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David Henderson: February 2016

An Author Archive by Month (22 entries)

Henderson on the Case Against a VAT

Taxation
David Henderson
Take Europe, where the VAT is a major source of government revenue. When Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands adopted a VAT--all between 1968 and 1971--their stated revenue goal was neutrality: Gains in revenue from the VAT were... MORE

Jonathan Meer and Jeremy West have found that increases in the minimum wage destroy jobs, not so much by destroying current jobs as by reducing the growth rate of new jobs. That makes sense if employers' investments in capital are... MORE

Is There Objective Truth?

Economic Methods
David Henderson
Short answer: Yes. Co-blogger Scott Sumner wrote yesterday: Richard Rorty once said something to the effect that if you claim X is actually true, despite most people believing it to be false, you are implicitly forecasting that most people will... MORE

Highlights from Nate Silver Interview

Economic Methods
David Henderson
Small sample sizes, global poverty, basketball and the Golden State Warriors, legalizing drugs, herd behavior in the media, and media as cheerleaders. Recently, Tyler Cowen interviewed Nate Silver of five thirtyeight.com in front on audience at the Mercatus Center. Here... MORE

Brad DeLong's Distorted View of Wealth

Labor Market
David Henderson
He [Thomas Piketty] saw five striking facts: First, ownership of private wealth--with its power to command resources, dictate where and how people would work, and shape politics--was always highly concentrated. This is the second sentence of Brad DeLong's "The Melting... MORE

The Trump and Bush Phenomena

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
As far back as July, I thought many people who agree with me politically (in case you don't read this blog much, I'm a libertarian, not a conservative) were not taking Donald Trump as seriously as they should. I'm not... MORE

Oil Prices are Complicated

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Earlier this week I did a post on oil prices in which I failed to take account of futures markets. That's a no-no. I stated in a comment that I would likely do another post. This is it. When... MORE

Thus the inventor of a new machine or any other invention has the exclusive priviledge of making and vending that invention for the space of 14 years by the law of this country, as a reward for his ingenuity, and... MORE

Sheri Pym Favors Involuntary Servitude

Labor Market
David Henderson
Apple's reasonable technical assistance shall accomplish the following three important functions: (1) it will bypass or disable the auto-erase function whether or not it has been enabled; (2) it will enable the FBI to submit passcodes to the SUBJECT DEVICE... MORE

Oil Economics

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
UPDATE: See baconbacon's comment below and my response. I may well have blown this big time. I had been meaning to write a post about oil prices and the economy. Now this article in the New Yorker by James Surowiecki... MORE

Is David Brooks Right about Obama?

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
UPDATE BELOW I tend not to read David Brooks's columns in the New York Times because they have never impressed me. So I wouldn't have bothered commenting on his recent column were it not for the fact that someone I... MORE

Milton Friedman on Trumbo

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
On a flight from Newark to L.A. on Thursday, I saw the movie Trumbo. I liked it a lot. I know that they left out things that would have made Trumbo a much less sympathetic character. The only real discussion... MORE

Play the Hand You're Dealt

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I have a few mottos in life. The title of this post is one of them, and it has served me well. It sounds obvious. What other kind of hand could you play? None. But what you can do... MORE

End Draft Registration

Labor Market
David Henderson
Many women's rights advocates hail the Department's decision as a step toward equality. In light of the policy change, many have also called for ending the exclusion of women from the selective service. In 1981, the Supreme Court ruled that... MORE

Larry Summers's Perspective and Mine

Growth: Consequences
David Henderson
I'm presently working my way through, and enjoying, Robert J. Gordon's magnum opus, The Rise and Fall of American Growth. I'm reviewing it for Regulation and already, just 30 pages in, I'm seeing some problems. Arnold Kling highlighted a paragraph... MORE

My Talk at the University of Toronto

Upcoming Events
David Henderson
On Monday, February 8, I will be giving a talk at the University of Toronto. Topic: An Economist's Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Location: Croft Chapter House The public is welcome, but you... MORE

Altruism, No Regard for Some Others, or Belief in the Tooth Fairy

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
I gave a talk yesterday at a Fraser Institute event in Toronto. The luncheon speaker, neuro-economist Paul Zak, did a great job talking about oxytocin and its role in our systems. He started out beautifully, contrasting Thomas Hobbes's view of... MORE

Here's the link. I will also be giving a talk at St. John's on Wednesday night but I don't have the link for that yet.... MORE

Comedian Tackles Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Comedian Steve Gerben has a 30-minute comedy act on immigration. His idea is brilliant. I had never before thought of reaching people on that touchy subject with comedy, but he does an excellent job. I won't do my usual comprehensive... MORE

Studies of Public Goods

Public Goods
David Henderson
In a comment on a recent post of mine about government spending on infrastructure, Ben H. wrote: This seems to ignore the problem of public goods. It is, arguably, pretty easy to identify public goods for which spending $1 increases... MORE

Is the TPP Good or Bad on Net?

International Trade
David Henderson
If you read the latest Econlib Feature Article by Pierre Lemieux, "Free Trade and TPP," you won't have an answer to the title question of this post. So why I did I ask him to write it? Because I knew... MORE

Janet, Janet: The Shrewd San Francisco Fed

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
This is my long overdue comment on what I observed at the meetings of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank in April 2014. I had previously given some highlights of my talk here and commented on Glenn Rudebusch's talk here.... MORE

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