“Which States Are Most Free?” at Cato

William Ruger and I will be participating in a discussion of our new study, Freedom in the 50 States 2011, at the Cato Institute on Wednesday June 8 at 4 PM. Michael Barone will be commenting, and John Samples will moderate. All Pileites in the DC area are of course very welcome, and the event … Continue reading “Which States Are Most Free?” at Cato

Do We Need a Commerce Department?

President Obama has just announced his nominee to be the next Secretary of the Commerce Department. In the WSJ's words: "President Barack Obama will nominate John Bryson, a senior adviser to the private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., to be his next commerce secretary." The Journal continues: Mr. Bryson, one of 20 senior advisers … Continue reading Do We Need a Commerce Department?

Eye for an Eye: Retribution or Restitution?

I recently came across this interesting, five-year-old interview with law professor William Ian Miller on "talionic" law in the Middle Ages, which specified literal "eye for an eye" justice. Talionic law developed in societies that lacked stable state institutions, like Iceland and early England. As such, it was embedded in strong extended-family institutions that used … Continue reading Eye for an Eye: Retribution or Restitution?

The USPS Nears Collapse: What to Do, What to Do?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has a long story outlining the desperate financial situation that the United States Postal Service is facing. The USPS is currently approximately $15 billion in debt, and with revenues continuing to drop---and, as is becoming the all-too-familiar refrain with government agencies these days, costs of health care and retirement benefits for workers are rising rapidly. … Continue reading The USPS Nears Collapse: What to Do, What to Do?

City and State Welcome Signs

Wouldn't it be nice if city and state welcome signs were simply honest to goodness "welcomes" as opposed to subtle campaign signs for incumbents who get to advertise their name and associate it with a positive message?  Given that name recognition is an important commodity in elections, incumbents who plaster their names on welcome signs and every … Continue reading City and State Welcome Signs

Worst economic reporting of the week

I don't expect much from mainstream journalists, but this quote from Fareed Zakaria at Time made me puke: The good news is that the American economy is back to its pre-crisis size. The U.S. GDP is now about $13.5 trillion, a bit above what it was in 2007, before the financial crisis. The bad news … Continue reading Worst economic reporting of the week

Frightening Sentences of the Day

From Peter Ubel in Free Market Madness: Why Human Nature Is at Odds with Economics---And Why It Matters (Harvard Business Press, 2009): The government could, theoretically, change the finances of the food industry enough to halt the obesity epidemic. [...] Given that information alone may not suffice to encourage better eating habits, policy makers should … Continue reading Frightening Sentences of the Day