Economics 101

[updated] Nate Silver puts several bullet-holes through this Wall Street Journal op-ed by Daniel Klein, which is a good thing since both Klein’s piece and the poll he conducted and then based the piece on are little more than a broadside against progressives and liberals. Both the Op-Ed and the poll, unfortunately, create a lot…

A farewell to supply-side economics

Writing in National Review, Kevin Williamson lays waste the ‘magical thinking’ of supply-siders and the notion that somehow tax cuts will completely pay for themselves. There’s a great deal of really excellent stuff in the article, but here’s a good bit: When the Reagan tax cuts were being designed, the original supply-side crew thought that…

Auserity Measures

Via National Review, here’s an interesting article on Lithuania’s belt-tightening response to the financial crisis: Faced with rising deficits that threatened to bankrupt the country, Lithuania cut public spending by 30 percent — including slashing public sector wages 20 to 30 percent and reducing pensions by as much as 11 percent. Even the prime minister, Andrius…

Weak Become Heroes

Via Sociological Images is this pretty awesome “pro-capitalist” propaganda cartoon from 1948: The Miller Center of Public Affairs (my employer) is holding a conference on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and as such, I spent most of my Monday night at a work-related dinner with prominent IR scholars and Cold…

How do those Northern Europeans do it?

Responding to Ross Douthat’s latest column, Jamelle raises an interesting question: And finally, I wonder how Douthat explains away Northern Europe’s high economic growth rates and robust welfare states? I’m no economist, but I think this has something to do with the fact that government in Northern Europe, while large, is effectively limited and rather…

the unintended consequences of economic populism

“POPULIST, n. A fossil patriot of the early agricultural period, found in the old red soapstone underlying Kansas; characterized by an uncommon spread of ear, which some naturalists contend gave him the power of flight, though Professors Morse and Whitney, pursuing independent lines of thought, have ingeniously pointed out that had he possessed it he…

On Safety Nets

“By treating any and all social safety nets as irreversible steps on the Road to Serfdom, we allow liberals and progressives to shape those policies in ways that are inefficient, ineffective, and overbroad – even though Adam Smith, Hayek himself, and Friedman each advocated for a form of social safety net, demonstrating that social safety…

Top 25 Econoblogs

The Wall Street Journal lists them so you don’t have to (with oddly tiny pictures and even more oddly cramped descriptions.  It’s almost as though whoever designed the slideshow was working on a very small screen, or actually loathes economics blogs and is doing their damndest to make it hard for us to get through…

Understanding Markets

E.D. thinks that market economics don’t apply to education.  Chris disagrees, but thinks that market economics ultimately are about controlling people and inevitably creates – specifically in the realm of education – a form of corporatism.  Chris also explains that this is why he is not a libertarian.  I.  FREE MARKET ECONOMICS ARE NOT ABOUT…

Working with what we’ve got….

I’m sure I’ve run this course long enough.  I’ve been in constant contemplation of the merits of the individual vs. the community.  I’ve written endlessly about the subject and read a good deal on Catholic social teaching, distributism, mutualism, anarchy, dignity of labor, new urbanism, choice, free trade, etc. etc. etc.  This will be my…

Two Individualisms

The discussion surrounding community, individualism, materialism, and the current economic and political crisis is anything but a discussion of perfect definitions or easy answers, and much of it is lodged only in vague theoretical hypothesis, or couched in moral arguments rather than arguments of cold, hard reason or data.  Essentially, where I argue against the…

Geithner’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Bank Plan

This is my third financial/economic/treasury round-up.  I am not an expert in these matters so what I’ve been trying to do is bring some expert voices to the League in order to better flesh out these thoughts.  If anybody wants to add more relevant links to the comments, I’d appreciate it, because this crazy treasury…

quote of the day

“Talk about misplaced anger. Wall Street built a wooden house, stuffed it with flammable material, set it on fire, and then poured gasoline on the blaze. And now it’s blaming the inferno on the arson inspector, who wasn’t appointed until after the fire had reached three-alarm status?” ~Daniel Grossman