"What if we can't make government smaller?" the Niskanen Center's Will Wilkinson asks. He says that the evidence, particularly Wagner's Law, shows that government spending is impervious to political assault, and libertarians should make their peace with big government. Instead, libertarians should focus on reforming regulations to foster competition and the market process. I have … Continue reading Can Government Spending Be Cut After All?
The "license Raj" is an epithet often used for India's byzantine code of rules and regulations on businesses under the central-planning system finally dismantled in part in the 1990s. The Economist applies the term to the United States, which buries entrepreneurs under layers of federal, state, and local red tape. According to the Competitive Enterprise … Continue reading America’s License Raj
I have just posted a couple of my working papers to SSRN for those who are interested. They are as follows: "Public Policy and Quality of Life: An Empirical Analysis of Interstate Migration, 2000-2012" Abstract: Individuals and households choose their political jurisdiction of residence on the basis of expected income differentials and jurisdiction-specific characteristics covered … Continue reading Working Papers on Federalism & Public Policy
What do big businesses and small businesses want from government? Pretty much the same thing.
Noel Johnson, Matt Mitchell, and Steve Yamarik have a new working paper answering that question in the affirmative. They look at state fiscal and regulatory policies and find that Democrats generally like to increase taxes and spending when in control of state houses and Republicans do the reverse. But when states have tough balanced-budget requirements … Continue reading Do Politicians Regulate When They Can’t Spend?
A Town of Tonawanda building inspector wants to destroy my native plant garden through misapplication of town weed laws. But my garden is legal, and I can prove it...
As commentators begin to read the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, they are discovering some hidden gems. The most recent discoveries: Diversifying the Portfolio (via Carrie Budoff Brown at Politico): Congress gives the federal government authority to terminate contracts with any financial firm that fails to ensure the “fair inclusion” of women … Continue reading What’s in the Sausage?
This today from the WSJ: Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said bank regulators would have the tools they need to banish "too big to fail" institutions from the financial landscape once a Wall Street overhaul bill becomes law. ...Ms. Bair said that new powers allowing regulators to seize and liquidate failing institutions would … Continue reading Scary metaphor of the day
During and after the financial panic of 2008, we were exposed to a host of economists trying to explain the market meltdown, what should be done about it, and how we might avoid repeating it. Some of the leading lights in the discipline weighed in on the market problems. Now we have a reform proposal … Continue reading Wanted: An economics of fear
I'm referring here to Paul Krugman's column today. The ratings system in the financial sector has been a complete pile of crock. As Krugman noted, 93% of AAA-rated subprime-rated mortgage securities are now junk. How often should a AAA-security end up as junk? Clearly there has been huge systemic failure in this area. I'm a … Continue reading Occasionally he is right about something