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David Henderson: June 2013

An Author Archive by Month (26 entries)

Tullock on Advertising

Business Economics
David Henderson
I'm at a Liberty Fund conference on bureaucracy in Brunswick, Maine and I found an interesting passage in one of the readings, Gordon Tullock's The Politics of Bureaucracy. It's an aside on advertising. Tullock writes: Due to the ubiquitousness of... MORE

Better Mixed Economy: Henderson on Litan and Schramm

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
What should be done to increase the growth rate of the sluggish U.S. economy? This is the main issue that economists Robert Litan and Carl Schramm address in their book, Better Capitalism. The book is mistitled. As valuable as many... MORE

Henderson on Kunruether et al

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
But Kunreuther, Pauly, and McMorrow show that when insurance regulators themselves don't cause adverse selection, it tends not to happen. They write: Where adverse selection does potentially occur, and to a serious degree, is in markets where regulation prevents insurers... MORE

Atkinson and Krugman on Tax Rates

Taxation
David Henderson
On May 20, British economist Anthony Atkinson and Paul Krugman had a long discussion about inequality and income tax rates. Atkinson thought the top income tax rate should be 60% and Krugman thought it should be 73%. Apparently, the City... MORE

Prison Sentences: Finally Some Good News

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
One of the scariest facts about the United States is that our governments' rate of incarceration competes for the highest in the world. Why do I say, "competes for" rather than is? Because when a government forcibly keeps its citizens... MORE

Immigration: Anu Bradford's Creative Suggestion

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
One of the biggest issues separating those, like Bryan Caplan and me, who want to allow much more immigration and those who want to limit it to its current level or lower is the issue of the welfare state. Even... MORE

Uncertainty Can Go Both Ways

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
In the latest issue of Regulation magazine is a symposium on carbon taxes. The lead article is by Bob Litterman and then four authors, including me, responded. Here's an excerpt from my piece. On two other issues, I disagree with... MORE

Krugman's Faulty Analogy

Labor Market
David Henderson
I promised earlier to post on a couple of Paul Krugman's posts that caught my eye. In a June 10 post, "Unemployment Benefits and Actual Unemployment: An Analogy," Krugman admits the point that unemployment benefits can increase the unemployment rate... MORE

NSA Surveillance: More Hay and More "Hey!"

Regulation
David Henderson
In a post earlier this week, "NSA Surveillance: A Cost/Benefit Analysis," I quoted John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart's statement, "However, the reaction has continually been to expand the enterprise, searching for the needle by adding more and more hay."... MORE

Here's a great story about Ken Ilgunas, a young man who dug himself out of two years of undergrad student debt. How did he do it? By moving to Alaska, getting a job, and not spending. In two years, he... MORE

Mankiw's Misleading Treatment of Public Goods

Public Goods
David Henderson
In his treatment of public goods in Principles of Economics, 5th edition, Greg Mankiw gives the standard two characteristics of a public good: (1) the good is non-excludable, that is, a person can not be prevented from using it, and... MORE

Apple's E-Books are Pro-Competitive

Business Economics
David Henderson
The Wall Street Journal had an excellent editorial today (print) and yesterday (electronic) on the absurd antitrust suit against Apple. It's titled "Throwing the Book at Apple." Two paragraphs: At the time, prior to the existence of the tablet device... MORE

NSA Surveillance: A Cost/Benefit Analysis

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
However, the reaction has continually been to expand the enterprise, searching for the needle by adding more and more hay. Far overdue are extensive openly published studies that rationally evaluate homeland-security expenditures. The NSA's formerly secret surveillance programs have been... MORE

Krugman on "Unproductive Finance"

Finance
David Henderson
In the last couple of weeks, Paul Krugman's blog has been a target-rich environment. In the next few days, I'll have one or two more posts on recent Krugman posts, but one this morning caught me eye. I'll quote almost... MORE

When Government Cries Wolf

Regulation
David Henderson
Henderson's Law of Warnings: Trivial Warnings Drown Out Serious Warnings If the government were more judicious with its warnings and tried to focus on the high-probability dangers--and this is what governments do in many other countries--lives would be saved. Human... MORE

Free Markets to the Rescue

Regulation
David Henderson
One of my biggest disagreements with fellow libertarians is on the issue of optimism versus pessimism. I tend to be an optimist, while some fellow libertarians--I have in mind my friend Robert Higgs as an extreme example--tend to be pessimists.... MORE

DeLong on Skidelsky on Keynes

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Time passed. The death toll from WWI mounted toward ten million, Keynes became angrier and angrier at this civilization-breaking catastrophe, and angrier and angrier at the politicians who could see no way forward other than mixing more blood with the... MORE

Krugman: Beggar Thy (American) Neighbor

moral reasoning
David Henderson
Either that, or Paul Krugman believes in the Easter Bunny. In his June 6 New York Times column, "The Spite Club," Paul Krugman castigates some Republican governors for refusing to extend Medicaid to a larger population. He writes: No, the... MORE

Daniel Kuehn Follows in George Stigler's Footsteps

Revealed Preference
David Henderson
Correction: Daniel Kuehn is tempted to follow in George Stigler's footsteps. On a short blog post today, Daniel Kuehn, preparing to teach an undergraduate course in the history of economic thought, writes: I wish I could completely skip Marx... does... MORE

What Tyler Cowen Said

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
I have not taken the time this week to go through the huge controversy on the web about the preliminary results on the effect of ObamaCare on health insurance prices in California. That's not to say that I haven't read... MORE

IRS Speakers' Fees

Taxation
David Henderson
Andrew Kaczynski has posted an official report from the Treasury Inspector General that documents the amounts paid for various conferences held by the Internal Revenue Service. Here is a list of speakers and pays for an IRS conference in Anaheim.... MORE

I Don't Have To

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Condi Rice Plays "Hide the Options" My favorite piece ever from Objectivist philosopher David Kelley is his article "I Don't Have To." In it, he takes on the idea that there are these things that we must do or that... MORE

Robert Murphy on Bitcoin

Money
David Henderson
Bitcoin is an ingenious concept that challenges the way economists have traditionally thought about money. Its inbuilt scarcity provides an assurance of purchasing power arguably safer than any other system yet conceived. Critics argue that because of its lack of... MORE

Greg Mankiw's Story

Economic Education
David Henderson
I don't remember what I said next. But I kept talking, and she was polite enough to keep responding. When the train pulled into the station, we boarded, and I sat next to her. We chatted for the next few... MORE

Glass 45 Percent Full

Family Economics
David Henderson
American households have rebuilt less than half of the wealth lost during the recession, leaving them without the spending power to fuel a robust economic recovery, according to a new analysis from the Federal Reserve. From the peak of the... MORE

California's Phony Budget Surplus

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
My personal finances are doing great. I have a "surplus." I saved $1,000 last month after paying all my expenses. Well, not all my expenses. I didn't pay my $1,500 monthly mortgage. But, hey, don't be picky. The above is... MORE

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