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David Henderson: February 2013

An Author Archive by Month (27 entries)

Hummel on Fed's Billion-Dollar Losses

Monetary Policy
David Henderson
The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason. --T.S. Eliot, "Murder in the Cathedral" I was reminded of this quote when reading an e-mail Jeff Hummel sent to a few of his... MORE

Henderson on John Stossel Show

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
John Stossel's show tonight on the Fox Business Channel (9:00 p.m. EST and 6:00 p.m. PST) is about the sequester, budget cuts, crazy government programs, etc. I sat in the green room and watched almost all of it and it's... MORE

Respect for Authority: The Case of Canada

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
Last September, my friend Stephen Cox wrote an excellent obituary of another friend of mine, Ronald Hamowy. Here's one paragraph that got me thinking: Ronald was a professor in the Department of History at the University of Alberta from 1969... MORE

Should Cost/Benefit Analysis Consider Only Benefits?

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
There's no such thing as a free lunch. Don't worry. I'm not going to produce a new insight that cost/benefit analysis should consider only benefits. But the reason for the title of this post is that a logical conclusion to... MORE

Armen Alchian: Teacher

Economic Education
David Henderson
I've written between 45 and 50 op/eds in the Wall Street Journal but never before have I had the intense response--all positive, by the way--that I've had to my Wednesday piece on the late Armen Alchian. I heard from Alchian's... MORE

Sequester: This is Supposed to be Scary?

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
My local newspaper linked to a badly written story about the sequester. The author is Ryan Teague Beckwith of Digital First Media and the piece is titled "Sequester: Seven Specific Cuts the Government is Considering." My comments follow on each.... MORE

"Locally Blonde"

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
A few minutes ago, I went to drop off my shirt and pants and pick up my dry cleaning. I gave Jennifer the slip for my pick-up items. It's pink and they've been using pink slips for some time. Then... MORE

Henderson on Responsibility for Sequestration

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Sam Brock of the NBC affiliate in San Jose came down to Monterey on Wednesday to interview me about the coming sequester of government spending. I didn't realize to what extent the interview would be about "who is to blame."... MORE

The Minimum Wage and Monopsony

Labor Market
David Henderson
There's been a fair amount of discussion on the web lately (here and here, for instance) about the minimum wage and monopsony. As is well known in economics, a skillfully set minimum wage, in the presence of monopsony in the... MORE

Alchian Didn't Do a Lot of Work?

Economic Education
David Henderson
In my Wall Street Journal piece, I quoted Friedrich Hayek saying to me, in 1975: There are two economists who deserve the Nobel prize because their work is important but won't get it because they didn't do a lot of... MORE

Henderson on Alchian

Economic Education
David Henderson
The Wall Street Journal published my piece this morning on the late Armen Alchian and some of his important contributions to economics. Some excerpts follow. The intro: In 1975, I attended a week-long conference in Connecticut at which the star... MORE

Barkley Rosser on Armen Alchian

Economic History
David Henderson
Barkley Rosser has given me permission to reprint his story about Armen Alchian that he told on Marginal Revolution this morning. Here goes: There is a curious story about Alchian from his work at RAND and from just after his... MORE

Armen Alchian, RIP

Property Rights
David Henderson
Armen Alchian died this morning at age 98. He taught me microeconomics my first quarter at UCLA, in the fall of 1972. At the time, he was 58 and in his prime. That was the most demanding economics course I... MORE

Lord Acton on "Power Corrupts"

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
I'm sure that most of you know the famous saying, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I'm also pretty sure that a large percent of you who know the saying also know that it was the famous... MORE

Winship's Numerate Insight on Growth

Growth: Consequences
David Henderson
Brookings Institution economist Scott Winship makes a simple arithmetic point that is a powerful economic one: a lower growth rate starting from a high level can give us higher absolute growth than a higher growth rate starting from a low... MORE

Krugman and a Critic on the Minimum Wage

Labor Market
David Henderson
President Obama has proposed an increase in the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $9.00 an hour. This is after the George W. Bush increase, between 2007 and 2009, from $5.15 an hour to $7.25... MORE

Employers and Immigrants: Response to Bryan Caplan

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In responding to my criticism of his post, Bryan quoted two sentences but left out the sentences that followed in the same paragraph. That omission matters. Bryan also subtly changed the subject. First, the omission. Bryan writes: David is right... MORE

Illegality, Minimum Wages, and Credible Commitment

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Co-blogger Bryan Caplan finds "strange" the claim that "employers prefer to hire illegal immigrants because they don't have to pay them minimum wage or follow other labor market regulations." I don't find it strange at all. First, although I know... MORE

Must Default Be Avoided at All Costs?

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Default must be avoided at all costs and should not be an option on the table. This is from Jason J. Fichtner and Veronique de Rugy, "The Debt Ceiling: Assets Available to Prevent Default," January 25, 2013. What's their reasoning?... MORE

A proposal by the Prince George's County Board of Education to copyright work created by staff and students for school could mean that a picture drawn by a first-grader, a lesson plan developed by a teacher or an app created... MORE

Taken together, the results imply that anti-opium efforts substantially increased the opiate-industry resources flowing to the Taliban. For each kilogram of opium removed from the market, the estimates imply that only one-sixth of a kilogram would have come from Taliban-heavy... MORE

The Feds' Suit of S&P

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
David Henderson
I found two pieces on the federal government's suit of S&P particularly interesting because both make important points I hadn't thought of. First, the Wall Street Journal's editorial page take, which is titled "Payback for a Downgrade?" It's dec line... MORE

Krugman on Gains from Trade

International Trade
David Henderson
Paul Krugman has posted his slides for a lecture on gains from trade. They're excellent. One fun highlight on the last slide is a quote from my fellow Canuck, the late Harry Johnson: Second-best policies are usually recommended by third-best... MORE

Nowrasteh on Guest Workers

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
That is why a robust guest-worker program is needed: to accommodate future flows of migrants. After decades of unauthorized immigration motivated by economic gain, it is fantasy to expect it to stop after legalizing those unauthorized immigrants already here. Let... MORE

Dwight Lee on Socially Responsible Corporations

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
I Can See Subsidies and Import Restrictions If a corporation generously gives to charity, is it socially responsible? Most people would say yes. But economist Dwight Lee, in "Socially Responsible Corporations: The Seen and the Unseen," Econlib's Featured Article for... MORE

College Athletes: Go on Strike!

Labor Market
David Henderson
The latest John Stossel show on Fox Business Network is another home run. In it, he deals with the economics of sports: ticket "scalping," the NCAA's enforcing a monopsony on the labor of student athletes, laws against gambling on sports,... MORE

ObamaCare: Two Ominous Signs

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
In the last few days, there have been two ominous signs about our future under ObamaCare. Both suggest the term "ObamaCare" is more accurate than the more-often used term "Affordable Care Act," because both suggest that the term "affordable" is... MORE

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