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David Henderson: September 2012

An Author Archive by Month (34 entries)

Welcome Back, McArdle

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Megan McArdle is back blogging regularly. I happened to come across this one: "America Really is Exceptional." It's very good. Some highlights: I actually don't think that the latter point is true; if you plucked an average American (mean, median,... MORE

Ed Crane: An Appreciation

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
In yesterday's mail, I received the last of Ed Crane's bimonthly memos. The Cato Institute, of which he is CEO until Monday, sends it out to people who contribute at least $100 annually to Cato. I'm writing this to express... MORE

Did the Dot.Com Boom Boost GDP Much?

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
In my August 26 post, "U.S. Federal Budget Cuts in the 1990s," I pointed out that U.S. government spending fell from 21.8 percent of GDP in 1990 to 18.4 percent of GDP in 2000, a 3.4-percentage-point drop. I focused on... MORE

The Bottom One Percent

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Instapundit. I blogged briefly about the bottom one percent a few months ago and the Hoover Institution has now published an expanded piece on the issue. Here are the opening paragraphs: We often hear a lot,... MORE

Markets for Everything: Bumping MIT Students

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Normally, schools offer scholarships to entice students to enroll. This year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's business school handed them money to go away. The Sloan School of Management's full-time M.B.A. program, usually about 400 students, was oversubscribed by an... MORE

Why Obama Will Be Re-Elected

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
An article yesterday by Conor Friedersdorf, "The GOP Wasted 4 Years on the Wrong Critique of Obama's Foreign Policy" plus my own observations of Mitt Romney and his apparent strategy now convince me that Barack Obama will be re-elected. Why... MORE

Econ Blog Humor

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Noahpinion has a great send-up of the people who comment frequently on blogs. It leads with, guess what? Libertarians. And the primary blog for libertarians is--you guessed it--our very own Econlog. The one on libertarians is hilarious, as are the... MORE

Milton Friedman on Segregation

Labor Market
David Henderson
This morning, co-blogger Bryan Caplan wrote: Consider the period between 1930 and 1964. What priority did libertarians give to the abolition of Jim Crow laws? How many even considered the issue worth specifically addressing? Towards the end of that time... MORE

Arnold Kling on "Libertarians and Group Norms"

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Still, I think it is unwise to dismiss altogether the case for group loyalty and adherence to group norms. My inclination is to approve of organizations that promote group objectives and attempt to limit individual choices, as long as participation... MORE

A Free Market in Health Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Last Saturday, my wife and I got a glimpse of what a free market in health care might look like. We were driving from Monterey to Santa Barbara to stay in a rented house for the week. Along the way,... MORE

Goodwin's Economix: A Graphic Novel

Economic History
David Henderson
I haven't received a review copy of Michael Goodwin's Economix yet, but I'm not hopeful that it will be good. The first thing I noticed is that in the praise for Economix, only one of the five "praisers" he highlighted... MORE

Krugman Discovers Life Cycles

Income Distribution
David Henderson
I was about to write a post on Paul Krugman's excellent recent post on taxes, but commenter Matthew Lesich on Steven Landsburg's blog beat me to it. Still, comments often get lost and so I'll make the point anyway. In... MORE

Will False Belief in the SIVH Destroy Obama's Candidacy?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Bryan makes a good argument in his post earlier today titled "Will False Belief in the SIVH Destroy Romney's Candidacy?" The evidence against the Self-Interested Voter Hypothesis is strong. But Patrick R. Sullivan's comment should not be missed. He wrote,... MORE

Woolsey and Sumner on QE3

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
The best piece I've seen on QE3 so far is by Bill Woolsey. Even though it's long, there aren't many wasted words. So the whole thing is worth reading. I do want to highlight one important point he makes. Woolsey... MORE

How Economists Helped End the Draft

Labor Market
David Henderson
This is the video of the talk I gave at Middle Tennessee State University Wednesday night. Thanks to Mike Hammock for doing a great job of recording and for inviting me. Mike has given me permission to post this video.... MORE

Malcolm X and the Economics of Crime

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
Co-blogger Bryan has done a good job so far of persuading me that my attraction to Malcolm X when I was 26 years old was unjustified. I'm not complaining. It's always good to realize when one's old thinking was wrong,... MORE

I don't know what the copyright issues are and so, rather than assuming I have the right, I'll simply give this link to an excellent exposition of the Laffer Curve by Tim Groseclose. It's titled "Do High Taxes Raise More... MORE

Feldstein and Rosen on Romney Tax Cut

Taxation
David Henderson
I posted recently about Brad DeLong's correct criticism of a Wall Street Journal op/ed by Martin Feldstein. In the op/ed, Marty claimed that under reasonable assumptions, the 20% cut in marginal tax rates that Romney proposes would be revenue-neutral for... MORE

Individualism: True and False

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
One of my Facebook "friends" (really a friendly acquaintance) linked today to an excellent piece on Salon. It's Jeremiah Goulka's "Why I Left the GOP." In it, he tells how he was a Republican as a young adult and even... MORE

Garett Jones on Krugman

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
I don't know Garett Jones personally nearly as well as co-blogger Bryan does, but I know his work enough that I also recommended him highly as a guest blogger. Rather than discuss his work generally, I want to highlight his... MORE

Commentator Floccina, writing about my post on Social Security yesterday, states: SS is a way for the recipients (old people) to tax workers, therefore the more people getting SS the stronger the program is. That seems obvious, but let me... MORE

Blahous on Social Security

Social Security
David Henderson
Charles Blahous, a research fellow with the Hoover Institution, a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center, and the author of Social Security: The Unfinished Work, is a "public Social Security trustee." He has an excellent piece laying out how... MORE

Biden Calls for Free Market in Health Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
At least for women. He didn't address health care for men. In his acceptance speech for the vice-presidential nomination last night, Joe Biden, surprisingly, called for a free market in health care for women. He stated, to much applause: we... MORE

Milton Friedman on Raising Tuition

Economics of Education
David Henderson
In preparing for my two talks on "How Economists Helped End the Draft," to be given at Berry College on September 11 and at Middle Tennessee State University on September 12, I was perusing Milton and Rose Friedman's autobiography, Two... MORE

Cristina Saralegui, The Dems, and The Reps: Multiple Ironies

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
At last night's Democratic convention, Cristina Saralegui, formerly of the Spanish-language station Univision, spoke. Early in her speech, she made the following comment: I was 12 years old when, like so many cubanos, my parents fled the Castro regime. For... MORE

Gordon on Growth: Parting Thoughts

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
I've laid out Robert Gordon's pessimistic thoughts on U.S. growth here and some of my criticisms here. These are my parting thoughts. Some of them are similar to what some of the commenters have said. First, I'll emphasize the big-picture... MORE

Gordon on Growth: A Critique

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
On Sunday I laid out Robert J. Gordon's reasons for thinking that growth of per capita income in the future for most Americans will be substantially lower than it has been for the last two centuries. I promised a critique... MORE

A Relook at Enron

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
But the historian must look deeper. Was Enron really a free-market, capitalistic company even when its apparent self-interest lay elsewhere? Or were profit centers dependent on tax subsidies, advantageous regulation, or checks written on the U.S. Treasury? Was Enron passive... MORE

My Talk at Middle Tennessee State University

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
On Wednesday, September 12, I'll be giving a talk at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This, incidentally, is Nobel prize winner Jim Buchanan's alma mater. Location: State Farm Room (Business and Aerospace Building room S102) Time: 7:00 P.M.... MORE

Robert J. Gordon on Growth

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
I'm a big fan of much of the work of Northwestern University economist Robert J. Gordon. His latest piece, "Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds," is no exception. I have some criticisms. Indeed, my main... MORE

GOP: Grand Old Politburo

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
One of the best books of the 1990s was Scott Shane's Dismantling Utopia: How Information Ended the Soviet Union. Shane, who was the Moscow Bureau Chief for the Baltimore Sun for the crucial years from 1988 to 1991, argued that... MORE

My Speech at Berry College

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
On Tuesday, September 11, I'll be a giving a talk at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. Time: 7:30 p.m. Location: Science Building Auditorium Title of Speech: How Economists Helped End the Draft. If you're a fan of this blog... MORE

The Federal Reserve as Central Planner

Regulation
David Henderson
John H. Cochrane of the University of Chicago has an excellent op/ed in today's Wall Street Journal, "The Federal Reserve: From Central Bank to Central Planner." [If you are blocked from the Journal, you can go to John's site and... MORE

Stanley Lebergott: A Tribute

Wages and Salaries
David Henderson
I'm working on a blog post for later today or tomorrow on Robert Gordon's important new paper, "Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds." In working my way through it, I read a passage that reminded... MORE

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