David Brooks on Murray, Coming Apart

David Brooks reviews Charles Murray’s new book, Coming Apart in today’s NYT. Brooks has high praise: “I’ll be shocked if there’s another book that so compelling describes the most important trends in American society.” Back in 1963, where the story begins: Roughly 98 percent of men between the ages of 30 and 49 were in … Continue reading David Brooks on Murray, Coming Apart

A WPA for Professional Historians…Could this be a Teachable Moment?

"[In] communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can be accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing to-day and another to-morrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, … Continue reading A WPA for Professional Historians…Could this be a Teachable Moment?

‘The Left’ and Public Choice Theory

The mention of public choice theory to those on ‘the left’ of politics can prompt a variety of reactions. Some are based on ignorance about the very existence of public choice economics as a theoretical perspective. This reaction was demonstrated to me following one of the first lectures I gave in my academic career. Having … Continue reading ‘The Left’ and Public Choice Theory

Sunday Morning Quotation – Labor Liberty

Given all of the labor talk around the country (especially in Indiana), today's quotation from Lochner v. People of State of New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905) seems appropriate: The general right to make a contract in relation to his business is part of the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, and this includes the … Continue reading Sunday Morning Quotation – Labor Liberty

The Costs of Higher Education

The President has decided that now is the time to confront the growing cost of higher education.  As the NYT notes: President Obama is proposing a financial aid overhaul that for the first time would tie colleges’ eligibility for campus-based aid programs — Perkins loans, work-study jobs and supplemental grants for low-income students — to the institutions’ … Continue reading The Costs of Higher Education

The new macro (part 1)

Periodically I visit Scott Sumner's blog The Money Illusion.  I keep asking myself if the market monetarism he and a few others are pushing is important.  I have come to think it is.  Like change-the-world important.  Like Nobel-worthy important. Well, maybe. I would usually bounce to Sumner's blog from a glowing link from Marginal Revolution, … Continue reading The new macro (part 1)

Romney and His Wealth

There has been a lot of talk - too much in my view - about Mitt Romney's riches.  Indeed, I half expect Ann Richards to rise from the dead and talk about how Romney was born with a gold spoon in his mouth (since he's probably too "elitist" for silver) and eats the fruit of the poor's … Continue reading Romney and His Wealth