TV Commercial Volume Legislation – Pareto Optimal?

According to the AP, Congress is set to pass a law that would mandate standards equalizing the volume of programming and television commercials.  Specifically:  Legislation to turn down the volume on loud TV commercials that send couch potatoes diving for their remote controls looks like it'll soon become law.  The Senate late Wednesday unanimously passed a bill … Continue reading TV Commercial Volume Legislation – Pareto Optimal?

A Winning Agenda

Like many other people, I was underwhelmed by the recently released Republican "Pledge to America." Longwinded, wishy-washy, and mostly tinkering on the edges. I am not a member of the Republican Party (or any other party), and I am indeed one of those who fails to much difference of substance between the two major parties---at … Continue reading A Winning Agenda

Goldberg on education policy

Jonah Goldberg on education policy: But is there another major area of American public policy that is more screwed up and more completely the fault of one ideological side [than education]? Which party do the teachers’ unions support overwhelmingly? What is the ideological outlook of the bureaucrats at the Department of Education? Which party claims … Continue reading Goldberg on education policy

A Theory of Changing Moral Sentiments – Circumcision Edition

Kwame Anthony Appiah has a neat thought-provoking piece in the Washington Post that discusses what currently tolerated practices are likely to meet with future moral condemnation.  He argues that there are "three signs that a particular practice is destined for future condemnation": First, people have already heard the arguments against the practice. The case against slavery didn’t emerge in … Continue reading A Theory of Changing Moral Sentiments – Circumcision Edition

The non-exploding federal government

Many people (including me) take the ever increasing growth in government expenditures as a basic article of faith.   Over the 20th century, we had about a 23-fold increase in real GDP, but a 200-fold increase in real government expenditures.  In other words, from 1900-2000, federal expenditures grew at a rate nearly 10 times the growth … Continue reading The non-exploding federal government

Has Income Inequality Really Risen?

It has long been commonplace to assert that income inequality has been rising in the U.S. since the 1970s. Following Marc's post about Robert Reich's book and my reply to Roderick Long's argument for moral concern about inequality, I thought readers might be interested in a debate going on at the Economist over new data … Continue reading Has Income Inequality Really Risen?