Archive for June, 2012

How Many TSA Agents Does It Take... »

...to realize the metal detector isn’t plugged in? No one knows how long it took for the light to dawn yesterday morning for one TSA agent at New York’s busy JFK International Terminal that his metal detector had been unplugged—apparently for hours: Amazingly, he failed to realize that alert lights never flashed once as...
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How States Can Control Their Spending »

State governments across the country have, over the years, adopted more than a dozen types of institutions to help limit spending, limit the growth of spending, or limit the volatility of spending. Examples include strict balanced-budget requirements, line-item vetoes, and tax and spending limits. Unfortunately, most reforms have yielded disappointing results. Which measures have...
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Anna Jacobson Schwartz (November 11, 1915–June 21, 2012) »

Anna Schwartz was one of the best economic historians of the past century. With Milton Friedman, she wrote (among many other works) that century’s most influential economic history book, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960 (1963). Although not an economic theorist of Friedman’s caliber, she was a fine economist in her own...
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Nothing Outside the State: Non-Profit Edition »

My friend and colleague Robert Higgs has written on the increasing adoption by Americans of the Italian Fascists under Mussolini’s slogan, “Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato:” “Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” And I have also previously posted on President...
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My Money’s on Obama Because... »

... he’s the incumbent, and it’s really hard to beat an incumbent. I’m not normally a betting man, but shortly after President Obama was elected, in 2009, I bet someone $5 he’d be re-elected. Recently, I mentioned this bet to some graduate students and one of them wanted to make the same bet, so...
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Obamacare Cronyism Makes Bad Medicine »

Emails released last week between representatives of major pharmaceutical companies (“big Pharma”) and top Obama administration officials, including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, reveal insider-dealing sufficient to kill any remaining Hope that Obamacare was designed to deliver on the promises of its official name: there is no Patient Protection or Affordable Care...
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Groundbreaking New Book: Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, by John C. Goodman »

We are very pleased to announce the publication of our very timely, widely acclaimed, and compelling, new book on how to get beyond partisanship and special-interest politics to resolve one of biggest issues facing us today, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis by our Research Fellow John C. Goodman. Dr. Goodman is the renowned, free-market,...
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Segway Police: Unsafe at Any Speed? »

Today at SFO’s teeming passenger pick up curb, I saw about 20-25 San Francisco police passing through on their Segways. A long line of them was making and winding its way between people, very much as though they were on their way somewhere. They also seemed to be in training. I saw a lot...
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Social Science 101: Three Ways to Relate to Other People »

Many years ago, in a book I’ve lost along the way (I believe it was A Primer on Social Dynamics), Kenneth Boulding described three basic ways in which a person, in the quest to get what he seeks, can approach other people. He can, as it were, say to them: (1) Do something nice...
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Is There a Trade-Off Between Economic Growth and Equality? »

The American dream is moving out of reach for average Americans, according to this article, even as things have looked up for the top 10%. Statistics like this prompt calls for increasing government redistribution and more progressive taxation to level the playing field. We know that redistributive policies lower economic growth and ultimately make...
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