Angrist’s Critique of Card and Krueger

As in the original Card and Krueger survey, the administrative data show a slight decline in the employment from February to November 1992 in Pennsylvania, and little change in New Jersey over the same time period. However, the data also reveals substantial year to year […]

The Power of Compounding

According to an apocryphal story, physicist Albert Einstein, when asked what was the most powerful force in nature, answered “Compound interest.” Whether it’s the most powerful force, it is powerful. Here’s a paragraph from Sterling Futures, October 15, 2021: Including dividends, the S&P 500 Total […]

Will Texas choose to be pro-business or pro-market?

Tesla recent announced plans to move its corporate headquarters from California to Texas. But there are some ironies associated with this action: And despite the state’s business-friendly reputation, Tesla can’t sell vehicles directly to customers there because of a law that protects car dealerships, which […]

The Pros and Cons of Irish Democracy

If regular democracy isn’t doing so well, maybe it’s time to fall back on “Irish Democracy.” That’s what Yale political scientist James Scott calls the passive resistance of a society that doesn’t like what its rulers are doing to it. In his book “Two Cheers […]

Milton Friedman and “Zero Cost” Expanded Government

President Joe Biden has declared that his proposed $3.5 (or is it $5.5?) trillion “Build Back Better” social agenda will have a “zero” cost—as in $0.00! Why? Because the added expenditures will be covered by increased revenues drawn from businesses and the “rich.” The President […]

An unsung success story

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to ban Muslim travel to the US. After being rebuffed by the courts, President Trump had to settle for a watered down ban on travel from a subset of Muslim countries. Nonetheless, the US Muslim population continues to grow […]

Good News on Oil Spills

Max Roser, at the site “Our World in Data,” reports some encouraging news on oil spills. Their frequency has fallen over the last few decades and the amount of oil spilled has fallen dramatically over the last few decades. The graph above shows volume of […]

Give Leviathan an Inch…

In his 1651 book Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes argued that, in order to protect its subjects, the state—“Leviathan”—need to be all-powerful. The problem, others noted and history showed, is that a non-democratic Leviathan is a recipe for tyranny. But a democratic state will respect every citizen’s […]