Category Archives: Social Science

Assorted Links (6/29/2010)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Allan Meltzer: Why Obamanomics Has Failed – WSJ.com

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Carnegie Mellon University economist Allan H. Meltzer says the Obama administration’s policies have introduced uncertainty about future taxes and regulations. This inhibits investment and job growth.”

If You Have to Be Wrong, How Can You Admit It More Easily? – Freakonomics Blog – NYTimes.com

www.nytimes.com

“Making admissions of error easier.”

Cash for Clunkers: A Retrospective

www.american.com

“Top-down industrial policy carried out through the sheer force of incentives is welcomed by behavioralist Washington.”

The Unemployment Insurance Crisis

www.american.com

“As of this summer, unemployment insurance trust funds in 30 states were insolvent.”

Fred Barnes: King of Pork—and Proud of It – WSJ.com

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Fred Barnes writes that the late Robert Byrd made the most of his time in the Senate.”

Rupert Darwall: Britain Tries Fiscal Austerity – WSJ.com

online.wsj.com

“Rupert Darwall writes in The Wall Street Journal that Keynesianism goes out of fashion in London.”

Randy Barnett: The Supreme Court’s Gun Showdown – WSJ.com

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Randy Barnett writes that thanks to five Justices, the right to keep and bear arms is now protected from state interference. And thanks to Clarence Thomas, an important clause in the Constitution has risen from the grave.”

Bill Wilson’s Gospel – NYTimes.com

nytimes.com

“The story of Alcoholics Anonymous teaches us about human nature and the kinds of social programs that do and don’t work.”

Congressional Budget Office – Distribution of Federal Taxes

www.cbo.gov

“The federal tax system is progressive–that is, average tax rates generally rise with income. Households in the bottom fifth of the income distribution (with average income of $18,400, under a broad definition of income) paid 4.0 percent of their income in federal taxes. The middle quintile, with average income of $64,500, paid 14.3 percent of that income in taxes, and the highest quintile, with average income of $264,700, paid 25.1 percent.”

Is Academic Freedom Worth Its Price? – Project Syndicate

www.project-syndicate.org

“In these hard economic times, when ordinary people are struggling to make ends meet, there is a nagging sense that universities are luxuries. In fact, universities may be the most consistently high-performing products of long-term capital investment.”

Review & Outlook: Kagan’s Commerce Clause – WSJ.com

online.wsj.com

“The Wall Street Journal says that Senators should ask Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan if Congress can compel Americans to do anything?”

Drilling for Better Information – WSJ.com

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Information Age columnist Gordon Crovitz says that the financial crisis and BP share a common attribute: regulatory failure.”

Fouad Ajami: Petraeus, Obama and the War in Afghanistan – WSJ.com

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Fouad Ajami says that there is a mismatch between the general’s Afghan mission and the president’s summons to his countrymen.”

Review & Outlook: Triumph of the Regulators – WSJ.com

online.wsj.com

“The Wall Street Journal says that the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill doubles down on the same system that failed.”

Russ Roberts: Hayek: An Economist’s Comeback – WSJ.com

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Russell Roberts of George Mason University comments on the revival of interest in the Nobel Prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek.”

How Christianity Created Capitalism

www.torenewamerica.com

“It was the church more than any other agency, writes historian Randall Collins, that put in place what Weber called the preconditions of capitalism: the rule of law and a bureaucracy for resolving disputes rationally; a specialized and mobile labor force; the institutional permanence that allows for transgenerational investment and sustained intellectual and physical efforts, together with the accumulation of long-term capital; and a zest for discovery, enterprise, wealth creation, and new undertakings.”

Indiana ironing-board factory faces stiff competition from Chinese companies

www.washingtonpost.com

This article provides an interesting case study which clearly illustrates various dysfunctional aspects of trade protectionism in the real world; in particular, how tariffs shield US companies from having to compete and innovate in terms of the goods and services that they produce and the business models that they employ.

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