Division of Labour’s Frank Stephenson has something to say about C. Fred Bergsten’s simplistic take on America’s current-account deficit.

Here’s Nick Schulz – channeling Timothy Taylor – on Herbert Hoover, Paul Krugman, John Judis, and budget-balancing.

I haven’t yet read Michael Marlow’s The Myth of Fair and Efficient Government, but my GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein recommends it, so I put it not only on my reading list but in this “Some Links” for your consideration.

My and Russ’s mathemetician friend Pietro Poggi-Corradini has a superb take on Elizabeth Warren’s unWarrented case for higher taxes.

It’s a shame that the truth Bryan Caplan speaks here is rejected out-of-hand by far too many people as being inadmissable in serious discussions about public policy.

Cato’s Dan Ikenson explains why Congress’s China-currency legislation is “a desperate mistake.“  Indeed it is.

Think that “Progressives” really are oh-so-lovely when it comes to civil liberties?  Cato’s Tim Lynch has some news u can use.

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Anotherphil September 30, 2011 at 11:01 am

Bryan almost, almost gets it with regard to parenthood. However nobody should be indifferent about INTENTIONAL single motherhood. First of all, the vast majority are not high earning, advanced degree professionals or Hollyweird starlets but under educated teens without reliable familial support.

It indeed is irresponsible to have kids you can’t afford, but irresponsible is a synonym for teenager. That’s why as a Medicaid Auditor, I reviewed literally thousands of 13-17 year old children having children. Teenagers, don’t vote, drink or form contracts because of their inability to make decisions under complexity. Cheap contraception will not stop it either, because it is INTENTIONAL.

Two parent home doesn’t quite capture the advantage of a mother and a father. Its not just doubling a fungible resource. Men and women are different and there’s a complementarity to seeing these two different perspectives involved in your life.

But the single best argument for mom and dad, is the uncertainty of your own demise. I’m so happy that my late sister left her daughter with a dad when she awoke one day in May 2006, with no thought that she wouldn’t live to see the next morning.

SweetLiberty September 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Why are these 13-17 year old females intentionally making babies they cannot afford to raise? Is it because, after serving time in public schools, they see no hope for their own future?

And given that this is their intentional irresponsible choice, what is the remedy? To delegate the fiscal responsibility to the rest of responsible society?

I was raised by a single mother after a divorce, and I’m sure we lived close to the poverty line, eating cereal for dinner sometimes because there was no other food to be had, wearing clothes that didn’t fit, etc. But she worked and made enough of a living to get us by. If these girls getting pregnant are choosing to make babies and become single Moms, then they are also choosing a tough life for themselves and their children.

Fred September 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Why are these 13-17 year old females intentionally making babies they cannot afford to raise?

I once heard one such female say she wanted unconditional love.

I told her to adopt a puppy.

Anotherphil September 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Why? Well with a teenager “every body else is doing it” suffices. As does “I want one”, “Nobody can tell me what to do”, “I know what I’m doing” or mere whim.

One case has stayed with me the past several years. 16 y.o. female,spontaneously aborted (that was an additional $5500 payment to the MCO (Managed Care Organization, aka HMO) beyond the monthly capitation for her medicaid services-and it still was arguable well below market.

The file included social worker notes. The case worker indicated that the “client” refused grief counseling (notice how many tax payer provided services this girl “needed” er, had at her disposal) and would probably becoming pregnant again “next year” because she was sure she could handle baby and high school at the same time (sic).

ArrowSmith September 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm

They’ve been taught by society – “my body my choice” and damn everyone else.

Steve C. September 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

RE #7

“Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay as promised. He continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals that denied defendants basic rights. He asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens he views as terrorists.”

1. The author quoted in the piece is Jonathan Turley. Who, if I recall correctly, supported President Clinton’s legal contortions over the Paula Jones lawsuit and his indiscretions with Monica Lewinsky. Is the enemy of my enemy my friend?

2. That President Obama has so far failed to close Guantanamo is a testament to checks and balances. (and politics)

3. The Bush administration created the whole controversy over tribunals by second guessing customary legal precedents under international treaties, and the UCMJ. An enemy soldier captured on the battlefield is entitled to the same legal process as a member of the US Armed Forces. That is, if the enemy soldier is suspected of having committed a war crime, they can be tried by court martial and punished under our the UCMJ.

What to do about combatants who do not comply with the basic requirements of the Hague and Geneva conventions? According to those agreements, they are entitled to humanitarian treatment. What incentive does a combatant have to behave (i.e. not act outside the accepted laws of war) if there are people willing to argue that they have the same rights as a man who robs a gas station in Atlanta?

I’ve always wondered why the Bush administration was so timid about tribunals. Up until the recent Supreme Court rulings, it was accepted by the USSC that the FDR had acted within his authority to create a military tribunal to try German soldiers apprehended out of uniform in the US for sabotage and espionage. Some of those men were hanged.

Regardless of whether you think that decision was correct, in the early years of the decade, that decision provided an outer boundary to Presidential authority regarding military tribunals.

4. I don’t support the general application of the idea that just because the President has found that American citizen Mr. X is a terrorist, he’s entitled to have him rubbed out. On the other hand, When an American citizen operating overseas readily admits to treasonous acts and war crimes, I’m not sure he hasn’t earned a Hellfire missile.

That said, I find the celebratory aspects over the top. Killing Osama is one thing. Like killing Yamamoto. A sweet combination of justice and revenge. Killing Al Walaki is more like killing Reinhard Heydrich. A good days work but hardly Guadalcanal.

Anotherphil September 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm

FDR had acted within his authority to create a military tribunal to try German soldiers apprehended out of uniform in the US for sabotage and espionage. Some of those men were hanged.

The actual facts of that case are very revealing. Their objective was to bomb Altoona PA’s “horseshoe curve” and disrupt traffic headed to Philadelphia and New York. During WW2 literally hundreds of trains passed through this main artery of the Pennsylvania Railroad daily. One or more of the individuals was repatriated from here, and they were discovered by accident. There’s a recent book about the incident here:


Rob September 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Good points regarding the political environment. The article was too casual is asserting that Obama didn’t close Gitmo as if he did not want to. Let’s not forget the blame Republicans share in this mess. This is very much a consequence of conservative desires to trade liberty for safety.

Crawdad September 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I think the problem lies with the dunderheads who actually believed a stupid campaign promise. Anyone who thought about it knew it wouldn’t be easily accomplished. And the fact that he offered no plans for what he would do with the prisoners reveals how shallow the promise was too.

jorod September 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Single mothers are entrepreneurs getting paid by the taxpayers. Why use birth control?

vikingvista September 30, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I wonder if John Marsh’s pessimism about the possibility of single motherhood dramatically declining is at all tempered by the fact that it took only about three generations for it to dramatically increase to its current levels.

Scott G September 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Thanks for the book recommendation. My new big thing is trying to explain to my family why government is bad.

vikingvista September 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm

If anything works, I’d be grateful if you would let us know.

Scott G October 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I don’t have any good advice yet, but I have been giving them some books and introducing them to major libertarians thinkers. I’m not sure much will come of it, and if if does it will take years.

SaulOhio September 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Paul Krugman is dain bramaged. Who listens to that nutcase anymore?

Invisible Backhand September 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm

People outside your bubble:


ArrowSmith September 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Bill Maher??????? LOL.

Ken September 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

AND Keith Olbermann, so between the two of them… well… I don’t know… but you get the idea! The lefty rage will fly! All that passion and anger, they just have to be right! Right?

kyle8 October 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Olbermann and Maher together would not be able to generate a single coherent thought.

Stone Glasgow October 1, 2011 at 5:51 am

Not many republidonks here, IB. They’re as bad as liberals.

Invisible Backhand October 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm

They always keep claiming that. Then in the next sentence they repeat what they heard on Rush and Foxnews. Just visited your blog and saw “death tax”.

kyle8 October 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Well I am not going to be hypocritical here, I don’t much like the republican party or about 60% of republican politicians, but I sure as shit will be voting for them.

That is because there are at least some fiscal conservatives and even a few libertarians within the Republican party, but there is nothing but far left pond scum in the Democrat party.

Nothing but race baiters, poverty pimps, union thugs, hysterical pseudo science honks, and out right contemptible liars left in that party.

JS September 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Without blind disciples, no man or his work has ever gained great influence. Sometimes, to promote the triumph of a form of knowledge means only that one weds it to stupidity, so that the weight of the stupidity also forces the triumph of the knowledge. FN

ArrowSmith September 30, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Single motherhood breeds the kind of thugs you see smashing windows in London this year. It’s always the end result.

Nick September 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Anyone ever listen to Adam Carolla’s old rants on loveline about this fact? The callers were all evidence of the great failure of society to effectively deal with the problem of single mothers….The vast majority of them grew up improvised, abused and ready to crank out a new generation at about 15. Afterwards, welfare.

ArrowSmith September 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Young boys and girls need the stern hand of a father to learn how to behave responsibly in the world. They need discipline, the strong hand!

kyle8 October 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I don’t even think discipline is the big factor, even children with somewhat permissive fathers who were at home end up better off than fatherless children.

It is the example a father can set. Especially to a boy child.

SweetLiberty September 30, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Are you kidding me? That’s exactly what we need to fix the economy! More broken windows!!! Now tell the truth – it’s Krugman running around getting all these girls pregnant, isn’t it?

g-dub September 30, 2011 at 7:49 pm

…it’s Krugman running around getting all these girls pregnant, isn’t it?

Now that is some old school “stimulus.”

Krugman is gross.

Slappy McFee September 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Another set of “some links”, another link* back to cafehayek…

tsk tsk tsk… One more sir and I shall toss you from the game.

*The Cato/China story

Randy September 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Personally, I have no opinion worth mentioning on single motherhood. Poverty is relative anyway. And I have no more or less problem with the politicians taking my money to pay single mothers than I have with any of the other things they do with the money they take from me.

vikingvista October 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Most often it probably isn’t single motherhood per se that is a problem, but the mothers themselves.

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