Archive for October, 2010

Should You Be Able to Sell Your Vote? »

One of the features of secret ballot elections is that they make it difficult for voters to sell their votes. Even if a voter wants to, and finds a willing buyer, the secret ballot means the voter cannot offer any proof that the voter actually voted the way the vote buyer wanted. Absentee ballots...
Read More »

This Week in The Lighthouse: Road to Recovery | Nobel Prize | Obama’s Wars | Runaway Defense Spending »

Why won’t Obama’s $50 billion plan for transportation infrastructure fix the problems that road users consider to be the highest priorities? How different would Latin America be today had its political economy resembled Mario Vargas Llosa’s approach to literature? What does Bob Woodward’s latest book tell us about the Obama administration’s approach to the...
Read More »

The Recession Is Your Fault »

Thanks to Jeff Tucker for calling my attention to this passage from Chairman Bernanke’s recent speech: Another concern associated with additional securities purchases is that substantial further expansion of the balance sheet could reduce public confidence in the Fed’s ability to execute a smooth exit from its accommodative policies at the appropriate time. Even...
Read More »

Buy High, Sell Low »

News item: “California to Sell 24 Government Buildings for $2.3 Billion” (AP, October 12, 2010). As a way of helping plug the State of California’s now-chronic budget deficit, this headline is welcome news. Among the state-owned properties on the auction block are LA’s Ronald Reagan State Building and San Francisco’s Civic Center. I have...
Read More »

I Now Report Sightings of Shovel-Ready Projects »

I was on the road a good deal last week, driving from my home in southeast Louisiana first through a long stretch of Mississippi to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, then to the outskirts of Birmingham and on to Auburn, Alabama, and finally from there back to my home by way of Montgomery and Mobile. Along the way, I was...
Read More »

Sweden’s Leftists Angered by Mario Vargas Llosa’s Nobel Prize in Literature »

Left-wing critics in Sweden are incensed that the Swedish Academy has awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature to an ex-socialist. Jonah Norberg, a classical liberal writer from Sweden, explains in the online magazine spiked. Here’s an excerpt: People who never voiced any concerns about the politics of other Nobel Prize winners—like Wisława Szymborska,...
Read More »

Justice versus “Social Justice” »

Justice is among the oldest ideals in Western thought. Although philosophers have long debated its meaning and application, they have usually agreed that justice deals with individual merit or individual actions. The perennial question has been: by what standard should someone’s actions be praised or blamed, rewarded or punished? not: whom should society provide...
Read More »

New Investor Survey Provides Additional Evidence of Regime Uncertainty »

Writing for CNBC’s “Behind the Money,” John Melloy describes the findings of a recent survey of investors: Institutional investors fear a government policy mistake far more than inflation, terrorism, a housing double dip, a weak dollar, poor earnings or any other potential risk to the economy, according to a survey of 100 mutual fund,...
Read More »

New York Times Admits I’m Right about Government Failure, but . . . . A Cautionary Tale for Classical Liberals »

Over at the New York Times Robb Mandelbaum notes how the Small Business Administration has caved to political pressures and once again made the definition of “small” business so broad as to include virtually every firm in the economy. This was a key theme of two books I wrote in 1996 and 2001, including...
Read More »

Top Physicists Protest the Corruption of Science »

As reported in the London Telegraph, the highly respected physicist Harold Lewis has sent a scathing letter of resignation to the American Physical Society (APS) protesting the corruption of science as a result of the politicization of climate research and as he states, “the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so...
Read More »