Try This On For Size

The N.Y. Times (the New York freaking Times!) defends the big banks:

BANKS aren’t always popular even in the best of times, but the anger of recent years is unprecedented. The anger, while understandable, has fueled the misguided idea that we should break up the nation’s largest banks. The argument is simple and sound-bite . . . → Read More: Try This On For Size

Clean Water

Here’s a summary of a new research paper that claims the government regulation has had positive effects on the environment:

Levels of copper, cadmium, lead and other metals in Southern California’s coastal waters have plummeted over the past four decades, according to new research from USC.

Samples taken off the coast reveal that the . . . → Read More: Clean Water

Greg Mankiw: Ignoramus or Liar?

How else to explain this nonsense:

The anti-SOPA crowd argues that this is a matter of basic liberty. But it’s not. In a free society, you don’t have the freedom to steal your neighbor’s property. And that should include intellectual property. Moreover, it is the function of the state to enforce those rights. We . . . → Read More: Greg Mankiw: Ignoramus or Liar?


Pay close attention to this chart: [Source] This is a problem. As a libertarian, I generally view regulation as pointless, needlessly expensive, counterproductive, and anti-liberty. As such, I oppose a good portion of government interference in the economy. However, committing fraud is not simply a matter of failing to comply with ticky-tack regulation. Fundamentally, . . . → Read More: Fraud

So Many Problems

I wouldn’t bet on Robin Hanson’s prognostications:

We are richer than our ancestors mostly because of innovation. But most of the innovation benefits we receive are externalities – we only pay our ancestors (or those to whom they transferred their property rights) for a small fraction of that benefit. If we instead had better . . . → Read More: So Many Problems

Yes, This is a Litmus Test

People who refer to themselves as “libertarians” spend a lot of time arguing over exactly what they mean by “libertarian.”

Personally, I try to be fairly “big tent,” figuring that people who self-identify as libertarian tend to get more libertarian after doing so, if a) accepted and b) encouraged to explore libertarian ideas.

So, . . . → Read More: Yes, This is a Litmus Test

Magic: How Slums Become Lovely Towns

An Economic Times article today, titled “Slums and economic stimulus”, says

“If slum dwellers could be given property rights that are heritable but inalienable to the land on which they now have their make-shift homes, if these title deeds provide for being used as collateral, then immediately all of these people . . . → Read More: Magic: How Slums Become Lovely Towns

The Failure Of Free Markets

Free markets are being blamed for the global economic crises, but there have been virtually no free markets in most of the world for decades. While not totally unfree, nearly all markets have been manipulated, managed, poked and prodded by bureaucrats and politicians. Whether the interventions were necesssary is a different question. What cannot be questioned is the fact that interventions were prevalent. . . . → Read More: The Failure Of Free Markets