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David Henderson: November 2013

An Author Archive by Month (26 entries)

David Friedman on the Precautionary Principle

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
In the mid to late 1980s, I used to do 5 or 6 book reviews a year for Fortune magazine. My editor then was the late Dan Seligman, a legend at Fortune. He was the most economically literate journalist I... MORE

An Exemption is not a Credit A steeply progressive income tax combined with generous dependent deductions ($500 originally, later raised to $600) played some unquantifiable part in stimulating the Baby Boom and family stability for a generation after the war.... MORE

The Pigou Club Reconsidered

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Last Friday, I highlighted Ross McKitrick's exposition of the argument that taking account of the "tax interaction effect" (TIE) leads to the conclusion that the optimal Pigovian tax on carbon is less, and possibly substantially less, than the one that... MORE

GDP: A Bad Measure of Well-Being

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
Picture this: The U.S. government finally sells the Postal Service. As with other functions moved from the government to the private sector, the privatized post office does what the government did for about half the cost. So, with prices correspondingly... MORE

Friday Night Video: McKitrick on Carbon Taxes

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
If you have paid much attention to the debate about carbon taxes, you know that there is a "Pigou Club," of which Harvard economist Greg Mankiw is a founding member, and that these members advocate a tax on carbon.... MORE

Paul Gregory's Case Against JFK Assassination Conspiracy

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
The New York Times versus the New York Times I have known Hoover colleague, economist Paul Gregory, for about 5 years, and gotten to know him better in the last 3. An expert on Russia's economy and increasingly on China's... MORE

When you leave out major sources of income, surprise, surprise, you estimate that income is lower than it really is. What about the "other 99 percent," whose income supposedly rose by only 0.4 percent from 2009 to 2012? Piketty and... MORE

Richman: Non-Libertarians Sorta Agree With Us

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
My Delightful Societal Bubble Libertarians make a self-defeating mistake in assuming that their fundamental principles differ radically from most other people's principles. Think how much easier it would be to bring others to the libertarian position if we realized that... MORE

Matt Yglesias: Health Insurance Doesn't Affect Mortality

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
In comparing Bush on Hurricane Katrina and Obama on ObamaCare, Matt Yglesias writes: The administration and the Democratic Party writ large had very high aspirations for the Affordable Care Act, viewing it as a legacy-defining major pillar of the American... MORE

But when the minimum wage law confronts the law of demand, the law of demand wins every time. And the real losers are the most marginal workers--the ones who will be out of a job. This is a quote from... MORE

Ron Paul's Misunderstanding of the CPI

Economic Methods
David Henderson
One of the least discussed, but potentially most significant, provisions in President Obama's budget is the use of the "chained consumer price index" (chained CPI), to measure the effect of inflation on people's standard of living. Chained CPI is an... MORE

Nowrasteh on E-Verify

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In reality, E-Verify will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of legal Americans to get a job. According to a recent independent audit of E-Verify conducted by the firm Westat, between 0.7 to 0.3 percent of all E-Verify queries... MORE

UPDATE BELOW In selling the health-care plan that bears his name, President Obama has, according to the fact-checking website Politifact, said at least 34 times that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it." That statement was... MORE

Did the Federal Spending Cuts Slow Growth

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
One of Scott Sumner's most important posts in the last few months is his November 8 post, "Mike Konczal: "We rarely get to see a major, nationwide economic experiment at work." Scott quotes blogger Mike Konzcal from last April: We... MORE

Mike Lee's Anti-Supply-Side Tax Cut

Taxation
David Henderson
Arguably, one of the biggest accomplishments of supply-side economist Art Laffer in the late 1970s and early 1980s was to get mainstream economists to take marginal tax rates seriously. We all knew that the deadweight loss from a tax is... MORE

Obama: Government Doesn't Work

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
You know, one of the lessons--learned from this whole process on the website [healthcare.gov]--is that probably the biggest gap between the private sector and the federal government is when it comes to I.T. [Information Technology] ... Well, the reason [that... MORE

Explaining Burden of a Tax with Words

Taxation
David Henderson
Two days ago, I was talking to one of my allies in our recent successful fight against an increase in the property tax in Pacific Grove. He commented that the tax increase would have hurt renters too because landlords would... MORE

"This is great news. Raising the minimum wage will help America succeed," said Jon Cooper, the President of Spectronics Corporation in Westbury, NY. "Employers like me need to do our part by paying a decent minimum wage - closer to... MORE

"No one benefits from making it more difficult for an individual who owes money to make money." When I teach my Cost-Benefit course, I give out a problem set early in each quarter in which one of the questions is... MORE

We Won!

Taxation
David Henderson
"David, what's wrong?" said my wife Rena last night as she heard me gasping for air shortly after opening my computer while on the couch last night. She thought I might be having a stroke. "I can't believe it," I... MORE

McKenzie on Driving vs. Walking

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Which is more polluting--driving a mile to work or walking that mile? The easy answer is, of course, driving. Cars have tailpipes; people don't. Far more energy is needed to push a 3,000-pound car along the road than is needed... MORE

The New Colossus, Vivek Wadhwa Version

Labor Market
David Henderson
Watching co-blogger Bryan Caplan's debate on immigration and seeing Vivek Wadhwa's performance, and then reading his post-debate comment to Bryan, I asked myself: If Wadhwa were in the position of poet Emma Lazarus, how might he have written her famous... MORE

The Pre-Existing Condition Exaggeration

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
One of the claims that many supporters of ObamaCare made during the debate in 2009 and early 2010 is that many people could not get insurance because of pre-existing conditions. I was always skeptical of this claim for a simple... MORE

How to Deal With Those You Disagree With

Property Rights
David Henderson
Brown University, where I had a civil debate in 1980 with an advocate of conscription, had a shameful event last week. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was there to speak, but some thuggish people in the audience shouted... MORE

Friday Night Video: Why No Milton Friedman Today

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
As many readers of this blog probably know, the Mercatus Center had a panel in September on why there is no Milton Friedman today. I enjoyed all the presentations. The one I enjoyed most was David Colander's. Professor Colander's explanation--these... MORE

If You're So Smart . . .

Labor Market
David Henderson
In a recent blog post, my friend Don Boudreaux writes: In short, monopsony power in labor markets keep workers underpaid. With all those underpaid workers out there--and because there are no government-enforced prohibitions on starting companies that employ low-skilled workers--a... MORE

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