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David Henderson: March 2016

An Author Archive by Month (26 entries)
In yesterday's Washington Post, Charles Lane reports on the move, that's almost a done deal, to raise California's minimum wage in stages to a whopping $15 an hour by 2022. Lane, or his editors, wisely titled the article, "The risks... MORE

Obamacare Spent A Lot to Get More Coverage

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
And it could have been a lot less intrusive. There's never been any secret that if the US [government] was willing to spend an extra $100 billion or more, it could subsidize health insurance for a lot more people. This... MORE

Unintended, but Predictable, Consequence #262

Unintended Consequences
David Henderson
Significantly, when the last American troops left Iraq, in December 2011, isis did not follow them home. "In its various incarnations," notes Daniel Byman, a counterterrorism expert who is a professor at Georgetown, the Islamic State "focused first and foremost... MORE

For lawyers, doctors, and dentists-- three of the most over-represented occupations in the top 1 percent--state-level lobbying from professional associations has blocked efforts to expand the supply of qualified workers who could do many of the "professional" job tasks for... MORE

Saturday Afternoon Video

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
The death of Tibor Machan, whom I wrote about briefly here, caused me to watch a 48-minute panel discussion by current and former editors of Reason on the 45-year anniversary of Reason. I'm using this video with permission of Reason.... MORE

Tibor Machan RIP

Obituaries
David Henderson
Yesterday on Facebook I learned that libertarian philosopher Tibor Machan died. That caused me to watch two videos: (1) an interview on William F. Buckley Jr.'s show "Firing Line" in which he was questioned by Buckley and Ernest Van Den... MORE

Live Below Your Means

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
The secret to getting rich is as powerful as it is unexciting: live below your means. That's it. The bigger the difference between what you earn and what you spend, the sooner you'll find yourself with enough money to do... MORE

Kudos to Obama

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
Holy Cow! Somehow I got myself so buried in end-of-quarter projects that I didn't bother to read President Obama's speech, televised live on Cuban TV. I now have. He knocked it out of the park. Various people have been saying... MORE

Liberty Mutual: Pay More Now Instead of Later

Business Economics
David Henderson
For the last few months, at least, my wife and I have been annoyed by the silliness of Liberty Mutual's ads for auto insurance. Thank goodness for the mute button, or, if we're watching something we have DVRed, the fast... MORE

Henry Ford versus Henry Royce

Business Economics
David Henderson
Last weekend, I was at a conference in Ogden, Utah co-sponsored by Liberty Fund and the Charles Koch Foundation. One of my favorite readings for the conference is the Introduction to the book How the West Grew Rich by Nathan... MORE

Piketty on Top Marginal Tax Rates

Taxation
David Henderson
Co-blogger Scott Sumner got into a discussion about Thomas Piketty's views about what the top marginal tax rate on income in France should be. I've read his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century thoroughly and reviewed it at length. I... MORE

Borjas Concludes that Male Illegal Aliens Come Here to Work

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Borjas reports the good news on illegal aliens. Harvard economist George Borjas, who is fairly critical of immigration, wrote yesterday that he has concluded that most male illegal aliens come to the United States to work. He reports on the... MORE

GDP Deflator vs. Consumer Price Index

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
While reviewing Robert Gordon's book The Rise and Fall of American Growth for Regulation, I found it relevant to dig into the GDP deflator and the Consumer Price Index. The reasons why would take me too far afield. I knew... MORE

Where Did the $110 Billion Go?

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
In our sister blog four days ago, George Mason University law professor Michael S. Greve does a huge service in a few words. He highlights the fact that the feds have taken $110 billion--that's right: billion with a "b"--in fines... MORE

Herbert H Posen and Franklin D Blanchard

Macroeconomics
David Henderson
Co-blogger Scott Sumner quoted correctly from an article in The Economist: In places stuck in deflationary quicksand it may be necessary to be more radical still. Olivier Blanchard and Adam Posen of the Peterson Institute for International Economics have argued... MORE

Kudos to Brad DeLong

International Trade
David Henderson
Paul Krugman has recently written some incredibly critical things about free trade. Co-blogger Scott Sumner has responded admirably. Now Brad DeLong weighs in also. Here is part of his excerpt of Krugman's case (you can find the whole Krugman piece... MORE

Obama Pulls a Cheney

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
You may recall that I passed this law called the Affordable Care Act to sign people up for health care. This is from a transcript of President Obama's remarks on Friday to the SXSW (South by Southwest) conference in Austin,... MORE

Academic Conservatives and Survivor Bias

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
Someone on Facebook this morning linked to an interesting, but misleading titled, op/ed on conservatives in academia. The op/ed, by Jon A. Shields and Joshua M. Dunn, Sr., is titled "Forget what the right says: Academia isn't so bad for... MORE

Jerry Taylor's Sleight of Hand on Freedom of Association

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Jerry Taylor of the Niskanen Center and John Stossel of Fox Business Network have been arguing about, among other things, freedom of association. Taylor is against it; Stossel is for it. Specifically, Jerry Taylor wants a law that makes... MORE

Trade with China Reduced Domestic Inequality

International Trade
David Henderson
In a recent post, I challenged Mark Kleiman's view that low-income people do not benefit at all from international trade. He wrote: But the bottom line is that all of the gains, not merely from trade but from economic growth,... MORE

How Reforms Have Made Donald Trump Possible

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
But just because voters are ideologically mixed does not mean they are centrists at heart. Many voters support a mix of extreme liberal policies (like taxing the rich at 90 percent) and extreme conservative policies (like deporting all undocumented immigrants).... MORE

Hammock on the Chicken Tax and Other Tariffs

International Trade
David Henderson
The most ridiculous result of the Chicken Tax is surely the Ford Transit Connect, which is produced in Turkey and Spain. All Transit Connects are imported with rear windows and rear seats with seat belts, making them passenger vehicles. Once... MORE

Kleiman on Trade and Taxes

International Trade
David Henderson
So when the modern Republican Party (R.I.P), in the name of "small government" and opposition to "class warfare," set its face against policies to redistribute the gains from economic growth, it destroyed the theoretical basis for thinking that a rising... MORE

Larry Summers is a bootlegger and a Baptist. In a comment on my post on Larry Summer's critique of Donald Trump in a vacuum, ff asked: What did you think of Larry Summers recent column in the WP advocating the... MORE

Larry Summers's Anti-Trump Case In a Vacuum

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Recently, economist Larry Summers made his case against Donald Trump. It has one main problem. Although Larry makes, in some ways, a powerful case, he makes it in a vacuum. The question is not whether Donald Trump should be president... MORE

Wishful Thinking and Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences
David Henderson
Mrs. Clinton was won over. Opposition leaders "said all the right things about supporting democracy and inclusivity and building Libyan institutions, providing some hope that we might be able to pull this off," said Philip H. Gordon, one of her... MORE

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