Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Property Rights

A Category Archive (42 entries)

My Proud "Don't Call the Cops" Moment

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
Most mornings that I don't teach, I go out early to the local Safeway, where there's a Starbuck's, and get my wife a Grande non-fat latte. Tip to men who want a long-term successful marriage: If there are things you... MORE

You often read very thoughtful progressives explain why the government sector in the US is too small. You'd think 40% of GDP would be enough, but they insist we have "unmet needs" for a single-payer health care system (18% of... MORE

What's worse than a sloppy government bureaucracy?

Property Rights
Alberto Mingardi
A sloppy government bureaucracy isn't a very admirable thing. But it may look better, if you compare it with an efficient government bureaucracy. Have a look to this post by Michael S. Greve, who blogs on an incident involving him... MORE

Who Owns the "Right to Recline?" The Airline

Property Rights
David Henderson
I wrote an article to that effect in 2011, noting that airline seats are an excellent case study for the Coase Theorem. This is an economic theory holding that it doesn't matter very much who is initially given a property... MORE

The Environment: Own It and Save It

Energy, Environment, Resources
David Henderson
The title of this blog post is the same as the title of one of my chapters in The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey. In that chapter, I show how private ownership of resources leads people to take better... MORE

Great Moments (Almost) in Property Rights

Property Rights
David Henderson
And from the New Republic, no less. The last two tweaks of the Sheppard Amendment [the Amendment to the U.S. Constitution proposed by Senator Morris Sheppard] were connected to each other. In addition to the congressional wets, a few moderate... 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

Walter Oi on Government Budgeting

Property Rights
David Henderson
In response to my recent pieces on Walter Oi (see here, for example), Walter's widow, Marjorie, sent me an unpublished 26-page, single-spaced reminiscence that Walter wrote circa 1995 about his time as a child in Franklin D. Roosevelt's internment camps.... MORE

How to Deal With Those You Disagree With

Property Rights
David Henderson
Brown University, where I had a civil debate in 1980 with an advocate of conscription, had a shameful event last week. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was there to speak, but some thuggish people in the audience shouted... MORE

Airplane Repo: Paean to Private Property

Property Rights
David Henderson
While channel surfing recently, I came across "Airplane Repo" on Discovery. It is what its name implies: it weaves together stories, typically about three, of people whose job is to repossess airplanes. Based on about 6 cases I've seen, typically... MORE

Will autarchy save the Galapagos biodiversity?

Property Rights
Alberto Mingardi
In the Galapagos, the authorities understandably exhort the population to conserve the amazing natural legacy of the islands. But I notice that they also stress the need to move towards agricultural self sufficiency, establishing a priority lane for local products.... MORE

Congratulations to Cato Legal Scholars

Regulation
David Henderson
The Supreme Court's term is over, with 75 cases having been argued and decided. It's safe to say that the most significant ones were those decided this week, on the politically fraught subjects of affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act... MORE

What has (Local) Government Done to Our Ice Cream?

Property Rights
Alberto Mingardi
To paraphrase Einstein, two things are infinite: the universe and the creativity of politicians. My own country, Italy, offers plenty of examples of such a creativity. Let me just point to a recent one. Together with pizza and spaghetti, "gelato"... MORE

There were, once again, some truly excellent comments on my last post, in which I offered my answers to the questions blockquoted below. Furthermore, Jeanne Hoffman at Heels First Travel--a lawyer by training and a member of the IHS staff--also... MORE

Worstall on Cyprus and Russians

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
In response to my post earlier today, Tim Worstall wrote me. He quoted this from my review: We have examples of highly extractive governments even in the modern world. One shocking one, to me at least, is the case of... MORE

Armen Alchian Memorial

Economic Education
David Henderson
In a few minutes I'm flying down to Los Angeles to attend a memorial service for the late Armen Alchian. Most of the short appreciation I wrote out covers issues I've already talked about in the bio linked above and... MORE

Armen Alchian, RIP

Property Rights
David Henderson
Armen Alchian died this morning at age 98. He taught me microeconomics my first quarter at UCLA, in the fall of 1972. At the time, he was 58 and in his prime. That was the most demanding economics course I... MORE

Hummel on Moss on Limited Liability

Finance
David Henderson
San Jose State University economist Jeffrey Rogers Hummel sent the following capsule review of David A. Moss, When All Else Fails: Government as the Ultimate Risk Manager (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000). Jeff writes: Limited liability remains a subject of... MORE

Should restaurants allow smoking or not? Should schools teach evolution or intelligent design or both? Should insurance companies cover contraception? Should I be able to take off my shoes in your living room? This is the opening paragraph of the... MORE

Property Rights ARE Human Rights

Property Rights
David Henderson
One of the left's most effective canards has been its alleged distinction between property rights and human rights. The fact is that property rights are human rights. My right to my computer--my property--is not my computer's right to itself. It's... MORE

Matt Yglesias on Urban Development

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Arnold Kling
The book is The Rent is Too Damn High. Counties, municipalities, states, and everyone else involved in promulgating land-use regulations need to ease off on parking requirements, artificial constraints on lot size, height restrictions, etc. Other interesting excerpts below. (Possibly... MORE

More on the Anti-Commons

Property Rights
Arnold Kling
From Eli Dourado. If we could be certain that eminent domain would only used when it was efficiency-enhancing, and that adequate compensation would be made to the expropriated, I would have no problem with it. I would regard it as... MORE

How Government Intervention Helped Start the 1967 Detroit Riot Here's the [Kerner Commission] report's first paragraph on Detroit: "On Saturday evening, July 22, the Detroit Police Department raided five 'blind pigs.' The blind pigs had their origin in prohibition days,... MORE

Mark Thoma on Privacy

Property Rights
David Henderson
Mark Thoma has an excellent post on privacy. Actually, it's about more than privacy: he highlights a New York Times piece by David Shipler about privacy that is also about more than privacy. Both call privacy a "privilege." But some... MORE

Disaster and Recovery

Property Rights
David Henderson
As a specific instance, the fire-bomb raids on Hamburg in July and August 1943 were highly intense community-wide disasters. As normally occurs in such situations, people proved tougher than structures. The raids destroyed about 50 percent of the buildings in... MORE

What is Freedom of Speech?

Property Rights
David Henderson
Mea Culpa In a post on Friday, I claimed, with the headline, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while criticizing other governments for attacking freedom of speech, went on with her speech even while "goons" (my word) in the auditorium... MORE

Americans who have the means should refuse to surrender to Senate Republicans. We should act, together, to give back our Bush tax cuts, by making donations to organizations that promote fairness, economic growth, and a vibrant middle class. GiveItBackforJobs enables... MORE

The Conquest of United States by Militant Islam

Property Rights
David Henderson
In my article in the most-recent Freeman, I use an approach used by William Graham Sumner in his classic article, "The Conquest of United States by Spain." Here are excerpts: Something similar may be happening in the United States, not... MORE

Heilbroner on Forced Labor

Labor Market
David Henderson
Bryan's various posts [here's one--the rest are easy to find with the Search function] on Eugene Richter's dystopian novel, Pictures of the Socialistic Future, persuaded me to read the book. I think Bryan nailed it in his Foreword in saying... MORE

History of Fire Protection

Microeconomics
Arnold Kling
William Polley recommended a paper by Annelise Graebner Anderson. Russ Roberts recommended an essay by Fred S. McChesney. The point is that fire-fighting began as a private function. Largely volunteer in the U.S. In London, fire brigades were hired by... MORE

Real Estate Time Bomb?

Property Rights
David Henderson
One more problem with securitization. This morning, Yves Smith over at Naked Capitalism has a sobering article about a not-very-well-known time bomb in real estate. Here's a relevant section: Given how many sales will be done out of REO, and... MORE

Escheat: It's Not You, It's Me

Property Rights
David Henderson
That's close to what I said to the E*Trade guy when I called up this morning to close my account. See my previous post, "You're Not a Frequent Trader? We'll Take Your Stuff," for why I wanted to close the... MORE

Geraldo Rivera as Coase

Property Rights
David Henderson
Just watching the O'Reilly Factor a few minutes ago, I saw Geraldo Rivera make an interesting proposal about the controversial mosque/athletic facility/culinary school/art studio near ground zero in Manhattan. He started by stating out that the current owner of the... MORE

You're not a Frequent Trader? We'll Take Your Stuff

Property Rights
David Henderson
When I got home from work Tuesday evening, there was a message on my answering machine from E*Trade. I have an account with E*Trade that I've used to buy stocks. I'm not an active trader. I tend to buy and... MORE

Objectivist Attacks Property Rights

Property Rights
David Henderson
Sometimes it seems as if the world has turned upside down. Check out this debate between Pamela Geller, an Objectivist who likes the work of Ayn Rand [her blog is www.atlasshrugs.com] and Ibrahim Ramey of the Muslim American Society. Ms.... MORE

Over at Cato Unbound, my old friend Sheldon Richman denies that restrictive covenants are kosher in libertarian terms:[I]n a fully free society restrictive covenants in deeds would be unenforceable because they are feudal in nature and thus violate fundamental libertarian... MORE

The Coase Theorem and Endowment Effects

Property Rights
Arnold Kling
There is a problem with the assignment of property rights on Karl Marx Street. The street is in Griebnetzsee, a suburb of Berlin, and it sits on a hill overlooking a beautiful lake. It is very chic, with fancy villas.... MORE

Avatar Follow-Up

Property Rights
David Henderson
I posted on Avatar as a defense of property rights in January. I commented that during the movie, I had whispered to one of my friends, "This is the Kelo decision." Various people pushed back on this site and on... MORE

Great Moments in Property Rights

Property Rights
David Henderson
My back yard is empty, but that does not give Netanyahu the right to put up an apartment complex on it. This is from Juan Cole's article, "Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem does not belong to Jewish-Israelis." The whole thing... MORE

Avatar as a Defense of Property Rights

Property Rights
David Henderson
In fact, Avatar is a powerful antiwar movie - and a defense of property rights. For that reason, I found it easy to identify with those whose way of life was being destroyed by military might. This is from my... MORE

Armen Alchian

Efficient Markets Hypothesis
David Henderson
In this month's Featured Article, Fred McChesney pays tribute to the work of Armen Alchian and makes the case that he deserves the Nobel prize in economics. I already knew most of what McChesney writes because, after all, I studied... MORE

What Would Coase Say?

Property Rights
David Henderson
Ronald Coase won the Nobel prize for, in part, what has become known as the Coase Theorem. According to this theorem, if people could bargain at low cost, there would be no problem of externalities and, indeed, the outcome would... MORE

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