Tag: Economics

Time to KO the Idea of Boxing Bans »

Upon watching the first session of women’s Olympic boxing in London in 2012, leading neuroscientist John Hardy stated that, We shouldn’t get our fun out of watching people inflict brain damage on each other. To me as a neurologist it’s almost surreal. Indeed, boxing has a reputation for producing some real medical nightmares. Having…
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The “Miracle” of Kirznerian Entrepreneurship »

I learned a lot about miracles recently thanks to a penetrating sermon by pastor Mark McNees of Element3 Church, a “progressive” non-denominational church in Tallahassee. And it prompted a lot of thinking about markets and entrepreneurship, particularly entrepreneurship as conceived by Austrian economists, most notably Israel Kirzner. (Kirzner is required reading in my social…
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How Big Is Government in the United States? »

How big is government in the United States? The answer depends on the concept used to define its size. Although many such concepts are available, and several are used from time to time, by far the most common measure, especially in studies by economists, is total government spending (G) as a percentage of the…
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Republicans Split over Patent Reform »

The Washington Times has an interesting article on the division among Republicans on patent reform. According to the article: Two dozen prominent conservative political groups, led by the influential American Conservative Union, the Club for Growth and the Eagle Forum, sent a letter Wednesday to House Speaker John A. Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch…
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Prostate Cancer Treatment Costs Can Differ by 400 Percent. Here’s Why »

The body of evidence that prices for medical and hospital treatment in the United States are all over the map is growing: UCLA researchers have for the first time described cost across an entire care process for a common condition called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) using time-driven activity-based costing. They found a 400 percent…
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The Costs and Benefits of Ethanol »

Here’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation on how much the mandate to require ethanol in motor fuel costs consumers, and benefits farmers. This article notes that in 2000 about 5% of the corn crop went to the production of ethanol, and by 2013, 40% of the corn crop was devoted to ethanol production. The increased demand…
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Florida’s Fiscal Policy: Responsible State Budgeting »

I’ve written a study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University on Florida’s state government fiscal policy, which can be accessed here. The bottom line is that in an era of growing government and fiscal irresponsibility, Florida’s state government has a record of fiscal responsibility dating back two decades. Both state government expenditures…
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Are the Ruling Elites in China Now More Pro-market than the Ruling Elites in the USA? »

The current issue of the Cato Policy Report (January/February 2015) contains a short article about a book by Zhang Weiying called The Logic of the Market: An Insider’s View of Chinese Economic Reform, which was originally published in Chinese (and said to be a best-seller in China in that form) and was recently translated into English….
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It’s Called Recovery, but Where’s the Beef? »

Many economists and other analysts have recognized that the recovery from the U.S. economy’s most recent contraction has been unusually weak—weaker, for example, than any other since World War II. But analysts have disagreed in characterizing the current recovery, which according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the semi-official arbiter of business-cycle chronology,…
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Apocalypse Not: The Legacy of Julian Simon »

“The ultimate resource is people—especially skilled, spirited, and hopeful young people endowed with liberty—who will exert their wills and imaginations for their own benefit and inevitably benefit the rest of us as well.” —Julian Simon February 12 marks the birthday of the late economist Julian Simon (1932–1998). On this special occasion, I wish to…
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