Archive for November, 2010

Preemptive War/Preemptive Body Scans »

Americans who followed George W. Bush’s fractured reasoning in supporting a preemptive invasion of Iraq—a country that hadn’t actually aggressed against the U.S., but he just “knew” was going to—in the process implicitly supported the deprivation of the right to life for an estimated 122,000 Iraq civilians—on top of the up to 1.5 million…
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The Economist on the Austrian School of Economics’ Relevance in Explaining the Current Crisis »

A Buttonwood column in the new issue of The Economist, “Taking von Mises to pieces: Why is the Austrian explanation for the crisis so little discussed?,” discusses the enormous relevance of the Austrian School of economics, including the work of F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Lawrence White in explaining the current economic crisis….
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Ditch TSA? There’s a Congressman’s Proposal I Can Support! »

Florida Representative John Mica sent letters to 100 airports suggesting they replace TSA screeners with private security guards, which they are already allowed to do, according to this article. I’m in favor. It wouldn’t eliminate the screenings, which are still required by law, but you might have friendlier service if screeners thought that customer…
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New TSA Checkpoint Sign »

Ban Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages? Can I Still Mix My Own? »

In yet another example of the nanny state getting out of hand, there is a recent movement afoot to ban the sale of caffeinated alcoholic beverages, as if this is a new issue. This article reports that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff calls them “killer cocktails,” and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says they constitute…
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Would a Value Added Tax Help Reduce the Deficit? »

Politicians have been advocating a value added tax (VAT) for decades, and with the huge projected federal deficits interest in a VAT seems to be increasing lately. Last Spring Paul Volker was suggesting one, and David Theroux recently noted in his blog Paul Krugman’s support. Alice Rivlin and Pete Domenici suggest a 6.5% “debt…
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A Modest Proposal for Shrinking Big Government »

Proposed law: “Be it enacted, etc. etc. that the total personnel count of the Internal Revenue Service may not exceed 80,000 for the fiscal year 2011 and henceforth.” As every American knows, and more importantly, feels, the IRS is big brother. The IRS collects private information on every one of us; the IRS pays…
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Blinder: Keynesianism is Right, Because Keynesians Are Really Smart »

Alan Blinder’s defense of QE2 is as feeble as Mankiw’s defense of “emergency measures” more generally. Blinder’s argument is simply that QE2 isn’t all that different from standard Keynesian fine-tuning (true) and that Ben Bernanke is smarter than critics like Sarah Palin (duh).”To create the fearsome inflation rates envisioned by the more extreme critics,…
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Paul Krugman’s “Solution” to the U.S. Deficit: Death Panels and VAT »

In a roundtable discussion on the U.S. National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (“Deficit Reduction Commission”), Nobel Prize laureate and hyper-Keynesian economist Paul Krugman came clean on his view on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” regarding how to reduce the gigantic federal deficit that he has been so supportive in seeing created:…
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Is the War on Terror Eroding Free Speech? »

Glenn Greenwald, Geoffrey Stone and others participate in a provocative debate at NYU Law. For those defenders of the war on terrorism who believe “the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” it becomes clear that they must also think the First Amendment is a mere technicality.