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David Henderson: June 2014

An Author Archive by Month (26 entries)

Who Caused the August 1990 Spike in Oil Prices?

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Who caused the August 1990 spike in oil prices? If you learned that someone had reduced the supply of oil substantially just before the spike, wouldn't you think that that someone caused the price increase? You might think that I'm... MORE

Does Bad Science Always Lead to Bad Policy?

Regulation
David Henderson
Mac McCann, on Reason.com, writes: Texas has a lot of things to be proud of. The Republican Party of Texas, however, is not one of them. Turns out everything really is bigger down in Texas, including our embarrassments. He then... MORE

Henderson on Thaler and Sunstein

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Another issue on which TS [Thaler and Sunstein] are silent--and should not be--is the issue of income tax withholding. The U.S. federal government moved to withholding during World War II because that was when it changed the income tax from... MORE

Setting the Record Straight on George Will

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
The wife of a friend of mine wrote a letter to a local publication, the Monterey County Weekly, in which she badly misquoted George Will's recent statement in a column about victimization on campus. My reply to her letter was... MORE

Bonding with Immigrants

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
It was a beautiful scene in so many ways. Such diversity, such shared joy in suffering, such determination to push through and triumph over the odds. We were equal in our provisions: we all had one cot, one blanket, one... MORE

Jonathan Turley Echoes Milton Friedman

Regulation
David Henderson
As federal agencies have grown in size and scope, they have increasingly viewed their regulatory functions as powers to reward or punish citizens and groups. The Internal Revenue Service offers another good example. Like the patent office, it was created... MORE

Low-Carbon Alternatives: Solar and Wind Suck

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
One of the blogs that I check literally every day is Timothy Taylor's "Conversable Economist." In baseball parlance, his posts are virtually always doubles, triples, or home runs. A recent home run is his "Evaluating Low-Carbon Energy Alternatives." In it,... MORE

Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute interviews one of my favorite writers on cars, Eric Peters. Whenever I teach my Energy Economics course, I spend a little time on how CAFE messes up cars. Peters discusses that in more... MORE

Dick Wagner on Buchanan

Economic Education
David Henderson
Shortly before the mid-September start of the semester, all students had to meet with Leland Yeager, then Director of Graduate Studies, to get their programs of study approved for the coming year. First-year students who came directly from their bachelor's... MORE

Tyler Cowen versus Frederic Bastiat

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
And also versus Julian Simon and Alex Field Counterintuitive though it may sound, the greater peacefulness of the world may make the attainment of higher rates of economic growth less urgent and thus less likely. This view does not claim... MORE

Richard Ebeling on "Thick Libertarianism"

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I have not engaged in the discussion of "thin" versus "thick" libertarianism. It took me a while even to grasp what people were talking about. Once I had understood the distinctions, I had thought I was a "thin" libertarian. But... MORE

Dan Klein on Liberalism

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Two months ago, I posted about Dan Klein and Kevin Frei's project to reclaim the word "liberal." You can read the Liberalism Unrelinguished statement here. This is the bottom line: We the undersigned affirm the original arc of liberalism, and... MORE

Sports are Life

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
One reason I'm enjoying the NBA playoffs so much is that I like both teams so much. The San Antonio Spurs have an incredible coach and one of the things I like most about them is their everyday humility--not phony... MORE

Arnold Kling on Well-Being Over Time

Income Distribution
David Henderson
When I was a young assistant professor at the University of Rochester business school in the late 1970s, I had a picture on my desk of a cute dog saying, "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better."... MORE

Krugman's Misleading Post on Coal

Economic Education
David Henderson
There used to be a lot of coal miners, but not any more -- strip mines and machinery in general have allowed us to produce more coal with very few miners. Basically, it's a job that was destroyed by technology... MORE

About That High-Quality Insurance

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Paul Krugman writes: the quality of insurance has gone up, too, because canceled policies were canceled because they offered little real protection. Of course, as with much of what Paul writes about ObamaCare, he doesn't back up this assertion. So... MORE

Reply to Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
At a conference titled "Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism," Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga attacked the free market, calling it "a new idol." This is my response. I understand that in writing it, I am assuming that in each... MORE

Friday Night Video: Mussolini--A Man of the Left

Economic History
David Henderson
My friend, Lawrence K. Samuels, a local libertarian activist in Monterey County, gave a talk in April on his research on Mussolini. The bottom line: Mussolini was clearly on the left and he never wavered from the left. 0 to... MORE

The Daily Hell of the War on Drugs

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
It's an urgent situation, because Professor Goffman's book shows clearly that the microeconomics of a life on the run are grim indeed. This is the closing paragraph of Tyler Cowen's excellent piece, "The Financial Hazards of a Fugitive Life," New... MORE

Krugman Defends Price Theory

Microeconomics
David Henderson
One of my frustrations when reading Paul Krugman's blog is that I often get the feeling that I'm not reading a post by an economist. We economists tend to talk about relative prices, how prices motivate behavior (incentives), etc. Krugman... MORE

My Small Victory

Property Rights
David Henderson
People in my area of California yesterday voted on Measure O. Here's the exact wording of the measure: Shall the ordinance, Measure O, which directs the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to adopt a policy to move toward public ownership... MORE

Uncertainty Can Go Both Ways

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
In a recent response to Byran Caplan on global warming, Yoram Bauman rested part of his argument against cost/benefit analysis on the issue of uncertainty. Bauman wrote: Reason #1 is that CBA has trouble dealing with uncertainty: if there's a... MORE

The Difficulties with Lying

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Co-blogger Bryan Caplan, in his post, "Frank on Phony Credentials," points out a big problem with cheating on credentials. He writes: [W]hile telling an isolated lie comes easily to human beings, most human beings are bad at living a lie.... MORE

The Problems with Bans on Insider Trading

Regulation
David Henderson
It is startling to note that at least five-sixths of all insider trading scenarios (it would be practically impossible to measure actual cases) could never be prosecuted, even with a policeman shadowing each and every insider. Why? Consider how inside... MORE

John Blundell on the Rebirth of Austrian Economics

Austrian Economics
David Henderson
Starting in 1974, the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), based at that time in Menlo Park, California, began an ambitious plan to resurrect the then near to dead Austrian school of thought in economics. The first three steps were... MORE

Welcome Back, Carden

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
Art Carden, who guest blogged for Econlog in 2013, will be back as a guest blogger starting tomorrow. For my farewell notice to Art, in which I highlight two of my favorite of Art's posts, see this. I look forward... MORE

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