Brink Lindsey has a new paper out called Nostalgianomics . Love that picture!
Wednesday: The Dow dropped 400 points after mixed reviews of the new and improved bailout plan of the nation's banking system.
Only one story today as I have to keep an eye on my dish for my "Economic Stimulus Potluck" at work. Is anyone else using hot dogs in their Hamburger Helper? :-)
Thursday: Both houses of Congress have came to an agreement over HR 1, the economic stimulus bill that has been debated for the last few weeks.
Today is Charles Darwin's 200th birthday . Happy birthday, Charles!
I'd been lightly following this Clive Crook story from afar without reading the actual article. Then I saw, via Will Wilkinson , that it's still growing and that Clive's original article even got responses from the two high profile macroeconomists mentioned in the article: Barro and Krugman.
See here .
Here's his summation at the end and it's really, really good:
Not much in the news today. President Obama is traveling around the country to drum up support for the stimulus package making its way through congress, and Israel has parliamentary elections tomorrow to decide who will be their next PM. The race is very close, but it looks as though the conservative Likud party is ahead by a small margin.
This one will be rather short (well maybe not), but I was thinking about this more and more recently and wanted to get my thoughts down on some electrons while the idea was fresh.
When talking about economic transactions, one often hears the story of the two gentlemen who, without any coercion on either's part, come to an agreement. The buyer agrees to pay $X for a widget sold by the seller. Both men are ostensibly "better off" for the deal, which becomes a point for increasing free trade.
I suppose that both men are "better off" from their own point of view, but what about from an objective point of view? Is there even a way to objectively measure this? I'm bold enough to say there is!
Using a continuum, we can "visualize" the price at which a buyer would buy a good or service and at which the seller would provide the good or service. So long as their pricelines match somewhere, they will come to an agreement. I'll switch terminology and say that both are equally "worse off" if the area of overlap on the priceline is bisected; at this bisection is the objective "worse off" point. This would be the point at which neither person is, comparatively speaking, better/worse off than the other.
I'll also talk a bit about fairness here, too. This point of objectivity is also the most fair price point at which a good or service could be sold. Being that I'm still a philosophical liberal, I enjoy government intervention on behalf of whomever is getting the more raw deal. Nine times out of ten the seller, because he has a greater reserve of capital, can afford to be more discriminating than the buyer, which is why I support any government efforts (done within constitutional parameters, mind you) to level the playing field as it were.
Now this is under complete information assumptions. Under incomplete information assumptions a different definition of "objective" occurs. The "you paid WHAT for that?" is the very trival (and fuzzy) benchmark for objectivity there. Veblen comes to mind as well when thinking about objectivity.
What say you?
Hot diggity daffodil, the weekend is finally here!
Today's "question": Name one government program you like that is, in your view, unconstitutional.
Daschle is out . HHS nominee Tom Daschle removed his name from consideration yesterday due to reports that he had not paid over $100,000 in owed taxes. President Obama took full responsibility for not properly vetting the former Senator.
Republican Senator Judd Gregg has been formally tapped as the Commerce Secretary. In his place, NH Gov. Lynch nominated Bonnie Newman (R-NH), a moderate who vows not to run for election in 2010.
I'll be trying out a new feature to add to the open threads. Let me know if you like it:
Today's question(s): What power that the federal government does not have would you like it to have? And on the other side of the coin, what power does the federal government have that you wish it did not? For purposes of discussion, assume we're going off your personal interpretation of the Constitution rather than from the current SCOTUS jurisprudence.
A rather interesting post by Steve Gordon at the Liberty Papers.
He links to an article from The Next Right where Patrick Ruffini calls for Rush Limbaugh to replace Bill Kristol as a token conservative on the NYT Op-Ed page.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the world champions once again after defeating the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 27-23. The club has now won more NFL championships (6) than any other franchise.
Possible Commerce Secretary Judd Gregg (R-NH) said that he will not accept the nomination unless a Republican is appointed in his stead . Such a move may be important because the Democrats would have a 60-40 advantage in the Senate -- enough to break any Republican filibuster if party discipline prevailed.
Happy Groundhog Day!
OK. So the stimulus will soon pass. Debate at this point is pretty much ceremonial as different politicians will position themselves for a variety of good and bad reasons on the yea or nay side of these bills from the House from Senate. That's politics.
But I'd like to see what people actually think of the stimulus:
Agree or disagree and why?
What do think it will accomplish and why?
What do you hope it will accomplish and why?
promoted by stinerman
Huge omnibus bills should be a LAST resort, never the first choice.
But for the Congress of today, whenever any big, multifaceted problem is encountered, the FIRST RESORT... is to create a legislative Swiss Army Knife to fix it.
It's not that Swiss Army Knife legislation has any great history of success. Remember how urgent it was to pass "comprehensive Immigration legislation"? Passing everything at once was such an urgent priority that they didn't pass a darn thing!
Another perfect example of Swiss Army Knife legislation is the Stimulus Bill (massive, hard-drive-filling, 647-page PDF ) as passed by the House. I mean, it's got it all-- the nail clippers, the file, the saw, the scissors, the can opener-- but is it a good can opener? do we need a can opener in this situation? and if so, why did we not try to pass a good, standalone can opener first?
Comment volume has picked up with our new member magilson. Thanks for the jump-start my free market friend! I'll look at restarting the daily open threads based on our traffic.
I'm off to work -- what is on tap today?
We're still under a level 2 in Franklin county but I-270 looks like it has been cleared well.
The stimulus bill passed the House yesterday 244-188, with no Republicans voting for the bill. The Senate has their own ideas for a stimulus so this bill and the Senate's bill will have to be reconciled in conference.
What else is on tap?
Going by his own words in a recent address at GMU earlier this month, it would seem he has his veto pen ready first its first run...
What's going on today?
In a move sure to please the states' rights crowd, President Obama will grant a federal waiver to California so that the state may more closely regulate emissions than the federal government requires. Other states may choose to use the federal standard or California's more restrictive standard. This is a departure from the Bush Administration line; President Bush would not provide the waiver.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) will be doing television appearances today while the Illinois Senate determines if he should be removed from office after the House voted nearly unanimously to impeach him.
Enjoying Obama's benevolence over here!
Well, the Obama presidency is only a few days old and it's been pretty good...so far. Yes, there will be disappointments and bad policy in the coming months (from my POV at least) but in these first few days, Obama has made or is starting to make good on some good campaign promises...and that's always a good thing.
As a libertarian, I don't get much to cheer about regardless of which party is in power so seeing little battles being won in a long, daunting and bleak war is the best I can hope for.
Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her name from consideration for the vacant Senate seat in New York previously held by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In a move that should make some conservatives smile (or frown, I suppose) Barack Obama was sworn-in a 2nd time by Chief Justice John Roberts in the oval office. President Obama joins Calivn Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur as Presidents who took the oath a 2nd time due to "unusual" circumstances in the 1st.