Category Archives: How not to do political economy

Yes, repeating something true to intentionally deceive is a lie. The case of the (missing) gender pay gap

Saying something with an intent to deceive is hard not to call a lie.  Now perhaps we can forgive politicians (or the rest of us) who pick up too quickly an idea that we hear about without fully understanding its validity.  But if challenged on it, we should be willing to adjust our perspective when confronted with our error, if there is no doubt of the error.  But that’s not the approach of the progressive left.  Hillary Clinton and Bernie… Continue Reading ››

Racism, Confederate Statues, and History

Racism: The gathering of white supremacists and KKK members in Charlottesville last weekend was reprehensible.  The racism that was clearly being expressed should not be tolerated. The violence that ensued, particularly the person who drove his car into a crowd of protesters, is not an acceptable form of expression in our society.  As Americans, we find ourselves in a difficult situation.  While we as a society have determined that racism is evil, and governing documents and law prevent racist actions,… Continue Reading ››

Deconstructing the “De-growth” Movement

Tom Rogan in the Washington Examiner wrote a very interesting piece on the new expression of an old idea–”degrowth.”  (see http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-far-left-has-an-idiotic-new-craze-reduce-economic-growth/article/2631274).  He leads with these words: “Even the Soviets sought to maximize economic output. But today’s contemporary far-left are far bolder: they believe that economics itself is wrong.”  He writes further, “From their perspective, government shouldn’t simply control the means of economic production (socialism), it should actively work to reduce gross domestic product (GDP).”  Yes, you read that correctly.  The… Continue Reading ››

“How Do You Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm When They’ve See ‘Gay’ Paris”*

President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.  I will say at the outset that I support this move.  Let’s settle the “legal” issues first.  The agreement was not a treaty, and was not ratified by the Senate.  It might be classified as an executive agreement or as a simple presidential agreement.  The courts have never held an agreement other than a treaty as binding in an attempt to leave that agreement.  That should settle that–unless of course some… Continue Reading ››

Does capital capture all the productivity gains of our modern economy, with labor getting nothing? A short case study in how to deal with competing claims

Thanks to our frequent critic Mr. Adams, we have the opportunity to think about how we deal with “facts” that go against everything we know to be true.  When the latest scientific study comes out claiming that global warming is happening (despite no warming in the last 20 years), or that the minimum wage actually doesn’t cause any negative effects, or almost any other competing claim (especially in the social sciences), how do we assess it?  We don’t want to… Continue Reading ››

A Preliminary Look at Health Costs and Insurance

I was asked to address the question of insurance in connection with healthcare, so I am finally mostly over my flu and hopefully can think more lucidly.  Insurance, as has been defined by some others, is simply a hedge against the future attained by paying someone (an insurer) who has established a firm that accepts many similar payees into a pool.  Out of that pool come payments now to those in need of them (contractually) and also those not in… Continue Reading ››

Is the Patient Dead? Or Is he Frankenstein’s Monster?

Ted Poe, R-NC, and a House member of the Freedom Caucus, has quit the group, uttering these words among others:  “saying no is easy, governing is hard.”  This was in reference to the Caucus’s opposition to the American Health Care Act, which was pulled by Paul Ryan before a vote.  Poe says he wants to be more effective as a senator by finding common ground with Democrats as well as other Republicans.  I am certain that my view on Poe’s… Continue Reading ››

Update on the American Health Care Act

I want to provide a brief update on the American Health Care Act bill in the House.  I also want to add a bit more analysis.  Currently the bill has been passed out of two House committees.  Democrats are trying to slow it down but aren’t likely to be successful.  But if it makes it to the Senate, it faces stiff opposition from Democrats and from more conservative Republicans who see the bill as a compromise and not what was… Continue Reading ››

A New Beginning or Obamacare Lite?

The House of Representatives has now publicly rolled out its “Repeal and Replace” bill for the elimination of Obamacare and a new health care law.  President Trump seems to like it, while Democrats, predictably, hate it, though I cannot see how they have had time to read it, and some Republicans, such as Rand Paul, have called it “Obamacare Light” because it still contains too much welfare statism.  The bill, to be marked up soon enough, is to its credit,… Continue Reading ››

A Really Bad Legacy, and How to Reverse It

President Obama and his executive agencies set a new record for the number of pages of new regulations in one day: 527 pages (in a single day!).  For the year the number of pages so far is also a record, at 81,640 pages.  It is also worth noting that seven of the the top eight spots for number of pages of new regulations are held by the Obama administration:  2010, 20111, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.  This data comes from… Continue Reading ››