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Archive for June, 2010

Disaster, Heartbreak, and Unavoidable Trade-offs »

I received a message today from someone who questioned the position I had taken in a recent op-ed article on the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Because I was unable to get a reply through to the person who wrote to me, and because others might have the same concern he raised, I am...
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William Watkins on NPR’s Talk of the Nation Discussing Supreme Court Nominations »

With the hearings on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, Research Fellow William J. Watkins, Jr., was interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation to discuss how to revise the nomination and selection process of Supreme Court Justices, based on his recent article in the Washington Examiner, “A role for...
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Should We Subsidize Media? »

There has been much hand-wringing over the decline of traditional media. Katherine Mangu-Ward consoles those who fear a post-paper media environment and offers some helpful suggestions; in The Freeman Online, Ed Lopez asks whether the decline of newspapers is a market failure and explains why it isn’t. He shows that this is a case...
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Second Amendment Incorporated Against the States »

What a feast for law geeks. Today, the Supreme Court actually decided an incorporation case. Most of us never thought we would see such in our life times. What is incorporation? It is the judicially created doctrine that certain provisions of the the bill of rights are applicable to the states. History teaches that...
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Not From The Onion: New Light Bulb Warning Labels »

Thanks to the Federal Government, light bulb packages will soon look like food labels and, perhaps eventually, cigarette packages (“ELECTRICIAN GENERAL WARNING: Incandescent Light Bulb Use Increases The Risk Of Infertility, Stillbirth, And Low Birth Weight”). Perhaps you didn’t know that Section 321 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 gave the Federal...
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Homebuyer Tax Credit: Debt Financed Public Policy »

As expected by many economists, the Homebuyer Tax Credit did little to nothing to encourage new home purchases and only shifted the purchase of new homes from May to April. Howard Gleckman over at the Tax Policy Center reports on the waste and fraud afforded by deficit financed public policy of this sort, noting...
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Economics in the Blogosphere, or, “OK, I’ll Help This Go Viral” »

The Richmond Fed’s Kartik Athreya takes the commentariat to task for its habit of making pronouncements on economics that they (we) aren’t qualified to make (HT: Greg Mankiw). Athreya makes several interesting comparisons of economics to oncology, seismology, and cell biology. People who have little or no training in these fields usually refrain from...
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Some Pieces of the Deepwater Horizon Puzzle »

Disasters have many fathers. The tragic explosion at BP’s well in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 members of the Deepwater Horizon’s crew and continues to cause unprecedented economic and environmental damage from the oil “spill” that began more than two months ago, is no exception. President Obama and many others have been...
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Regime Uncertainty Now Spooks Even Obama’s Former Big Business Allies »

Big business leaders—heretofore merry shills for Obama’s disastrous policies—have finally woken up to the fact that such policies are bad even for those with friends in the White House. The Chairman of the Business Roundtable, a group whose support helped further ObamaCare, Cap-and-Trade, and any and all Keynesian “stimulus” spending, now warns: By reaching...
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Encouraging Roadblocks in the War on Oil »

As Robert Higgs notes, a moratorium on deep-sea drilling, or an even more significant and general governmental effort to stop oil exploration, would be disastrous for the economy. Some commentators have referred to the Gulf Coast oil disaster as the environmentalists’ 9/11 — a crisis that would enable the federal government to seize upon...
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