Bryan Caplan, David Henderson, and Arnold Kling

David Henderson: March 2012

An Author Archive by Month (30 entries)

My Review of Bruce Bartlett

Taxation
David Henderson
My review of Bruce Bartlett's latest book, The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform -- Why We Need It and What It Will Take is on-line. Two paragraphs from early in my review: Bartlett's bitterness about his firing has turned... MORE

Krugman on Supreme Court Reasoning About Health Insurance

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
In his column today, "Broccoli and Bad Faith," Paul Krugman goes after the conservative judges on the Supreme Court for their lack of understanding of health insurance and their "self-evidently absurd" claim about coercion. First, the analogy between health insurance... MORE

Is the Pool of Liberty Drying Up?

Economic History
David Henderson
This is the title of a blog post by Ted Levy. I'll save you the suspense: his answer is yes. In his post, he takes on the views of David Boaz and Brink Lindsey that liberty is increasing. Levy gives... MORE

Henderson and Gochenour on "Presidential Greatness"

Political Economy
David Henderson
My co-author, Zachary Gochenour, and I have posted our article, "War and Presidential Greatness," on line here. Here's the abstract: Historians and journalists commonly survey other historians on the relative "greatness" of American presidents, and these rankings show remarkable consistency... MORE

George Selgin on "The Bernank"

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
George Selgin has an excellent commentary on Ben Bernanke's maiden lecture on monetary policy at George Washington University. Not only does George dispel myths that most people believe, but also he dispels myths that I believed. An incomplete list of... MORE

The Problem with a Variable Tax on Gasoline

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
"Let's make our demand for gasoline even more inelastic." Other economists suggest a gasoline tax that would increase as gasoline prices fall toward a predetermined floor and decrease as pump prices rise above it. This way, OPEC countries would be... MORE

On April 6, 2010, an AT&T Inc. manager pondered a drop in volume in the company's government-subsidized service for hearing-impaired callers. Reassuring a colleague in an email, the manager said she was "not ready to throw up flags" because "it... MORE

Nordhaus's Global Warming Graph

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
In a recent article in the New York Review of Books, Yale University economist William Nordhaus presents a graph showing changes in global mean temperatures from 1880 to 2011. Take a look. The data appear to be annual and he... MORE

Bob Murphy on the Heartland Institute

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
The ever-productive Bob Murphy, a regular at Econlib Feature Articles, has a good article today on "L'Affair[e] Heartland." In it, he reminds the reader to read Megan McArdle's excellent reporting on the issue. One excerpt: Not only did McArdle keep... MORE

Michael Mann: I Don't Argue

Economic Methods
David Henderson
What Would Deirdre McCloskey Say? The article's online headline claims I "argue" that fossil-fuel burning is driving climate change. But communicating scientific facts is not arguing. Every national academy of science in the world, including our own, agrees that climate... MORE

Gasoline "Demand:" Find the Flaw

Economic Education
David Henderson
If the Department of Energy is to be believed, weekly gasoline demand has fallen 7% on average from a year ago, to its lowest level since 2001. But few market observers believe it. The Energy Information Administration's weekly report on... MORE

The Thai Economy

International Trade
David Henderson
Earlier this month, I returned from a 10-day trip to Thailand. Here are some impressions of the Thai economy: "street-level" impressions, not impressions based on looking at aggregate data. Also, I didn't make it to Bangkok, spending the whole time... MORE

An Early Stanley Fish Moment

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
The Stanley Fish op/ed that I posted about on Sunday was shocking. I appreciate many of the thoughtful comments people made. I've had more time to think about it and I remembered an evening when I was about 14, a... MORE

David Friedman on Nordhaus and Boyer

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
[E]arth's climate was not designed for us, hence there is no a priori reason to assume that large negative results due to a few degrees of warming are more likely than large positive ones. This is from David Friedman's latest... MORE

Stanley Fish: "Might Makes Right"

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
I know the objections to what I have said here. It amounts to an apology for identity politics. It elevates tribal obligations over the universal obligations we owe to each other as citizens. It licenses differential and discriminatory treatment on... MORE

Public Radio International, to its credit, after some digging into claims made against Apple by Mike Daisey, not only found that he told a number of lies but also retracted its previous coverage in which PRI had assumed that he... MORE

Scott Sumner on The Great Stagnation

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
Scott Sumner writes: In other words, most economists now see the US trend rate of RGDP [real GDP] growth as being something like 1.5%. After 150 years of 3% trend, that's a startling downshift. Tyler Cowen is no longer a... MORE

Sunk Cost in War

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
I am used to people making the sunk cost fallacy when discussing war, that is, in one of the most important cases in which not to commit the fallacy. So I was pleasantly surprised by a segment on The O'Reilly... MORE

Like Byran Caplan and Karl Smith, I think conversational evidence is important to pay attention to. And like Bryan, and unlike Karl, I do hear lots of conversation about the effect of marginal tax rates (MTR), especially on spouse's labor... MORE

Property Rights ARE Human Rights

Property Rights
David Henderson
One of the left's most effective canards has been its alleged distinction between property rights and human rights. The fact is that property rights are human rights. My right to my computer--my property--is not my computer's right to itself. It's... MORE

Gold and Oil Prices

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Oil prices aren't high right now. In fact, they are unusually low. Gasoline prices would have to rise by another $0.65 to $0.75 per gallon from where they are now just to be "normal". And, because gasoline prices are low... MORE

Does Obama Bear Responsibility for the Increased Gasoline Price?

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Cato Institute scholars Peter van Doren and Jerry Taylor write that President Obama is not responsible for the spiraling price of gasoline. They correctly blame the price increase on the increase in the price of oil. They focus on the... MORE

Crowding In

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Austin Keegan kneels on a tiny footbridge on Garrapata State Park's Rocky Ridge Trail and replaces a damaged plank with pre-cut lumber from home. "It's just basic maintenance," he says. "It needs to be done."
 His pal David Thiermann, carrying... MORE

In recent years I've noticed more and more people misusing the terms "begging the question" or "begs the question." They use it as if "begging" and "begs" are synonyms for "raising" and "raises." But "begging the question" has a specific... MORE

Minimum Wage: Charles Murray Surrenders

Labor Market
David Henderson
As co-blogger Bryan noted earlier today, Charles Murray advocates requiring that internships pay the at least the minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour at the federal level. Is this because he, a perceptive and economically literate analyst, does not understand... MORE

Thomas Sowell on the Koch, Cato Controversy

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
David Henderson
Why Oswald Rabbit Isn't as Famous as Mickey Mouse In his book, Knowledge and Decisions, one of my favorite books he has written, Thomas Sowell, in a section on "The Physical Fallacy," writes: A revealing episode in the early career... MORE

Moreover, contrary to widely accepted conventional arguments on the subject, free-market sales of bodily organs can actually lower their effective prices. In this article, we focus on the market for transplantable kidneys, but only for purposes of illustration. The points... MORE

Was the 2001 Tax Cut Regressive?

Taxation
David Henderson
In a post today, Paul Krugman approvingly cites Jonathan Chait's claim that the Bush tax cut of 2001 was regressive. Chait wrote: When George W. Bush proposed a huge, regressive tax cut in 2001, Snowe, sitting at the heart of... MORE

Retired U.S. Admiral: Iranians are Human Too

International Trade
David Henderson
Does Bob Schieffer Owe Ron Paul an Apology? ADM. FALLON: Yeah - just to add, if I could, to what General Cartwright said: I think it's really important that at the end of the day, these are people - 70,000,000... MORE

Tear Down These Walls

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia's or Egypt's? If so, what, exactly? If not, what is it about the "nature of India" that makes it so?... MORE

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