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David Henderson: May 2014

An Author Archive by Month (30 entries)

Raise Minimum Wage: Reduce Benefits

Labor Market
David Henderson
At the start of this year, the minimum wage in SeaTac, a city in Washington state, was raised by a whopping 63 percent--from $9.19 an hour to $15.00 an hour. If we critics of the minimum wage, including the late... MORE

As regular readers of this blog will probably remember, I criticized Walter Block's boss at Loyola University back in February for not defending Walter's academic freedom. This is not to say that I will always defend Walter Block. In my... MORE

Is the Sharing Economy a Rip-Off?

Regulation
David Henderson
Don't buy Dean Baker's hype The "sharing economy" - typified by companies like Airbnb or Uber, both of which now have market capitalizations in the billions - is the latest fashion craze among business writers. But in their exuberance over... MORE

Partial Response to Yoram Bauman

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
In his latest reply to co-blogger Bryan Caplan, Yoram Bauman writes: If more economists like Bryan were upfront about their agreements with basic climate science then I would feel better about not having time to respond to people like David... MORE

"Rationally Inactive"

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
In a problem set for an Energy Economics course I'm teaching this quarter, I asked the following question: The U.S. government requires that a certain amount of ethanol be used in gasoline in the United States. There is fairly strong... MORE

Phil Magness on Piketty's U.S. Wealth Data

Wealth distribution
David Henderson
All of that stated briefly, the low point for wealth concentration on Piketty's chart (see the upward kink after the 1970s datapoint on Figure 10.5 above), and the point at which a supposed reversal in US wealth concentration trends begins,... MORE

VA Health Care: The Problems with Government Agencies

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Robert P. Murphy, a frequent writer for Econlib, has a good analysis of Kevin Drum's (of Mother Jones) comments on the current scandal with Veterans Administration health care. I'll hit a few highlights and then add some of my own... MORE

Ad Hominem

Economic Methods
David Henderson
Michael Kinsley gives us Exhibit A Abusive ad hominem usually involves attacking the traits of an opponent as a means to invalidate their [sic] arguments. Equating someone's character with the soundness of their [sic] argument is a logical fallacy. So... MORE

What is Pay? What is Wealth?

Labor Market
David Henderson
I remember talking to Walter Oi about pay in the early 1980s. He had an idea to write up a paper titled "What is Pay?" I don't think he ever did. But here was the issue he led with. The... MORE

Reynolds on Summers and Piketty

Human Capital: Returns to entrepreneurs, skills, etc.
David Henderson
My copy of Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the 21st Century, sits unopened. I plan to read it in June for a review that's due at the end of June. Meanwhile, though, I've been reading lots of reviews and comments... MORE

Walter Oi on Government Budgeting

Property Rights
David Henderson
In response to my recent pieces on Walter Oi (see here, for example), Walter's widow, Marjorie, sent me an unpublished 26-page, single-spaced reminiscence that Walter wrote circa 1995 about his time as a child in Franklin D. Roosevelt's internment camps.... MORE

Tucker on the Young Unemployed

Labor Market
David Henderson
Consider: Why does any business hire an employee? It happens based on the belief that the business will make more money with the employee than without it. The business pays you, you do work, and, as a result, there are... MORE

Los Angeles Times Distorts

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Los Angeles Times reporter Brian Bennett, in the first paragraph of a recent news story, writes: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a GOP star and possible 2016 presidential contender, does not believe human activity is causing climate change, he said... MORE

Noah Smith on Modern Economics

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Do a YouTube search for "Milton Friedman." Most of the hits will be speeches mixing economic theory with political philosophy. You'll see Friedman talking about the value of greed, for example, or holding forth on socialism versus capitalism. Most entertaining... MORE

Williamson on Lind and Caplan; Me on Leonard Read

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Kevin Williamson of National Review has written an excellent response to Michael Lind's attack on my co-blogger Bryan Caplan. Here's one excerpt: The ideological Turing test, modeled on Alan Turing's 1950 thought experiment for measuring the approximation of intelligence in... MORE

Half-Staff for Farmers

Labor Market
David Henderson
Each year, America sets aside a week to salute the men and women who do the difficult, dangerous, and often thankless work of safeguarding our communities. Our Nation's peace officers embody the very idea of citizenship -- that along with... MORE

Partial Reply to Yoram Bauman

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
UPDATE BELOW Co-blogger Bryan has graciously published Yoram Bauman's response to Bryan's critique of his The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change. As Bryan notes, he will not be able to get around to responding to Yoram soon, and so I... MORE

I Feel Blessed

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
In the last 24 hours, four good things have happened in my personal and work life. Co-blogger Bryan Caplan, with wisdom beyond his years, said, when he was substantially younger, that we should feel gratitude. He's right. I've always thought... MORE

Quotes From a Colloquium

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
A few weekends ago, I attended a colloquium in San Diego at which we discussed readings in economic institutions and economic growth. We discussed a lot of chapters from Daren Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail, which I... MORE

Thoughts on Krikorian

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In his recent debate on immigration with my co-blogger Bryan Caplan with my friend Alex Nowrasteh, Mark Krikorian makes two interesting points. The first is that the term "open borders" is not an accurate description of what many of us... MORE

Trade Creates Peace

International Trade
David Henderson
"Germany Vexed by Ties to Russia." So reads the headline of a front-page article in the Saturday/Sunday Wall Street Journal by Anton Troianovski. Mr. Troianovski goes on to point out the tension between German Chancellor Angela Merkel's desire to be... MORE

Friday Night Video: Henderson on RT

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Last week I recorded an interview with Erin Ade of RTTV's "Boom and Bust." She put me through the paces, and showed that she had obviously read, or at least scanned, some of my writing, which is better than some... MORE

Mitt Romney's True Colors

Labor Market
David Henderson
"I ... part company with many of the conservatives of my party on the issue of the minimum wage," he said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I think we ought to raise it because, frankly, our party is... MORE

Great Moments in Federal Government Retirement

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
On Tuesday, I spent all day at a retirement planning seminar with more than 100 other federal government workers. Talking to a few of my colleagues around my same age (63), I jokingly referred to it as an AARP event.... MORE

My Hoover Obit on Gary Stanley Becker

Obituaries
David Henderson
Here's a long excerpt: One major problem that Becker addressed in his column was the drug war. He did not shrink from advocating a free market in illegal drugs, a good that he, I'm confident, did not buy. He saw... MORE

The Great Grandson Also Rises

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
Our former co-blogger, Arnold Kling, has an excellent review on Econlib of Gregory Clark's latest book, The Son Also Rises. The review is titled "The Heritability of Social Status." You may have noticed that Clark, an economist historian at UC... MORE

Robert P. Murphy on Capital

Austrian Economics
David Henderson
However, the classical understanding of capital and its place in economic theory was muddled. Even though it was refined in light of the new marginal productivity theory of pricing, the increasing formalism of economics in the 20th century led many... MORE

Gary S. Becker, RIP

Obituaries
David Henderson
Becker's unusually wide applications of economics started early. In 1955 he wrote his doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago on the economics of discrimination. Among other things, Becker successfully challenged the Marxist view that discrimination helps the person who... MORE

Friday Night Video: Daniel Hannan on Socialism

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I didn't have time to get permission to repost the Daniel Hannan video on Econlog, but you can go here to watch it. It's very good. It's about 13 minutes long. HT to Dan Klein.... MORE

On his other blog, The Money Illusion, my co-blogger Scott Sumner argues for an 80% marginal tax rate on consumption for high-consumption people. I admit my surprise at seeing Scott advocate that, which is why it has taken me a... MORE

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