee's side of the "Amazon tax" issue. Yee is a member of the California Board of Equalization. I had argued against the tax but... MORE

Paul Krugman's Switch on the Housing Bubble

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
From advocate to opponent. Advocate: The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn't a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when... MORE

How I Fought Envy

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I totally agree with Bryan Caplan's post on envy. Well done, Bryan. And I can say from personal experience that I fought it in myself. Some excerpts from my chapter, "Whose Income, Who's Distributing?" in my The Joy of Freedom:... MORE

Last week, Mitt Romney, in a rare moment of passion, said that "corporations are people." Of course, they're not. But if you watch the 20-second YouTube, you'll see from context that he wasn't really saying that. He was really saying... MORE

A Day That Should Live in Infamy

Regulation
David Henderson
Today is the 40th anniversary of President Nixon's announcement of price controls on the American economy. He imposed an immediate freeze on all wages and prices that lasted for 90 days. Then he went through the various phases of control,... MORE

Hayek in "Unbroken", Part Two

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Another excerpt from Unbroken (I posted on this yesterday) that illustrates the relative importance of local knowledge, a la Hayek: Many other great runners also enlisted [in the U.S. military during World War II]. When Norman Bright tried to sign... MORE

Hayek in "Unbroken"

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
I just finished reading Lauren Hillenbrand's Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, on my vacation. I highly recommend it. One excerpt: He [Pete, Louie Zamperini's older brother] told the principal that Louie craved attention but... MORE

James Bovard on the Peace Corps

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
"The toughest job you'll ever love." Robert E. White, Peace Corps regional director for Latin America, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1970, "In the early days ... it was like a parachute drop. A Volunteer would be told,... MORE

Summers Way Off on FDR and 1941

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
But for Hitler and the military buildup up he caused, FDR would have left office in early 1941 a failure, with American unemployment above 15 percent. This is from Lawrence Summers, "More Stimulus Needed For Jobs Crisis," in the Huffington... MORE

The "Amazon" Tax

Taxation
David Henderson
Economists generally think that competition is good. Competition among computer makers causes prices to be lower. So does competition among airlines, rental car companies and insurance companies. Why would competition among tax authorities be bad? But, says the pro-tax side,... MORE

Metaphors for the Economy

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
A much more accurate metaphor for the economy is an ecosystem. We are simultaneously independent and interdependent. We can no more fix an economy than we can fix a rainforest or a coral reef. At best, we can leave it... MORE

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