The Economist on Catalan Independence

A pro-secession protest in Catalonia on September 11th brought out 8% of the region's entire population, The Economist reports. Opinion polls have support for independence at about half of the electorate, possibly more. The moderate nationalists in power in Catalonia have even radicalized their platform. In the past, Convergence and Unity was a moderate nationalist, … Continue reading The Economist on Catalan Independence

New Hampshire Gubernatorial Race Poll

Rasmussen Reports has this just in on the NH gubernatorial race: Rasmussen Reports' first look at New Hampshire's gubernatorial race since the state's party primaries finds Republican Ovide Lamontagne slightly ahead of Democrat Maggie Hassan. A new telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Granite State shows Lamontagne earning 48% of the vote, while Hassan picks up 44% … Continue reading New Hampshire Gubernatorial Race Poll

Sunday Morning Quotation – Some Contrarian Thinking at the Fed (while channeling Dr. Hayek)

A nice acknowledgement by Richard Fisher, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, of what they at the Fed do not know: We are blessed at the Fed with sophisticated econometric models and superb analysts. We can easily conjure up plausible theories as to what we will do when it comes to our … Continue reading Sunday Morning Quotation – Some Contrarian Thinking at the Fed (while channeling Dr. Hayek)

Rick Perry Mocks the Creepy Obama Hand Thing

And makes a point too: HT: One of my FB friends (with apologies to George Will) And for more on the "creepy" things we've seen this fall, see these articles: here and here (and if you look at the first one, you'll see ScarJo looking as awesome as ever.  Too bad she isn't the kind of … Continue reading Rick Perry Mocks the Creepy Obama Hand Thing

The Case that Romney Isn’t Finished Yet

From Real Clear Politics: The basic argument for why Romney is being written off far too early is pretty simple. He trails the incumbent president by 48.2 percent to 45.3 percent in the RCP Average seven weeks before the election. There are very few races that have been this close, this far out from Election … Continue reading The Case that Romney Isn’t Finished Yet

On taxes and contributions

The graph below from is both insightful and fair (as is the accompanying article.) But one thing has always struck me funny when discussing Social Security and Medicare with those on the left.  When they are defending the benefits of the programs, they always refer to "contributions" into a social insurance system, and they … Continue reading On taxes and contributions

Further Unpacking Ron Paul’s State-by-State Performance

Per commenter FreeDem's request, here are some other ways to interpret Ron Paul's primary performances in each state, building on the statistical models estimated here. The first exercise is to simulate what Paul's percentage of the vote would have been in each state had they all voted at the same time with the same "institutions" … Continue reading Further Unpacking Ron Paul’s State-by-State Performance

Can Public Reason Save Us?

At Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Kevin Vallier has an interesting piece on the failure of "Enlightenment libertarianism" and the case for "post-Enlightenment libertarianism." While I agree fully with Dr. Vallier's critique of libertarian dogmatism in the Randian and Rothbardian modes, I have considerably more difficulty with the public-reason liberalism he associates with "post-Enlightenment" thinking. You can't … Continue reading Can Public Reason Save Us?

Cowen’s Blog Post Largely in Spanish – Signaling?

Economist Tyler Cowen is a big fan of signaling theory.  So in Cowenesque fashion, I ask: is he signaling something by not providing a translation in a recent post that highlights a long quotation in Spanish on the Honduran charter cities?  Or did he just not have the time?  (This is what Occam's Razor would suggest)  Or was … Continue reading Cowen’s Blog Post Largely in Spanish – Signaling?

The Politics of Higher Education

What are the chances that the person who gets this job won't be a complete and utter leftist* who will engage in classroom proselytizing?  It may be non-zero but one wonders... The Department of Political Science at Ohio University invites applications for a tenure track appointment in Human Security/International Relations. Research agendas could encompass, but … Continue reading The Politics of Higher Education

American Voters Aren’t Hopeless After All

Rasmussen Reports releases the most heartening survey result I've seen in a while: "By an overwhelming 72% to 15% margin, voters believe it is more important to guarantee freedom of speech rather than making sure nothing is done to offend other nations and cultures." Of course, I'm very skeptical of the argument that people are pushed to act as we've … Continue reading American Voters Aren’t Hopeless After All

Shultz et al. in the WSJ

Several prominent economists had an attention-grabbing op-ed in the Journal yesterday. Some key sentences: Did you know that, during the last fiscal year, around three-quarters of the deficit was financed by the Federal Reserve? Foreign governments accounted for most of the rest, as American citizens' and institutions' purchases and sales netted to about zero. The … Continue reading Shultz et al. in the WSJ

Sunday Morning Quotations – Libya Edition

State Department: "We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "The U.S. deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others."  "Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation." President Obama: "While the United States … Continue reading Sunday Morning Quotations – Libya Edition

On the Looming Danger of Sequestration

Reason yesterday recalled Veronique de Rugy's nice chart showing how budget "cuts" under sequestration would impact federal spending from 2013-2021.  If you listen to the chatter in Washington, these cuts are dangerous and extreme. If you pay attention to what Ms. de Rugy is saying, such talk is nonsense.  Unfortunately, de Rugy's position hasn't won over Washington (surprise, surprise) or the public.  … Continue reading On the Looming Danger of Sequestration

More money

Ramesh Ponnuru has it exactly right in criticizing George Will's terrible column recently that criticized the Fed's recent decision for more quantitative easing.  He says he supports the spirit of Will's criticism, but thinks all of his conclusions are wrong. It’s in applying those principles that he goes astray: Uncertainty is exacerbated by the Fed’s … Continue reading More money

Quotation of the Day – Criticism of the Volt

And not from a right wing or "denialist" source either but published as an editorial on September 12 by the Washington Post: No matter how you slice it, the American taxpayer has gotten precious little for the administration’s investment in battery-powered vehicles, in terms of permanent jobs or lower carbon dioxide emissions. There is no market, or not … Continue reading Quotation of the Day – Criticism of the Volt

The Boy in the Striped Pants

In March of 1973, famed Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight made his first journey to the Final Four.  The basketball crazy state was in an uproar.  At least I imagine it was, given what I have learned from watching Hoosiers.  What I do remember, though, is trudging across the hills of Bloomington by foot … Continue reading The Boy in the Striped Pants

On Rand Paul’s 2016

Interesting clip on Paul's future and the future of the Republican Party (a theme we've discussed before here) from two smart libgressives.  Embedding isn't working, so here it is.  A lot of thoughtful points about the difficulties that Paul could face in 2016 (though I think Rob may be overestimating Paul's difficulties in KY if he … Continue reading On Rand Paul’s 2016

Understanding Ron Paul’s 2012 Presidential Primary Performance

After the 2008 primary season, I analyzed Ron Paul's performance in each state to see how institutional factors such as caucus and primary form affected his electoral success. This exercise turned out to be useful for estimating the size of the pro-liberty electorate in each state. In this post, I do the same with the … Continue reading Understanding Ron Paul’s 2012 Presidential Primary Performance

Republicans Think a Lot of Washington Too

Here is a quotation from a Romney-Ryan campaign e-mail that shows that Republicans are either sloppy with their language, are going to hire 12 million new government workers, or have bought into the myth that Washington can directly fix things like unemployment: "My economic plan creates 12 million new jobs." This is how it should have read: … Continue reading Republicans Think a Lot of Washington Too

Peggy Noonan on the Democratic Convention

The beautiful writer Peggy Noonan on the DNC: Beneath the funny hats, the sweet-faced delegates, the handsome speakers and the babies waving flags there was something disquieting. All three days were marked by a kind of soft, distracted extremism. It was unshowy and unobnoxious but also unsettling. There was the relentless emphasis on Government as … Continue reading Peggy Noonan on the Democratic Convention

Democratic Retreat on Civil Liberties

At Mother Jones, Adam Serwer details the Democratic Party's platform's ratification of the Obama Administration's wholesale retreat on civil liberties. When stacking this sort of thing alongside the GOP's attempt to become the Defenders of Medicare, I not only find it difficult to care who wins the next presidential election, but to understand why anyone … Continue reading Democratic Retreat on Civil Liberties

Interesting Facts

1.  Joel Kotkin in the Daily Beast: Gentrifying Washington, D.C., now boasts the highest concentration of childless adult females in the nation, a mind-boggling 70 percent of all adult women. The entire piece about Obama's new Democratic coalition is worth reading, here. 2.  According to Bloomberg, "Food-stamp use reached a record 46.7 million in June."  … Continue reading Interesting Facts

A Real Dilemma

Would you rather have a politician working or playing during his/her time in office?  Depends on what he/she would do with that time, right? Although I'd love for President Obama to be focused on securing America's vital national interests in foreign policy and individual liberty here at home, his policies have frequently been destructive of those ends.  Therefore, … Continue reading A Real Dilemma

Labor Day

Observing Labor Day my usual way: by going to work.  It will be quiet there, though, since we have the day off. And here is today's holiday public service announcement: Be careful with soda cans that you leave in the freezer a bit too long - which I on occasion do.  Of course, this usually leads to either a mini-"explosion" in the … Continue reading Labor Day

Dan McCarthy on The Future of Rand Paul (and the Republican Party)

I recently wrote and repeated a part serious, mostly pipe dream comment that a silver lining of a Romney-Ryan loss to Obama could perhaps be "Ryan-Paul 2016."*  Commenter Damon Linker chided me in the comments with this offer: "I would bet a substantial amount of money that no Paul will ever make it onto a presidential ticket."  I think he's … Continue reading Dan McCarthy on The Future of Rand Paul (and the Republican Party)

Some Possible Answers to Jay Nordlinger on Why There Aren’t Right-Wing Protesters at Dem Conventions

Jay Nordlinger at NRO asks: How come there aren’t right-wing protesters at Democratic conventions? Are there? The street, it seems to me, runs only one way. Odd. Not odd at all.  Assuming he's right, lots of plausible explanations come to mind.  Here are two (or even 2.5) that I instantly thought of.  Feel free to … Continue reading Some Possible Answers to Jay Nordlinger on Why There Aren’t Right-Wing Protesters at Dem Conventions

Ross Perot’s Fundamental Question Answered in Texas

As this article recalls, Ross Perot once asked: "Do we want our kids to win on Friday night on the football field or do we want them to win all through their lives?" Although it can be a false dichotomy if athletics and sports fandom are pursued moderately, this was a fundamental question to ask given how much … Continue reading Ross Perot’s Fundamental Question Answered in Texas