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David Henderson: July 2012

An Author Archive by Month (31 entries)

Memories of Milton

Economic Education
David Henderson
As co-blogger Bryan and many others have noted, today would have been Milton Friedman's 100th birthday. Over the years, I have posted appreciations of him and so I don't want to redo it. Instead, I'll link to a few and... MORE

Landsburg on Median Income

Income Distribution
David Henderson
Steve Landsburg has an excellent post today showing that to know what has happened to incomes of various groups, you have to look behind the median. Of course, anyone who has used statistics carefully knows this, but it's amazing how... MORE

Henderson on Cronyism

Regulation and Subsidies
David Henderson
So, why does cronyism occur? In my paper, entitled The Economics and History of Cronyism, released today by the Mercatus Center, I cite two factors: government power over the economy and the discretionary power available to particular government officials. If... MORE

Does Import Dependence Make Us More Vulnerable?

International Trade
David Henderson
An increasing reliance on imports, combined with the fraying of the nation's power grid, highways and rail lines, leaves the United States more vulnerable to the damage of natural disasters and terrorist attacks, according to a report to be released... MORE

Alan Blinder: Banks Don't Pay Taxes

Taxation
David Henderson
Oh, and, by the way, the federal government is a taxpayer. In an op/ed in Monday's Wall Street Journal, "How Bernanke Can Get Banks Lending Again," Princeton University economist Alan Blinder writes: But suppose it doesn't work. Suppose the Fed... MORE

Some Economics of Sanctions on Iran

International Trade
David Henderson
The experience with sanctions on Iran suggests some of the difficulties. In that case, the internal group likely to benefit most from sanctions is the Pasdaran, or Revolutionary Guards, which, coincidentally, may also prove to be the group most in... MORE

The Economics of the Olympics

Economic History
David Henderson
There's a widespread view that holding the Olympics must be a money-losing proposition. One of our frequent commenters, Tom West, expressed that view recently. That view is understandable because losing money has been the norm. When the Olympics were held... MORE

Does Peggy Noonan Understand Comparative Advantage?

International Trade
David Henderson
In the controversy surrounding the uniforms of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, the problem isn't China. That the uniforms were made there is merely a deep embarrassment and a missed opportunity. Our textile and manufacturing companies deserved that work. You... MORE

California: Land of the Free

Regulation
David Henderson
I went on line a few days ago to order some vitamins. One of the items I ordered was Green Tea Complex. When I tried to place the order, I got a message in red saying that I couldn't order... MORE

August 1: Freedom for Western Canadian Wheat Farmers

International Trade
David Henderson
On August 1 this year, the Canadian government's monopsony over western Canadian wheat will end. For 68 years, farmers in western Canada have been able to sell their wheat legally only to one entity: the Canadian Wheat Board. But starting... MORE

Hummel on Graeber

Money
David Henderson
Jeff Hummel sent me a critique of David Graeber's book, Debt: The First 5000 Years. Jeff has given me permission to run an edited version. Here it is: I have read David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years thoroughly and... MORE

Unintended Consequences of Intervention

Political Economy
David Henderson
Many libertarian and conservative economists I know are good at pointing out the unintended, and usually negative, consequences of domestic government policy. But a smaller subset of these people seem willing to look at foreign policy with the same skeptical... MORE

Mitt Romney's Passion

Business Economics
David Henderson
I don't think of Mitt Romney as a passionate man. But there is one area in which I think he shows some passion: defending businesses and corporations from hostile attacks. I saw this when he argued that "corporations are people."... MORE

Markets Don't Ration

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
For example, Uwe Reinhardt, an economics professor and advocate of government-controlled medicine, writes, "In short, free markets are not an alternative to rationing. They are just one particular form of rationing. Ever since the Fall from Grace, human beings have... MORE

Ezra Klein: Pass Laws, Be Productive

Revealed Preference
David Henderson
Ezra Klein claims that the current Congress is "one of the very worst congresses we have ever had" and then claims to "prove it." He gives 14 reasons. Reason #1 is "They're not passing laws." What's his implicit assumption? That... MORE

In January 1997, Red Herring magazine, now defunct, published a debate between Paul Krugman and me. It was titled "Does Technology Create Jobs?" Here's one of his key paragraphs: It's also true that higher profits generated by the new technology... MORE

A Short History of Gasoline Price Controls

Economic History
David Henderson
In the Weekend Interview in today's Wall Street Journal (WSJ editor Rob Pollock interviews George Shultz), Shultz says the following: And one thing you know from experience is when you control the price of something, you end up getting less... MORE

Stossel on Jobs

Labor Market
David Henderson
While watching the last 15 minutes or so of the latest Stossel program on Fox Business last night, I became aware that I had a smile on my face and was feeling positive and optimistic. Why? Because during those minutes,... MORE

Robert Murphy on Global Warming

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Robert Murphy has a first-rate piece on global warming in which he covers some important new ground. First, here's ground he and I (in a post on his earlier article) have already covered but he says it particularly well: Yet... MORE

Does Econometrics Resolve Issues?

Economic Methods
David Henderson
Bryan Caplan's statement, "In social science, the best arguments prove more than the best studies," reminds me of a conversation I was in earlier this week. Economist Jeff Hummel said he couldn't think of even one controversial issue that had... MORE

Part-Time Jobs and Climbing Trees

Human Capital: Returns to entrepreneurs, skills, etc.
David Henderson
In a comment on my post on Walter Williams's book, "liberty" writes: It seems to me that sometimes when free market individualists swoon over the benefits of gaining a work ethic, including having many jobs when young and learning from... MORE

Thomas Ricks's Fiasco

Labor Market
David Henderson
In late June, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the former commander of international forces in Afghanistan, called for reinstating the draft. "I think if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk," he said at... MORE

Henderson on Robert Guest

International Trade
David Henderson
His basic argument is that migration of people across borders creates, in the United States particularly, not so much a melting pot as a "rich stew." (This is not a quote from the book; it's actually from Cato Institute senior... MORE

Up From Poverty

Labor Market
David Henderson
"Up From Poverty" is the title of my review [scroll down to page 12] of Walter Williams's book, Up From the Projects: an Autobiography. Why do I review an autobiography in a publication titled Regulation? Here's why: When economists want... MORE

Barro on Marginal Utility and Wealth Transfers

Economic Education
David Henderson
In an otherwise good article defending Tyler Cowen, Josh Barro states the following: There is declining marginal utility of money: A person who makes $10,000 gets more value out of an extra dollar than a person who makes $100,000 does.... MORE

Joffe on LIBOR

Finance
David Henderson
As many readers probably know, there has been a huge scandal recently about the setting of the London InterBank Offer Rate (LIBOR). This is the rate used around the world on literally trillions of dollars in loans, including many mortgages.... MORE

Adam Smith on U.S. Independence

International Trade
David Henderson
Here is what Adam Smith wrote in 1776 (in The Wealth of Nations) about the odds that the British government would voluntarily give up control over the 13 colonies. Notice his clear distinction between what he thought the British government... MORE

McKenzie's Defense of Apple

Business Economics
David Henderson
Interestingly, since 2010, when Apple and the publishers were supposedly conspiring against consumers, e-book sales have escalated by several hundred percent and as a percentage of all book sales, perhaps, in part, because of the so-called "anticompetitive conspiracy." That fact... MORE

It Lost 244% of Its Value? Impossible

Statistical theory and methods
David Henderson
In an otherwise good article in today's Wall Street Journal, "Just Say Nein to Eurobonds," Matthew Will writes: From 1980 to the launch of the euro in January 1999, the Italian lira and Portuguese escudo lost 108% and 244% of... MORE

Basic Research Does Not Equal Technology

Business Economics
David Henderson
One of the best articles by the late William A. Niskanen, which I used to great effect in my recent "Energy Economics" course, is his take-apart of "Bacon's Chain." The article is titled "R&D and Economic Growth: Some Cautionary Tales,"... MORE

Henderson on Shiller

Finance
David Henderson
My review [scroll down] of Robert Shiller's Finance and the Good Society is out in the latest issue of Regulation. A highlight about the finance portion: On the issue of crises, the main financial crisis in our future is likely... MORE

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