Archive for June, 2009
If Only Market Participants Knew What Was Good for Them

One of the strangest claims of today’s environmentalists is that “green” technology is actually highly productive and efficient, so that by switching to environmentally friendly production methods, firms can increase their profits, and by adopting energy efficient practices at home, consumers can save money. Obama’s plan to outlaw incandescent light bulbs, for example, is...
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Regime Uncertainty in the 1930s: A New Deal Insider’s Account

In the mid-1990s, when I was engaged in the research that would eventually be published early in 1997 in an article titled “Regime Uncertainty” (a modestly revised version of which appears as chapter 1 of my Depression, War, and Cold War), I had not read Raymond Moley’s book After Seven Years, published in 1939....
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Confiscation of Bondholder Assets Dooms GM

Much has been made in recent weeks about the fact that the GM bankruptcy agreement moved the government’s claims to GM ahead of bondholders with secured debt. Had GM gone through typical bankruptcy proceedings the bondholders would likely have ended up owning more than half of GM, not the 10 percent they actually got....
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Should Fearmongers Be Held Liable for Damages?

As has been discussed elsewhere, the FDA is threatening General Mills over its advertising Cheerios’ assistance in lowering cholesterol. In so doing, the FDA claims to be the sole gatekeeper for health information in the U.S. Yet as Dan Klein and Alex Tabarrok show on our related website, FDAReview.org and in related commentary; and...
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A Black (Republican) Maverick Meets Ike

This is the first in a series of photos relating to my book (co-authored by Linda Royster Beito), Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009). The book is about the civil rights leader, self-help champion, entrepreneur, and surgeon, T.R.M. Howard. Pictured at right is...
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Spectator: We Need Another Arthur Seldon

Nice profile of the Institute of Economic Affairs here. Of Arthur Seldon and Ralph Harris, Colin Robinson notes: Their common characteristic was sheer perseverance. Without that, they could not have continued to fight for the best part of 25 years a conventional wisdom that favoured highly interventionist economic and social policies, supported by a...
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Budget Crunches Supply Golden Opportunities for Governmental Reform

Unprecedented budget deficits at the local, state and federal levels of government should not be cause for despair, but rather taken advantage of to force the public sector to confine itself to its constitutionally delegated powers. In last Thursday’s (June 18, 2009) Orange County Register, columnist Shawn Steel jumped on a bandwagon I’ve been...
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Jo Van Fleet Shrugs (Anti-Government Speech in Wild River)

Rand or Rothbard couldn’t have done a better job. This speech (watch YouTube here) has it all for libertarians. It comes from a character in Elia Kazan’s film Wild River (1960), who is fighting a land grab by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Delivered beautifully by actress Jo Van Fleet, the speech blasts FDR’s New...
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C.S. Lewis on the Evil and Corruption of Theocracy

To follow up on my recent blog posting, “Obama’s New Theocracy,” and now with the brutal crackdown and news blackout by Iranian government officials on the huge peaceful protests of the corruption and repression in Iran (see here, here, here and here), C. S. Lewis’s discussion of the enormous dangers from theocracy (faith-based statism)...
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Dad Was Right

When my younger stepson Drake was in high school during the Clinton era, he took a class in graphic art at the California College of the Arts one summer, and one of his assignments was to create a propaganda poster. Drake took the photo of Elian Gonzalez being taken at gunpoint from his Miami...
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