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Category Archive for 'Central Planning'

I’d  like my readers and students to briefly examine the economic literature to determine what the “consensus” is on these two questions. What is the economic incidence of the payroll tax and other “benefits” that are mandated to be paid by employers to employees? For example, the total payroll tax amount imposed by the government is 15.3%, […]

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On p. 359 of Cadillac Desert: Another drawback was that the reservoir would drown an Indian Reservation and the town of Covelo — population two thousand — but that sort of thing had been done many times before. (The Corps had included the flooding of the reservation in its benefit-cost analysis, but had it down as […]

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From another passage in Cadillac Desert (p 351, I updated the dollar figures to today), on a dud-project known as the Peripheral Canal: “the correct figure, for capital costs only and accepting official estimates, is certainly in excess of $3 billion.” Three billion dollars in 1959 is over $24 billion today. What state would vote for a […]

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From p.349 of Cadillac Desert: “I loved building things,” he blurted in an unguarded moment of candor. “I wanted to build that goddamned water project. I was absolutely determined I was going to pass this California Water Project. I wanted this to be a monument to me.“ That was former California Governor Pat Brown, father of Jerry.

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The joy of reading things like a history of Apples often comes in the surprising twists and turns and the connections between seemingly unrelated other things you may be reading. I had in fact just finished reading a biography of Stalin (classy guy I tell ya) and serendipitously my book on apples contains a chapter […]

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As a once-sensible economist I supported a “revenue neutral carbon tax” as one major prong of global warming strategy. The simple idea is that such a program would qualify as “No Regrets.” If CO2 turns out to be really bad, then the tax assures that we’ve properly considered those damages in our day to day […]

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An acquaintance who knows a bit about organic farming and conventional farming and GMO techniques tells me that scientists have been able to take a gene from the barley and stick it in the wheat … and by doing so to irrigate wheat would require 1/8 as much water as conventional wheat requires. Perhaps instead […]

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I promised myself this year that I would not comment on what the kids at Vox are up to. I found this one particularly interesting: The arguments that convinced a libertarian to support aggressive action on climate Now, the arguments themselves are very reasonable and the position that this libertarian takes seem reasonable enough to many […]

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Robert Reich is telling us: Some opponents say minimum wage workers are teenagers, seeking some extra pocket money. WRONG! About half of minimum wage workers are 35 or older, most are women and many are key breadwinners for their families.” OK, well, let’s see what the government itself tells us from the raw data: ‘ […]

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Arnold Kling shares an email get received from the higher-ups at Swarthmore College: The managers of Swarthmore College agree that climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and that Swarthmore College can — and must — play a leadership role in helping to curb the seemingly insatiable appetite for fossil fuel. That’s my […]

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