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Archive for June, 2009
Forgiveness and the State

There are so many shootings in major urban areas these days that most have ceased to garner any public attention. An exception occurred last year when an 11 year-old boy taking a piano lesson on a school-day afternoon was shot and paralyzed by a stray bullet from a gas station hold-up attempt across the…
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Health Care in Germany: One Observation (Maybe Two)

I’m not an expert on the German health care system, but as we move toward nationalized health care in the U.S., I can’t help but think back to something I witnessed in Berlin, when I was there for a conference in 2004.  I was walking from the conference venue to my hotel when I…
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One Man’s Hero Is Another Man’s Goat

Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric, gives CNBC his opinion of Ben Bernanke: “I think he saved the system, I think he’s a national hero,” Welch said. “I think Bernanke seems to be a guy operating on a clear intellectual framework. This guy’s done a hell of a good job.” Perhaps Bernanke…
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Arguably Ripping into the Federal Reserve from Within

Via Google Alerts, I receive periodic e-mails notifying me of online publications (many of them respectable economics and finance blogs) citing Robert Higgs‘s analysis of “regime uncertainty” during the years of the New Deal. (His article “Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Resumed after the War” first appeared…
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All Hail Caesar! Here and Abroad

In the USA, it is “All hail to Caesar!” So it seems by the clampdown on students satirizing President Obama at Bucknell University. Readers may recall that during the election campaign the freedom-fighting (?) faculty of the University of Illinois got a reversal of a ruling that would require them to eschew political buttons…
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Obama’s New Theocracy

The depiction of Barack Obama as the new, secular, American messiah began with his full approval during his presidential campaign and led directly to the spectacle of his coronation/inauguration. In what can only be described as a delusional, self-righteous pronouncement of himself as the new messiah (“the chosen one”), Obama has stated that: “We…
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The New Economy’s New Key Indicators: Lobbying, DC Luxury Hotel Occupancy Up

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Federal Intervention Pits ‘Gets’ vs. ‘Get-Nots’” provides two new key indicators of just what drives the new, new economy: government largesse. Government spending as a share of the economy has climbed to levels not seen since World War II. The geyser of money has turned Washington into…
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Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Report on the Government’s Financial Reforms

If you do, they will almost certainly disgrace your family by writing reports that can be interpreted in only two ways: (1) the reporter is a shill for the government, passing off government propaganda as news and analysis; and (2) the reporter is dreadfully incompetent and naïve with regard to government policies. Sad to…
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The Bay of Pigs (Howard Jones)

My friend and colleague, Howard Jones, discusses his first-rate book, The Bay of Pigs in a first-rate interview with Scott Horton. He was in good company that day. Other guests on the show were the “other” Scott Horton from Harper’s Magazine and Juan Cole. Those of you who have not listened to Horton’s radio…
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Principles and Politics: Like Oil and Water

My title is taken from my review of Timothy Besley’s book, Principled Agents? The Political Economy of Good Government, which appeared in the June 2009 issue of The Review of Austrian Economics. The reasoning behind my title is that the institutional structure of democratic politics puts elected representatives who act on their principles at…
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