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David Henderson: June 2016

An Author Archive by Month (29 entries)

Tom Friedman on Thank You for Being Late

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
Last Friday, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman gave a talk at the Naval Postgraduate School, where I teach, and I had a front-row seat. Here are some impressions and responses to his talk. First, I arrived with a bias... MORE

Fantasy Granted (Sorta)

International Trade
David Henderson
One of my fantasies is of a classroom in which a tenured economics professor at an accredited institution of higher learning says, "We must have free trade," and a few students leap out of their chairs and shout, "You first!"... MORE

Is the Limit on Nuclear Liability a Subsidy?

Law and Economics
David Henderson
My fellow UCLA grad and former Council of Economic Advisers senior economist colleague applies Ronald Coase-type thinking to limits on liability for nuclear power plants. He writes: The same principle applies to nuclear construction. If people and owners of property... MORE

Finding Out the Implications of the Brexit Vote

Public Choice Theory
David Henderson
A straightforward application of public choice theory. Various friends on Facebook have been making fun of Britons who are madly googling to find out the implications of the vote to leave the EU. "Aren't they stupid," "they didn't know what... MORE

Is Brexit a Monetary Shock?

Money
David Henderson
Both co-blogger Scott Sumner and blogger David Beckworth argue that the Brexit vote is a large monetary shock. To be a monetary shock, it has to be either (1) a shift in the supply of money or (2) a shift... MORE

One Cost of the Drug War

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
We walk the floor. He stops. We stop. "You know what is stupid?" he says. "I see murderers. I see rapists. I see robbers. And then I see, the vast majority is in here for bein' stupid enough to smoke... MORE

Sports Outcomes and Randomness

Statistical theory and methods
David Henderson
One thing I notice in most sports commentary about the game I love watching most on TV, NBA basketball, is how little awareness there seems to be about the role of randomness. The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers... MORE

Last month, I pointed out Paul Krugman's Orwellian use of language. In discussing the Obama administration's rules on overtime pay, he had written: It [government policy] can also engage in what is sometimes called "predistribution," strengthening the bargaining power of... MORE

Bastiat Extended

Regulation
David Henderson
But, by an inference as false as it is unjust, do you know what the economists are now accused of? When we oppose making activities illegal, we are charged with being in favor of those activities. Thus, if we ask... MORE

Great Data but Disappointing Economics

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
Northwestern University economist Robert J. Gordon's latest book is on U.S. economic growth from 1870 to 2014. With his careful sifting of the data, he shows how far we've come over that time span, and especially between 1870 and 1970.... MORE

Henderson on Reich's Saving Capitalism

Regulation and Subsidies
David Henderson
The good news is that Saving Capitalism is nothing like Locked in the Cabinet, his earlier memoir about being labor secretary, in which he literally made up stories that made himself look good, as reported by Jonathan Rauch in his... MORE

The Case for a Basic Land Guarantee

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
Reading Chapter V, "Of property," in John Locke's "Of Civil Government" for a conference a few months ago, I had an idea for getting the federal government to disgorge much of the property it owns: a Basic Land Guarantee... MORE

Schneiderman as Lebron, Kazman as Ayesha

Business Economics
David Henderson
Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General of New York state, accuses companies that defend their right to free speech of engaging in "First Amendment opportunism." Somehow, probably because tonight's basketball game is on mind, that reminds me of Lebron James's comment that... MORE

Brennan Admits Unintended Consequences of U.S. Intervention

Unintended Consequences
David Henderson
But will anyone listen? In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge that it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda. This is a quote from CIA Director John Brennan... MORE

The Wall Street Journal's Innumeracy

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
"Obama frequently reminds his staff that terrorism takes far fewer lives in America than handguns, car accidents and falls in bathtubs do," reports Jeffrey Goldberg in a lengthy profile of the President's national-security thinking in the Atlantic magazine. Islamic State,... MORE

Response to a Regular Reader about Illegal Prostitution

Economics and Culture
David Henderson
In response to my post criticizing Jimmy Carter for his advocacy of keeping prostitution illegal, Stanley Greer wrote me the following (and gave me permission to reprint.) David Henderson criticizes Jimmy Carter for saying prostitutes sell themselves. He insists they... MORE

What to Do about London Housing

Price Controls
David Henderson
Update below. James Jirtle, a long-time reader of Marginal Revolution, recently wrote Tyler Cowen and asked his views about what to do about high housing prices in London. Mr. Jirtle listed 11 proposed responses and asked which Tyler thinks "are... MORE

Misallocation under Rent Control

Price Controls
David Henderson
On Marginal Revolution this morning, Tyler Cowen addresses the question "How bad is rent control when housing supply is artificially restricted by law?" He leads with this: Many of you have been asking me about this NYT article on the... MORE

Cornucopia

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
All of these [retail] businesses operated below the radar screen of megacapitalists like the Morgans. Their primary capital expenses were for real estate and inventory, which could be financed by traditional mortgages and bank working capital lines. But that was... MORE

Trump's Trade Fallacies

International Trade
David Henderson
At times, one senses that Trump just dislikes trade, period, whether "fair" or not. In that same July 2015 Las Vegas speech, Trump said: "I just left Los Angeles, thousands of cars, millions of cars coming in [from Japan]. We... MORE

We, Cheap Pencils

International Trade
David Henderson
I went to Staples on Sunday to buy some pencils and a pencil sharpener. I needed new pencils with good erasers that were not all hardened from age. I didn't need to buy a pencil sharpener. The price of... MORE

Margaret Sullivan's Hilarious Piece on Trump

Media Watch
David Henderson
How should the media cover the presidential candidates over the next five months? So asks Margaret Sullivan, media columnist for the Washington Post, in a piece titled "Yes, the media should cover Trump fairly -- but even better, hold him... MORE

In Praise of Debt

Finance
David Henderson
But borrowing doesn't have to dull husbandry. Indeed, it can sharpen it. Taking on substantial short-run debt can be a great way to save for your retirement. Really? Going into debt to save? Isn't that a contradiction? Bear with me.... MORE

Yay, Switzerland!

Income Distribution
David Henderson
Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to give the entire population of the country enough money to live on, according to exit polls. A projection provided to the public broadcaster RTS said 78% had voted against all Swiss citizens,... MORE

Uber Is Even More Valuable Abroad

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
David Henderson
In Lima, taxis don't have meters. To use one, you need to negotiate a fare (in Spanish) to your destination. Sometimes they seem to operate collectively, taking on additional passengers. Thanks to Uber, we haven't had to try and navigate... MORE

What Does Tyler Cowen Mean by Freely?

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
In an otherwise good analysis of the split between work and leisure, Tyler Cowen writes: Women are working far more than they once did, and probably more than they would choose to do, if they were able to balance their... MORE

The Slippery Slope Not Taken

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Two slippery slopes diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. --David R. Henderson, with apologies to Robert Frost Like my co-blogger Scott Sumner, I hope that certain... MORE

Cash for Health Care

Economics of Health Care
David Henderson
Fed up with declining payments and rising red tape, a small but growing number of doctors is opting out of the insurance system completely. They're expecting patients to pony up with cash. Some doctors who have gone that route love... MORE

In "To curb prostitution, punish those who buy sex rather than those who sell it," Washington Post, May 31, former president Jimmy Carter advocates what the title says. His case is unpersuasive. By his case, I mean his case against... MORE

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