Ten Second News

Why We Disagree About Taxes, Entitlements, and Economic Theory in General

In a previous post drawing the distinction between procedural and substantive justice, I noted my objection to the idea that procedural fairness ought to be subverted in order to guarantee predetermined outcomes.  However—and although I predicted that most Americans would probably agree with me—I did not touch on the difficulty in refuting the intrinsic appeal…

Why don’t we treat free trade like global warming?

Belief in anthropogenic global warming is a sort of political signifier for American liberals – if you don’t think human activity is changing the Earth’s climate, they’re probably not going to take you very seriously. This is not because every leftist has independently verified the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s findings and concluded that people…

Anti-Intellectualism and Magical Thinking

A couple follow-up thoughts on DougJ’s response to my Little Republics post. First of all, I think the charge of anti-intellectualism is a little off the mark. I have absolutely nothing against intellectuals or experts in any field (or at least most fields). Here’s my position in a nutshell: experts and intellectuals should be utilized…

Progressives vs. Libertarians

I really think the two sides in this argument – the libertarians on the one hand and progressives on the other – simply have a very hard time understanding truly where the other is coming from. For instance, I think many libertarians simply take for granted that corporations will act in their own self-interest, and…

Carson’s Rejoinder to Kuznicki

by Kevin Carson I read, with appreciation, Jason Kuznicki’s thoughtful review of my book Studies in Mutual Political Economy. He begins my noting that the book is, as the title suggests, a series of studies rather than “an exhaustive treatment.” Given that the area I had to cover was so broad, and that the most recent previous attempts…

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…