Archive for February, 2012

The Fed Hates Renters Too »

Following up Bob’s excellent post: The Fed’s below-market interest-rate policy is also non-neutral in another important way, namely distorting people’s housing choices toward ownership (typically, a 30-year debt obligation) over renting. Aside from its efficiency effects, this of course has huge distributional consequences. I wrote about this in 2009 in the context of the...
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Members of Congress Benefit at Taxpayer Expense »

The headline of this Washington Post article summarizes the story pretty well: “Some legislators send millions to groups connected to their relatives.” Relatives in the story are legislators’ spouses and children. I recently blogged about the insider trading by members of Congress that would send ordinary citizens to jail. That story was uncovered in...
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The Fed’s Immiseration of People Who Live on Interest Earnings »

As I have noted previously, the Fed’s policy of acting to hold interest rates well below free-market rates in recent years has had the effect of greatly diminishing the earnings of people who rely on interest income. Such people include especially many retirees who do not wish to hold risky assets with substantial variability of...
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“Repulsive Progressive Hypocrisy” and Why Peaceniks Should Oppose Democrats »

Glenn Greenwald is one of my very favorite writers, and my favorite left-liberal blogger hands-down. I am always reluctant simply to link to his newest post, but every single one is well worth reading. His newest on “Repulsive Progressive Hypocrisy” demonstrates what separates him from most of the journalistic class, as well as from...
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Ninth Circuit, Gay Marriage, and the Rule of Judges »

Yesterday, to no one’s surprise, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court decision striking down Proposition 8 as violating the Fourteenth Amendment. The opinion can be found here courtesy of How Appealing. Similar to retired District Judge Vaughn Walker, the Ninth Circuit found that there was no legitimate reason for the...
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Solving the Federal Land Problem »

For most of its history, the U.S. government maintained a policy of transferring acquired lands to private owners and to the states. This changed around the turn of the 20th century, however, as the Progressives preached the “gospel of efficiency,” a doctrine that hailed the scientific management of natural resources by enlightened public servants....
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Taxes for Alms? Or for Crosses? »

In claiming during his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday that he wishes to tax the rich because that is what Jesus would do, President Obama demonstrated he is equally confused on the teachings of Jesus, as he is with history and economics: The rich should pay more not only because “I...
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No-Fly List Doubles In One Year »

The number of suspects barred from flying in the United States has more than doubled in the last year. As with much of the rest of the war on terror, Obama has exceeded all expectations in following his predecessor’s footsteps.

France Fines Google: Is Atlas Shrugging? »

In Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, businesses push government to pass law after law that aids weaker businesses by penalizing successful ones. There’s the “Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule” to prevent destructive competition among firms in an industry, and the “Equalization of Opportunity Bill” that limits the number of businesses one person can own....
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XX-: Safe-Porn Dreaming USA »

To think as a young man I longed to live in southern California. Today, the state is one big caricature of Political Correctness. News item: The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance requiring porn actors to wear condoms. Presumably, they can perform their on-air sex acts outside Los Angeles. What is the point?...
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