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David Henderson: June 2015

An Author Archive by Month (27 entries)

Question for Jeff Zients on Ex-Im

International Trade
David Henderson
While surfing the web this morning, I came across a mention, by Cato Institute economist Dan Ikenson, of a White House conference call on the Export-Import Bank. I thought, what the heck, the call is during my lunch break; I'll... MORE

Wolfgang Kasper on the Euro

International Macroeconomics: Exchange Rates, International Debt, etc.
David Henderson
In following the Greek economic crisis, I have very little to add that has not been said. But one economist who said it well three and a half years ago is Australian economist and German native Wolfgang Kasper. His Econlib... MORE

Numeracy Watch: 5 is Less than 10

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Andrew Oxlade writes: He [Ian Spreadbury] declined to predict the exact trigger but said it was more likely to happen in the next five years rather than 10. There's some pretty serious innumeracy going on here. I'm not sure if... MORE

Henderson on Epstein on Fossil Fuels

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
How can a practical case also be a moral case? Simple: if one's standard of value is human life, as Epstein says his is, then whatever enhances human life is moral. There are some problems around the edges of his... MORE

The Importance of Numeracy

Political Economy
David Henderson
When I was the senior economist for health policy under Martin Feldstein, chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers, one of his biggest criticisms of politicians was their innumeracy. I agree that that matters a lot, and it's not... MORE

More here. Unfortunately, the outcome that I thought likely has happened. Here's the ruling.... MORE

Krugman's Clever Misdirection on King versus Burwell

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Paul Krugman is clever. In a post, "Most of the Way with Obamacare," about the effects of Obamacare on the number of people with health insurance, he sneaks in two claims as if they are obvious and noncontroversial. The first... MORE

Suderman on Republicans on Health Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Peter Suderman of Reason magazine has an excellent article in Politico on just how bad the Congressional Republicans have been at coming up with an alternative to ObamaCare. I won't recite all of his points because that would amount to... MORE

Henderson on Finkelstein

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Another interesting aspect of Arrow's article is his view of the economics of information. He writes, "The value of information is frequently not known in any meaningful sense to the buyer; if, indeed, he knew enough to measure the value... MORE

Does Foreign Intervention Cause Blowback

Politics and Economics
David Henderson
In a blog post today, Arnold Kling cites Robert Nozick's term "normative sociology." The idea is that many people point to what they want the causes of something to be rather than trying their best to find what the causes... MORE

As promised, I'm reporting here on how I drew out Milton Friedman's views on conscription during World War II. If you look at the quote from his 1966 piece on conscription, you can easily conclude that he favored conscription during... MORE

Over at Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux has written a passionate statement against the draft: "My Son Will Never Be a Conscript." I love the last paragraph: Fortunately, what is perhaps Milton Friedman's greatest legacy remains in place: actual conscription does... MORE

John Thacker on Democrats Subsidizing Rural Areas

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
Sometimes comments on various blogs are so good that they deserve to be highlighted. John Thacker, who occasionally comments on this blog, has such a comment at co-blogger Scott Sumner's other blog, The Money Illusion. In a comment on Scott's... MORE

Larry Summers on TPP

International Trade
David Henderson
Tyler Cowen writes: Larry Summers on TPP makes perfect sense. I haven't seen anything on the anti- side coming close to this level of analysis, and in a short column at that. So I went to read Summers's "perfectly sensible"... MORE

Hooves and Priors

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
In "Yes Indeed: I Have My Priors About the Minimum Wage," Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek writes: So an economist whose priors tell him or her that raising the hourly cost of employing low-skilled labor will cause employers to choose... MORE

Government Works Badly

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
Two huge recent scandals, both of which involve the federal government, strongly support the case that the government should not be given more power and, in fact, should have much of its power stripped away. The two scandals are the... MORE

Reddit: Lenny Bruce Would Understand

Competition
David Henderson
Capitalism is the best. It's free enterprise. Barter. Gimbels, if I get really rank with the clerk, "Well I don't like this", how I can resolve it? If it really gets ridiculous, I go, "Frig it, man, I walk." What... MORE

The Role of Luck in Income Distribution

Income Distribution
David Henderson
I'm in Zurich today to give a talk on economic inequality. While preparing my talk, I came across an article by Branko Milanovic in the Review of Economics and Statistics. It's titled "Global Inequality of Opportunity: How Much of our... MORE

A Question for Krugman

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Paul Krugman has a post today about how badly some Republican governors have been doing with their budget policies. His basic criticism is that they have cut taxes. But he also has, at various times recently, complained about austerity. What,... MORE

Nick Hanauer on Noah Smith

Labor Market
David Henderson
A billionaire named Nick Hanauer has weighed in on the minimum wage debate. Am I trying to bias you against him by mentioning his net worth? Not really. Instead, I'm following the lead of PBS, which published his piece. In... MORE

The Long and the Short Runs

Labor Market
David Henderson
After noting how high payroll tax rates are in Europe, Arnold Kling comments: I had not realized that these tax rates are so high. I find it hard to reconcile Germany's relatively low unemployment rate with this high payroll tax... MORE

Great Moments in Economic History

Taxation
David Henderson
I'm working on a talk on economic inequality that I'm giving in Zurich next week and so I've been paying particular attention to what Thomas Piketty has written since his book came out. In the latest New York Review of... MORE

Thaler Rediscovers Hayek?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
As often happens when I read or hear something new, my impressions a day or more later, once I've pondered more, are different from my first impressions. There's another thing about Thaler's view of standard neoclassical economics that bothers me.... MORE

Thaler and Caplan on Homo Economicus

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
I have in my pile Richard Thaler's latest book, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics. I'm reviewing it later this month for a quarterly publication. But this morning I had time, while doing other things, to listen to a delightful... MORE

Tim Smeeding on Inequality

Income Distribution
David Henderson
Lane Kenworthy writes: Tim Smeeding knows more than virtually anyone about inequality and poverty in the United States and other rich nations. I asked him what he recommends to reduce income inequality. His response: 1. Tax appreciated assets when inherited... MORE

David Rose on Obamacare Strategy

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
The Wall Street Journal editors had an interesting unsigned editorial ("In Search of an Obamacare Breakout," May 22) recently (they call such editorials "Review and Outlook") on what Republicans in Congress should do if the Supreme Court finds, later this... MORE

Do We Just Owe it to Ourselves?

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
Update below: Ask the proverbial "man on the street" whether current government debt imposes a burden on future generations, and he will likely answer "yes." But ask the same question of sophisticated economists, especially Keynesian ones, and they will likely... MORE

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