Archive for April, 2011

The War Was About Oil, After All »

At least in part. In the run-up to the Iraq war, many protesters brandished signs declaring, “No War for Oil!” The response from those pushing for the war was typically that this was a childish and silly admonition. And of course, the precise economic reasoning involved in much of this dissent was indeed faulty:...
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Budget Cut Not as Historically Significant as Claimed »

Apropos of Robert Higgs’s recent Beacon post, “Truth and Freedom in Economic Analysis and Economic Policy Making,” my post ties in to his discussion of factual errors and interpretive errors in economic policy. Since those two terms were not presented as jointly exhaustive, let’s note an additional, often complementary type of falsehood, one identified...
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Atlas Shrugged; Obama Stands Firm »

I saw the move Atlas Shrugged this week-end. It has received mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it. I like the book, and seem to have that in common with others who like the movie. I’m not sure how the movie would come across to someone who hasn’t read the book. Meanwhile, President Obama has...
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Truth and Freedom in Economic Analysis and Economic Policy Making »

For thousands of years, philosophers have told us that if we are to live our lives at their best, we should seek truth, beauty, and goodness. Of course, each of these qualities has raised thorny issues and provoked ongoing arguments. That people have carried on such arguments, rather than surrendering themselves to their raw...
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The Fed as the U.S. Economy’s New Central Planner »

The Federal Reserve emerged from the financial crisis of 2007–2009 with new powers to allocate credit to specific firms, including non-bank institutions. This development in effect makes the central bank the U.S. economy’s central planner. But why did Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke lobby for the new lending powers, rather than rely on the Fed’s...
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Truth, Goodness, and Beauty »

In a very good, new article in the Times of London, “Philosophers are finding fresh meanings in truth, beauty and goodness,” philosopher John Cottingham (University of Reading) discusses the fact that the absurdities of what has dominated philosophy and the bulk of intellectual and political culture for at least two hundred years are increasingly...
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Inflation on the Way? »

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures today, and it shows that inflation has picked up in the past few months. Looking at the past year, the CPI has increased 2.7% from March 2010 to March 2011. But most of that increase has been recent. In the seven months...
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Obama’s Budget Plan: Goals, but No Plan to Achieve Them »

President Obama presented his plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years. His plan sets out goals for deficit reduction, but no plan for achieving those goals. The biggest component in rising projected government expenditures is health care. The president wants to cap Medicare spending per beneficiary at the GDP growth...
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Whose money is it? »

The Washington Times has an interesting op-ed up about Justice Kagan’s view of money. Here is a snippet: Justice Kagan’s dissent gave the game away in its first sentence. The tuition tax credit, she wrote, is “diverted tax revenue.” Later, she elaborated, “Both deplete funds in the government’s coffers by transferring money to select...
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Libertarian Defends Professor Cronon (while blasting the hypocrisy of the Left) »

Over at the leading libertarian magazine, Reason, writer Shikha Dalmia attacks conservatives for using FOIA laws to invade the privacy of historian William Cronon. At the same time, Dalmia defends Open Records laws while noting that groups may abuse their rights by going after individuals. On that score, the Left comes in for a...
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