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Tarek Malouf. Our Favorite Kid-Friendly Recipes. Junior's Dessert Cookbook. Which means the static scorers in the CBO are going to put it in the column that Democratic legislators call "government spending. Maybe I don't understand but who says its never been tried? I deal with it every day. Au contraire! Enough that I feel a bit a bit guilty for enjoying so much free content without subscribing. But -- Jeeburz -- Rupert is bleeding me so dry for the WSJ these days, I don't have a couple coppers to rub together for any other source.

Kidding but not kidding, the days of inexpensive digital-only subscriptions is long past. I'm still a "Deepak Lal libertarian" preferring a much more muscular foreign policy than my libertarian buddies. But the WSJ has a bomb early, bomb often mentality that disturbs. And they're East Coast elitists on guns. They're squishy on drugs. I am by no means all in.

But they have led the way on free trade and immigration. They called out President Clinton for his failure to denounce the anti-globalization Seattle protesters in , rightly celebrating his trade achievements although they opposed most of his other policies. We love consistent philosophy and reason 'round here. The exact methods and scale of protectionism is as yet undetermined.

But the President's belief that it is ipso facto better to build air conditioners in Indiana than Mexico will ultimately lead to some bad outcomes. I know. Unlike the current pontiff and the Dalai Lama, Novak assembled the liberation of mind in self-rule and property rights with religious virtues.

Chesterton said "St. Thomas Aquinas baptized Aristotle;" I'll take a leap and suggest Novak baptizes Ayn Rand -- though she may be kicking and screaming as the holy water burns her flesh. Novak has passed away at the age of The WSJ Ed Page posts a tribute and reprises a column on the themes of my too-oft recommended book. My own field of inquiry is theology and philosophy. From the perspective of these fields, I would not want it to be thought that any system is the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Capitalism isn't. Democracy isn't. The two combined are not. The best that can be said for them and it is quite enough is that, in combination, capitalism, democracy, and pluralism are more protective of the rights, opportunities, and conscience of ordinary citizens all citizens than any known alternative. Speaking for myself, I would have read such a highly acclaimed book if I read anything at all. Dagny and I finally started on 'Equal is unFair' by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, from which I learned more than I expected, but were unable to finish it on a road trip last weekend.

A completion date is, at present, ambiguous. The linked article on his passing makes it clear he was first a theologian. He was also a neocon. Well, I thought that despite all our differences I might still enjoy a "beer summit" with our former president, and Novak's respect for capitalism seems genuine. And readers may or may not know that I've softened in my hostility to the religious traditions.

I value the purpose they give to some or even most people, as well as the moral guidance that is around 80 percent consistent with Objectivism. I've written in the distant past that an acquaintance and I differed on the question, "Which is the greater threat to individual liberty - religion or socialism? I'm an open defender of religious liberty, in the public sphere and even in the halls of power.

Yet I oppose legislation that imposes any personal morality upon all of us. Laws are for objective moral issues, such as life and property rights. One of Novak's last public statements is referenced in the linked piece, when he commented on our most recent presidential election:. The conclusion of which I certainly agree, and even repeated to wavering NeverTrumpers.

But my reasons for objecting to Hillary were more, shall we say, originalist in nature. As in the reasons of our nation's founding. Not that religious liberty was not one of those reasons, but the primacy of Novak's theme is clearly theological. You and dagny get official church dispensation from reading Novak. We'll fax over the indulgence as soon as the Pope signs it.

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But it would be interesting. Novak is the anti-Pope Francis, taking on the assumption that Socialism comports with Catholic Theology. What emerges is a deeply moral case for liberty and rights preservation. I found a new free market blog last week when following some inside-baseball information on FERC regulations on the power industry. This short article , from the heretofore unknown Ashley Baker, brilliantly sums up the case for passing and enforcing the REINS act, and takes a paragraph or two to expose HuffPo's rather unsavory Carl Pope as either mendacious or stupid.

In fact, the REINS Act would remove the bureaucrat-driven rulemaking process from behind closed doors and hold elected officials accountable for new regulations. Under the current process, Congress escapes scrutiny when regulatory agencies issue new rules that affect the lives of Americans. Unlike executive bureaucrats, elected officials can be held accountable by their constituents. Regulators, lacking this type of accountability, are free to promulgate rules without much regard for the costs they will impose.

Oxfam has released a new report which is generating much buzz. Sit down and have a drink of water before reading the intro: New estimates show that just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world. As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society -- especially the poorest -- suffers. The very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable and unjust point. Our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people. Accountable and visionary governments, businesses that work in the interests of workers and producers, a valued environment, women's rights and a strong system of fair taxation, are central to this more human economy.

The Internet taketh away, but ith giveth thoo. There are two superb rebuttals today. Oxfam measures net wealth, not income. Oxfam's data also leaves out any entitlements to pensions and entirely ignores the huge assets owned by the state. The real story on inequality is a much more optimistic one than Oxfam's narrative.

Take that, Bill Gates! As it's Davos time, Oxfam has issued its traditional demand for a handout. Their wealth report this year informs us that a mere eight people have more wealth than the bottom 50 per cent of the world's population. This is entirely true of course. But Oxfam's solution is that we should take it from the rich and give it to the poor. Which is entirely wrong.

Our essential economic problem is that there are not enough rich people. Nor is their extreme wealth a problem. Our problem is poverty, not inequality. Again, not supporting Oxfam's designs Set aside for the moment what this does to job growth and economic investment - what about those student loans? Those jokers are still broke. Wipe that out first, you say? Make the "everyone is equally wealthy [poor]" calculation from a clean slate? Sorry, that debt is what is in the plus column of all those you aim to loot.

Forbes' Tim Worstall explains the situation thusly:. In other words, they have leveraged their own future wealth. Maybe the answer is to just, stop allowing that. No more student loans. No more cars on credit. No more "nothing down" mortgages. Problem solved! I dunno sounds like the kind of thinking which does not represent "Accountable and visionary governments, businesses that work in the interests of workers and producers, a valued environment, women's rights and a strong system of fair taxation.

The election season back-and-forth over protectionism, free-trade, and what constitutes each of them, is underscored by "analysts" responding to the just ended APEC meeting. In addition the group vowed to refrain from competitive devaluation of their currencies, after Trump repeatedly accused China of keeping the yuan undervalued to boost exports and threatened to declare Beijing a currency manipulator.

But analysts were not convinced by the APEC statement, with senior analyst Jeffrey Halley at forex broker Oanda saying it sounded like "empty rhetoric. Free Trade? We don't got no free trade! Russ Roberts has taught me to admit that there are some losers from trade; no "Unicorns" to quote his favorite guest, Michael Munger. Perhaps we should mitigate harm to those affected. But the net benefit from trade is so strong that Presidents should champion it and let the Representative from Youngstown, OH complain about the Chinese factories. Nice article.

And no, I'm not the least bit surprised that America's mixed economy and overreaching federal government currently impose over "special protective duties on a wide range of products. Perhaps if they were better we would not need as many "special" protective duties? And who is responsible for this - not just the bad agreements, but the special duties? Not Donald Trump. Roughly one fourth of them have been instituted by the current administration, under President Barack H. We'll try this again - sounds like the topic is ripe for debate.

One can sure be suspect about the TPP; pages and 30 chapters written in secrecy can only 'free' the lawyers billable timesheets is a good assumption. TPP is about control not free trade , but WaPo says it's honkey-dorey. Point of Order: nb, your longer comment is in the spam filter. I or you can "publish" it if you'd like comments with more than one or two links ge flagged. The trade agreement I'd like is "we'll trade with everybody for every thing with no tariffs!

SO, I will be happy to pile on.


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When President Bush moved -- bravely -- to partial privatization of Social Security, do you remember where the libertarians and arch-conservatives were? A-F-WOL, that's where. A bad deal that gives you a little is better than no deal. If I believed for 40 nanoseconds that the opposition was entrenched to ensure freer trade, that would be one thing. But they are not -- they are lines up to get NO trade "Gonna make those goddam eye-Phones in Youngstown, by Union workers, we are! Douglas wrote in "Points of Rebellion":.

Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution. But now that it is the populist-nationalist right that is moving beyond the niceties of liberal democracy to save the America they love, elitist enthusiasm for "revolution" seems more constrained. Patrick J. Buchanan - An Establishment in Panic. We haven't argued about this in a while. Largely, I believe, because Trump's positions were just populist slogans with little in the way of detail behind them.

No argument here, right? This is supply-side and, in my mind at least, is a fantastic open to the article. I think I'm gonna like these guys. Ultimately, our view is that doing nothing about unfair trade practices is the most hazardous course of action - and the results of this hazard are lived out every day by millions of displaced American workers and deteriorating communities. We simply cannot trade on their one-sided terms; they are just too destructive to the U. I encourage the wonks to read the whole thing, and I expect there are elements you will be critical of i.

I poorly tried to accept that some very small part of their claims were true, meaning some factory closures and job loss. And, no, my Pareto boundaries are US -- from the forthcoming terrific wall on the south to the land of Tim Horton's up north. The huge, positive effects on world poor are gravy. At least my winners and losers are lopsided toward winners. We're going to start making party favors and USB thumb-drive covers in Youngstown, Ohio and employ five million fire up the improbability drive, Zaphod!

And million are going to pay higher prices? And be less competitive selling to the world. I join my lefty friends in asking, just what golden age is Trump dreaming of restoring? Pre Nafta? Was that paradise? I like skinny ties and all The "exact cause of our innovation and prosperity" is international trade that pits our private corporations against state-subsidized competitors in communist China?

The "exact cause of our innovation and prosperity" is our ability to use our comparative advantage and productivity, leveraging a worldwide supply chain and catering to a worldwide market, yes -- was that what you were trying to say? The iPhone contains parts manufactured in 42 countries. I'd rather we had iPhones and a domestic ecosystem of developers and designers.

No that is not what I was trying to say. I was trying to say, I love comparative advantage and free trade and I am not convinced that the global economic trade is free and fair.

(Or How a Technology Geek Cooked His Way Through Unemployment)

Because, while Boeing and Exxon-Mobil and Apple and Google and WalMart are giant, powerful, multinational corporations they are paupers in comparison to the Chinese government, who can legitimately be claimed to be their direct competitors. There are three options: Ramp up federal subsidies of US corporations to compete with Chinese subsidies, tell the Chinese that we will severely curtail trade unless they desist subsidization, or just keep the status quo.

By "unnecessary" am I to assume that you are in favor of the status quo? You don't see anything dangerous or harmful in that? Thanks to this article at FEE, the Foundation for Economics Education, here is the price analog to nanobrewer's tabular comparison of goods and services that are delivered by government or highly regulated by it versus those that are more freely traded. I'm sure glad that government doesn't consider televisions a "human right. Sorry to be the wet blanket around here, but you realize the claim you are making is strictly correlational.

In fact the reverse argument could be made. TV costs are down so government assistance is not needed. Just sayin Yes, that flawed argument can be made, and always is made by Keynsians. Did you know they're from Africa? But I believe you are viewing this evidence improperly, i. When controlling for other variables, 1 Competition reduces prices 2 Regulation increases costs, and therefore prices 3 Higher demand causes increasing prices. So no, I'm not surprised to see that goods or services in regulated or competition-restricted sectors are correlated with higher prices, and things that government tends to ignore are correlated with lower prices.

Causation generally results in correlational outcomes, except when other causes coexist which mask said outcome. And they'd thank me, dammit! It's entertaining and interesting. But its main function is to contradict the nonsense everyone is taught in school about how FDR "fixed": the Great Depression. Sumner, a classical liberal, believed that strong commerce helped the poor better than the best government benefit. In the s and s, the era of Tweed and Tammany, municipal and county governments joined private contractors to build public structures. Sumner skewered such projects: "They are carried out, not because they are needed in themselves, but because they will serve the turn of some private interest.

Shlaes does not take sides in the election but rather suggests a point for clarification: Here's an opening question for the first Trump-Clinton debate: "Who is the forgotten man? Penn Jillette had a great riff, Sec. Clinton's supporters dismiss differences by saying "oh she has to say that to get elected.

Free trade's only home today is in the LP. I might even succumb -- it's early. But in the binary choice, I have to say that Trump campaigned on it and his followers would be devastated if he reneged. Clinton is promising hope and X chromosomes and cuter puppies -- few will keep score on trade.

Both would likely fight new trade deals, but only one might re-open Nafta. I have been particularly concerned because trade is solidly in the aegis of the executive branch. A President Trump, lacking legislative chops and allies, would need some quick wins. And he'll have a pen and phone. I concede he is unlikely to win a single electoral college vote. But a showing in the double digits might wake a few people up! Especially since Colorado is looking very much like NOT a swing state these days.

To be clear, my issue is not his probability of victory. I think the existence of the LP is a bad idea and I do not wish to "feed the bears. I want liberty lovers to push the other parties in a better direction. Perhaps that is hopeless.

Grillin', Chillin', and Swillin' - Allen, Bill - | HPB

There is also some chatter that he might win Utah. I might move there. My impression of Mr. Kudlow has always been that he is a man of the eastern metropolises - a polite way of calling him erudite, elitist, and dismissive of "cowboy" wisdom. That's not the way his editorial reads to me today. It was also a week where Clinton's polls were like stocks looking for a bottom.

Trump-Pence is a winner for the GOP. Kudlow has his moments, this is one. Must say, that I've followed a few of his stock picks over time. Luckily, I didn't blow any cash on any of his recommendations. I'm sure some have been good, I've only spot-checked him, but color me unimpressed. Another gaudy and cheesy NY'er Now, if he can "unbundle" the overwrought, preening and pedantic commentariat over what can help a company, and the economy as a whole, as DJT's economic spokesperson, then we will have taken a small step forward.

Kudlow stock picks? He's an East-coastie. The closest he has been to a firearm is watching "Gunsmoke" on television. But he worked for Reagan in the OMB and has been a tireless advocate for supply-side economics. I am still a fan, but I have been disappointed by a lot of people I think should know better. Kudlow is making a quixotic Senate Bid, and I suspect the only enthusiasm a Republican can find in The Nutmeg State is to throw a little red meat at the Trumpians.

I don't know.

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ThreeSourcers are familiar with the fact that concentrated interests, i. A similar inequality [yes, I admit the gratuitous use of a leftist dog whistle term - anyone think it will prompt the righteous indignation that is due? Americans for Prosperity's Brent Gardner writes in a WSJ piece that multinational corporations are well situated to demand and receive special treatment from government.

On one hand I support such behavior, on the grounds that government should not be taxing corporations in the first place. But government should not be taxing mom and pop businesses either, and they have less leverage to fight the equal injustice. To coin a phrase, the harm to a large company is often acute where the harm to thousands of small companies is chronic. Large companies are often unable to pursue a particular market without these special carve outs. Not only can they do something about it, they have the accounting and business development wherewithal to be aware of it in the first place.

Many entrepreneurs simply wonder why its so hard to keep the doors open. One large hint: Taxation. View image. But the villain in this story is not multinational corporations, nor any large business. It is the government who favors them in naked surrender to the power of their concentrated interest. States could start with eliminating tax carve outs and replacing them with lower-overall tax rates and lighter regulatory burdens.

These already proven ideas would help states create a healthy economic climate to attract businesses and investment. Embracing these policies would protect taxpayers, who should never be forced to fork over their money to companies that include multinational firms with multimillion-dollar profit margins. Consumers and taxpayers will also benefit once a level economic playing field forces businesses to compete with each other based solely on the quality of their products and services.

From the Erie Facebook page I learned that several vendors had not been paid, and that employees had not received paychecks. Without disputing Gardner's excellent editorial or underestimating the burden of taxation on small businesses with strait-out-outta-central-casting authentic New Yorker proprietors, it seems trouble went deep. The State, with its monopoly on violence, however, gets to be the one to shut you down and lock your doors. Thank you for making my point: Vendors and employees, who gave something of value to the business have limited recourse when they aren't paid.

Contrast that with the State who, when not paid "the Gov'nors share" as they say, seizes your shit and auctions it to pay your taxes due. I s'pose if there's any left over they might divvy it up between the creditors, at pennies on the dollar. But the Gubna comes first. And my other point- that entrepreneurs like this, even when they DO no how to keep cash flow positive, don't have the spare time and knowledge to calculate just how much better off they could be without government's boot on their neck, and go blackmail government to cut them some slack.

But it's okay, because that same government has an "Office of Economic Development" whose job is to make sure that the money coerced from establishments like Richie's gets doled out to others - in the name of "helping small businesses. From the "life imitates Three Sources " department They dropped it like it's hawt. They sell some inexpensive commodity items in their own brand and have a great social media presence with pictures of cool guitars, jokes, and some independant journalism on the company blog.

Peter Schu posts an exceptional piece on guitar pricing. He takes four popular models and tracks their cost in inflation-adjusted dollars. It's quite a smart piece of research. His conclusions mirror mine toldja he was smart but he backs his assertions with data. I inflation-adjusted my new Epiphone Gold Top. He goes broader and further; In , one of the most popular and affordable entry-level, two-pickup solid-body electric guitars was the Silvertone Stratotone, aka the Harmony H In buying power, determined using the U.

Granted, it was made in the United States. It would be decades before modern Plek machines would help Chinese workers crank out low-cost guitar bodies and necks. The trends of constant dollar pricing for the Gibson Les Paul and ES, Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster and reasons for their diversion are worth the click. Nobody more worthy of props. When I run that line by Russ Roberts, he replies with a joke: "How do you know macroeconomists have a sense of humor? They use decimal points.

Kranz's Law: Economics can always be explained by guitars. There is a guitar example for every important economic concept. I'd write a book but the opportunity cost is too high. That would have been called a copy back in the day, but Gibson owns Epiphone and has decided sales of the inexpensive Epis outweigh branding concerns.

My Father tried to dissuade me, then folded and loaned me half the money. No, I'll be nice. The less expensive instruments were constructed poorly, were difficult to play, and didn't sound very good. You might score a cool used item from a pawn shop. My buddy got a Fender Mustang that either of us would kill to have today. But the bargain hunting beginner faced a hard slog. Nobody loves nice expensive guitars more than me. Most superlatives require qualifiers, but this statement does not.

I loves me some nice guitars. That's what marginal utility is. You could hand both guitars to a great player or to a blind Venusian and they'd pick out the more expensive instrument in a couple minutes. And yet, the cheap one is cool. I glowed after playing it last night. I'll hot rod the electronics a bit and it badly needs a professional set up.

But it is great. And that brings us to income inequality. Russ Roberts likes to say "Bill Gates has 70, times as much money as me -- but does he eat 70, times more food? His car is nicer. Is it 70, times nicer? Now the grocers sell premium store brands of many items. I suppose Gordon Ramsey can tell them apart, but I'm not sure I can. And I'd rather spend the difference on guitars. In as much as "the poor" are starving, lets fix it. But if they're playing Epiphone Les Pauls and using iPhone 4's instead of Gibsons and iPhone 6's -- sign me up for "heartless.

And it really is heartless to crow that luxury items have come down in cost, since everybody knows that the necessities have gone nowhere but up! I have railed often -- but not recently -- against N. Greg Mankiw's beloved "Pigou Club. And there we have the Pigouvian solution. To correct problems of systemic risk generated by large banks, overly nutritious drinks that lead to obesity, too much carbon emissions that may contribute to climate change, or too many grocery bags that ultimately foul the environment, a wise government can design just the right tax or subsidy and gently adjust the economic mechanism so that it runs more perfectly.

This proposal ultimately generated a massive academic debate. Chief among the debaters was Ronald H. Coase, who would later receive a Nobel prize in part for his contribution. Coase pointed out that markets failed to operate effectively only when property rights and rules of liability are not well defined, or when transaction costs restrict exchange. He noted that lighthouse operators long ago solved the problemof collecting fees from ships that benefited from their light.

This response exemplified the institutional vacuum in which Pigou had conducted his analysis. Coase's classic article "The Problem of Social Cost," explaining all this, became the most cited academic paper in both lawand economics. However,while Coase easily won the academic debate, at least as measured by citations, conferences, and books built around his ideas, Pigou seems to have won the policy debate. Yet it seems the great man himself was skeptical of public policy based on it.

His concern was grounded in what we today call Public Choice. He did not accept the notion that politicians, given constitutional constraints, would be capable of implementing an efficient and effective set of taxes and subsidies. Put simply, he did not believe the politicians could get the calculations right. Instead of making things better, the chances were just as good that things would be made worse. Instead of keeping faith with implementing a well designed tax, the politicians' interest would be deflected to writing loopholes for favored interest groups and finding ways to generate evermore revenue Leading Yandle to conclude that "It would seem that Pigou was not much of a Pigouvian.

I was just thinking about this "Pigou poo" business the other day. I was trying to formulate a strategy on the part of we who value free, individual trade in a public market - you know, capitalism - regarding the putative application of "market" approaches to government mandates. The people who suggest that market forces, nudged by carefully crafted taxes and subsidies, are a fair, effective and efficient method of "making things better" are generally the same ones who insist that services like health care "must not be left to the vagaries of the market.

Tim Worstoll Adam Smith Institute: The Lancet tells us, in shocked and disapproving tones, that there are now more fatty lardbuckets on the planet than there are undernourished people. We simply cannot bring ourselves to think of this as being a bad thing. Rather, we consider it to be a massive victory for the economic policies of the last few decades.

A victory for capitalism, free markets and globalisation. There are now more adults in the world classified as obese than underweight, a major study has suggested. Yes, I could lose a bit myself, but holy supersize with large fries, it is telling that the food nannies never compare the misery of buying larger pants with starvation.


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Different phrases hit us for whatever reason. But I remember reading about the Irish potato famine. Whole families would give up on hopes for emigration or relief and would quietly just enter their homes where they planned to just starve and die. There are a lot of grisly things in this world, but the desolation of that has never left me.

Not having enough food for your kids. Yes, diabetes is bad. Heart disease -- I hear you. But these people do not allow that we have traded a severe problem for a slight one. Got some WHO fans, got some guitar lovers, got some free-traders: we may even have a few Trump opponents 'round these parts. Part of the Fender story regards how the firm got hammered by Japanese competition in the s, but then bounced back by refocusing on quality.

Apologies to those who saw this on Facebook. But it is worth a read in full. Good article from Hoover , if wonkish. I think the growing consensus here is that this is driven by "populist" pressures on our reps - which is also a factor in Trump's ubiquity, no? Hmm, I get the Dem's part in this aka, unions , but why the GOP is struck with this fever is currently beyond me. Bad press -even internal - is all I can think of! Personally I draw a line - let's say purple for now - between general free trader ideas and the TPP.

I don't have hard ideas on why TPP is bad or "not free" mostly just total and complete distrust for the current POTUS, and am willing to listen to reason but not read Reason ;-. Great article. To be fair, a big portion of my TPP support was predicated on its being a good tool for the next President. That is before I saw the parade of total losers seeking to succeed Presudent Obama. I won't retract my support but it is freightening to contemplate what how President Sanders or President Trump might wield it. President would perhaps be okay.

No Reason, but Russ Roberts's EconTalk podcast was a very fair look at benefits of trade to everybody, but a realistic appraisal of the individual harm to displaced workers. I highly recommend it. The internet segue machine kicked out a gem today. In last night's GOP presidential debate I heard candidate Trump defensively state that he has used the H1B visa system many times, and profited handsomely as a result, but that the program "is unfair and should be ended.