Tag: Economics

Tax Freedom Day, 2015 »

The Tax Foundation announces “Tax Freedom Day” every year to mark the date on which the average U.S. taxpayer has earned enough income to pay in full all federal, state and local taxes owed. The date this year is today, Friday, April 24, 2015. “Tax Freedom Day” is determined by taking the ratio of…
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An Argument for “Selling” Babies »

“Behave, or I’ll sell you.” This “threat” was one I heard with some regularity as a child. It was my mother’s way of letting me know that I was driving her up a wall. It was usually followed by something like, “then they’ll pay me to take you back.” (In retrospect, if this was true,…
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Google Agonistes »

News reports on Tax Day suggest that the European Commission wants to nail Google Inc.’s scalp to the wall as punishment for committing alleged antitrust (competition) law violations. At issue is the way in which the company assigns priorities to the links consumers see when they “google” generic search terms like “booksellers”, “cameras”, and…
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Employers Do Not Systematically and Persistently Pay Women Less than Men for Equally Valuable Work »

The quality of economic journalism in the United States is terrible. Day after day, journalists write about the causes and consequences of economic conditions and events without understanding the underlying economics of the situation, and their articles are, as a rule, simply bunk. Here is an example. I have not examined the actual report…
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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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