Category Archives: How not to do political economy

“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President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.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 ››

Wait…What!?!

That has been my reaction several times in the last two days.  The first was when I turned on the television for the first time Tuesday midway through the evening and heard that Ohio had gone for Trump by double digits.  Wait…what!?!  I thought to myself.  The final vote was under 10% but that was still a surprising margin.  Ohio was going to be close we were all told.  I went to bed not knowing what the outcome would be. … Continue Reading ››

There he goes again–the divider-in-chief is in typical form

One of the blessings embedded in the nightmare that we call the 2016 presidential election is at some point soon, Mr. Obama will no longer directly control the reins of political power.  His presidency has been a dismal failure in terms of economic growth, foreign policy, dealing with the burgeoning entitlement state, and of course, his assault on mainstream social values.  But nowhere has he failed more than his inflaming–not helping–race relations, and indeed, social relations more broadly.  Rather than… Continue Reading ››

Conservatives and Cronyism: Time to Take Action

A really important column appeared November 3, 2016 by Yuval Levin in the National Review Online.  The title was “It’s Time for the Right to Get Serious about Tackling Cronyism,” and that title perfectly captures the thrust of the article.  You can read it here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/441691/conservatism-cronyism-policy-solutions-right.  (Sorry, Bert Wheeler, I still can’t master just “link”).  But note the article was aimed at conservatives (including Republicans), though liberals have plenty to answer for on this front as well.  The subject was… Continue Reading ››