Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on August 18, 2011

in Civil Society, Housing, Seen and Unseen, Standard of Living, War, Work

EconLog’s David Henderson wonders where Paul Krugman stands on the merits of artificially inflated housing prices.

Speaking of Mr. Krugman, Mary Theroux challenges his faith in the economic merits of alien invasions and other wars.  (And see A Chequer-Board of Nights and Days.)

In this splendid video produced by the Institute for Humane Studies, Steve Horwitz explains that Americans’ cost of living continues to fall.

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby argues that “in crucial ways, the flow of power upward to Washington has impoverished American culture and weakened civic society.”

Bob Higgs wonders what would have happened had America been established, not as one nation, but as six. has useful info on recent job growth in Texas.

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John Dewey August 18, 2011 at 10:15 am

The Economist writer just shows that one can make any point he wishes by cherry-picking data. By looking at 2009 to 2010 GDP growth by industry, the Economist tries to argue that mining has been a significant contributor to texas employment growth. But why focus on growth on a very short period.

Look at 2007 to 2010 GDP growth by industry instead. Mining lags far behind the real contributors to Texas growth: Finance, Government, Health Services, Professional Services, and Real Estate.

Or look at 2001 to 2010 growth to see what really happened for the full ten years of Rick Perry’s governorship. Yes, Mining was significant over that period due to the development of the Barnett Shale. But Texas Manufacturing grew even more over the past decade.

Liberals will want to dismiss the Texas miracle as a unique situation due to oil and gas. Those of us who have lived here know better. All industries in Texas have grown.

whotrustedus August 18, 2011 at 10:29 am


From your perspective, why have all industries in Texas grown?

John Dewey August 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

“From your perspective, why have all industries in Texas grown?

Low cost of doing business: low property costs, business-friendly regulatory environment, tax incentives, right-to-work laws, very inexpensive labor force.

Low cost of living: no state income tax, very low housing costs.

Large population.

Good universities.

Central location in North America.

Texas can-do attitude, an intangible factor.

JS August 18, 2011 at 10:34 am

Re: Higgs

An unlikely hypothesis because it required a centralized State to acquire the territories and why would a centralized State acquire them if not to keep them?

Manifest Destiny had little to do with the need for land by settlers, and everything to do with the merchant oligarchy that owned the country using an omnipotent State as a means by which to expropriate the lands, in advance, in order for it to be subsequently granted back to them for speculative purposes. Most of the land in the continental US was owned for at least half a century before it was rented out or cultivated. The settlers had no access to acquiring land for themselves through their efforts to apply labor to it. Only a Federal government, rather than a collection of separate states, would have had the power to monopolize the territories on behalf of the elites who controlled it. The oligarchy running the country had no incentive to decentralize power, and simply didn’t.

The men who drafted and executed our Federal Constitution owned the country. They took title to the land.

Invisible Backhand August 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

This sounds downright Keynesian:

“Others will draw the lesson that the government can and should accomplish the same thing, borrowing cheaply to boost spending and investment, in the process creating jobs and changing the prevailing equilibrium. They’re right too, assuming that the Fed allows it.”

Henri Hein August 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm

The Economist is and always has been Keynesian, no surprise there.

I also feel that it has taken a left turn in recent years. As just one example, consider that they supported Bob Dole in 1996 and Barack Obama in 2008. Anybody else noticed the same?

vidyohs August 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm

In addition to the fine links above, check this out:

You talk about some really dumb ass useless speculation based on tight little narrow views.

Economic Freedom August 19, 2011 at 2:13 am

Interesting historical link.

I always wondered whether or not there were any video clips of Henry Hazlitt. Someone finally found one: 17 Oct. 1951 on the “Longines-Wittnauer Chronoscope.”

The commercials are great, too.


Economic Freedom August 19, 2011 at 2:34 am

Couldn’t pass on this link.

William Bradford Huie (the “American Mercury”) and Henry Hazlitt talk with Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (Republican-Wis.) on review of his speaking tour in support of the Republican national ticket and against the Truman administration, interpretation of his recent senatorial victory, and origin of the term “McCarthyism.”

29 Sep 1952 on the “Longines-Wittnauer Chronoscope.”

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