Archive for December, 2011

Alex Tabarrok Interviewed on Restoring Innovation and Entrepreneurship »

Independent Institute Research Director Alexander Tabarrok is interviewed here by Ray Lehmann on the FIRE (Finance, Insurance & Real Estate News) Podcast for the Heartland Institute. The interview discusses many government barriers that exist that block innovation and what policy reforms could be adopted now to restore entrepreneurship and prosperity. Issues addressed include patents...
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Why Do So Many People Automatically and Angrily Condemn Historical Revisionism? »

Over the years, especially in writing for the general public, as opposed to my professional peers, I have been struck repeatedly by the frequency with which certain conclusions or even entire classes of conclusions elicit not merely skepticism, but angry denunciation. Again and again, I have been called a fool, a traitor, or an...
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President Obama and “Occupy Wall Street” »

I don’t get it. Here is an article saying that President Obama is “riding the populist wave” of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, giving him ” his best chance to reconnect with the American people.” These Occupy Wall Street people claim to represent the 99% against the elite 1% who are getting rich by taking...
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Build It and They Might Not Come »

An article in a recent issue of The Economist (“Sweet Land of Subsidy,” December 3rd to 9th, 2011, p. 42) tells the story of Iuka, Mississippi, a small community (2000 pop. 3,059) in Tishomingo County, where the local economic development foundation “invested” an unreported sum of the taxpayers’ money in the mid-1990s to build...
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Krugman Disses Hayek »

Paul Krugman tells us that “Friedrich Hayek is not an important figure in the history of macroeconomics.” He insists that there were no Keynes-Hayek debates in the 1930s, that “Hayek essentially made a fool of himself early in the Great Depression, and that therefore “his ideas vanished from the professional discussion.” Krugman is not...
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Uncertainty and Unemployment »

While last week’s news of the unemployment rate falling to its lowest in more than two years was very welcome, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out: ...the main reason for the big drop in that number and the fall in the jobless rate wasn’t more people working, but fewer people looking for work.......
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Civil Society or Dictatorship? »

Put aside all other issues for a moment, and ignore the trivialities that dominate the airwaves and what passes for national debate in this country. The Senate this week ratified a defense authorization bill containing an amendment cosponsored by Democratic Sen. Carl Levin and Republican Sen. John McCain that would empower the military to...
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Ode to the Welfare State »

The following was nationally distributed in the United States by the Associated Press and appeared in the New York Daily News on Friday, November 4, 1949. The measures being referenced are those in the Fair Deal, the cradle-to-grave welfare state proposal of President Harry S Truman to follow up on Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal...
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How to Spur Innovation, Advance Human Progress, and Make Yourself Smarter »

Pundits of late have been lamenting the decline of technological innovation. Has the rate of innovation in fact slowed down? And if so, how can we best revive it and speed up the rate of economic progress? Independent Institute Research Director Alex Tabarrok offers his penetrating insights on this hot topic in his new...
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Enron, Ten Years Later »

Ten years ago, December 2, 2001, Enron declared bankruptcy. The company had used complex and non-transparent financial statements to misrepresent its earnings, to inflate the apparent value of its assets, and to keep liabilities off its books. When questions started arising, Enron began losing customers and its house of cards, built with fraudulent accounting,...
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