On the Federal Reserve and Things Austrian

Robert Wenzel gave an address to the New York Fed earlier this week. It is worth reading in its entirety (here). You can read some positive reviews by Vox Day (Vox Populi) and Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge, see some of the comments). On economic methodology: I hold the view developed by such great economic thinkers … Continue reading On the Federal Reserve and Things Austrian

The Continuing Saga of Drone Warfare

If you recall, in March, AG Holder justified the use of drones in “targeted killings” (see related post here). The comments were of interest, in part, because a drone had been used recently to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, in Yemen and in part because Congress was authorizing the expanded use of drones domestically … Continue reading The Continuing Saga of Drone Warfare

Seamless Web of Interests – Rubio Edition

Although Romney would be strategically-wise to pick Marco Rubio for the VP slot, let's hope Romney's foreign policy isn't driven by simplistic, misleading, and dangerously wrong statements like these from Rubio's big foreign policy speech: I always start by reminding people that what happens all over the world is our business. Every aspect of lives is directly … Continue reading Seamless Web of Interests – Rubio Edition

Slow Train Coming

Actually, it appears to be accelerating. The train is the impending insolvency of the large entitlement programs. The news today: Social Security. A summary of the latest trustee report (as presented in the Christian Science Monitor): The trust funds that support Social Security will run dry in 2033 — three years earlier than previously projected — the government … Continue reading Slow Train Coming

Zoning as Inefficient Redistribution

Interesting to see this come out of the center-left Brookings Institution: Anti-density zoning — embodied in lot-size and density regulations--is an extractive institution par excellence. Through the political power of affluent homeowners and their zoning boards, it restricts private property rights — the civic privilege to freely buy, sell, or develop property — for narrow … Continue reading Zoning as Inefficient Redistribution

Light Pollution. Part I: Compensation?

Light pollution which brightens the beautiful dark sky with an ugly muted glow is one of the most underrated negative externalities around.  I talked a little bit about this earlier.  Unfortunately, it is a really difficult problem to solve.  On the one hand, Coasian bargaining can't solve the problem given the huge transaction costs of dealing … Continue reading Light Pollution. Part I: Compensation?