Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on October 26, 2011

in Current Affairs, Economics, Immigration, Inequality, Subsidies, Taxes, Trade, Video

Frank Fleming has a fun tongue-in-cheek piece on OWS at the New York Post.  (HT Susan Kilday)

The always-engaging James Pethokoukis offers seven reasons why Obama is wrong on income inequality.

Here’s a short video of the great Steve Landsburg discussing the death tax – and even why the soak-the-rich crowd should oppose such taxes.

David Harsanyi warns against misidentifying Luddites.

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby is correctly and properly critical of Mitt Romney’s economically uninformed bashing of Americans who buy low-priced goods from China.

My former GMU student Alex Nowrasteh, now with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, reveals the errors in F.A.I.R.’s study that purports to show that America’s budgetary problems would be significantly improved by more tightly restricting immigration.

Finally, here’s me on dangerous political naifs.

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muirgeo October 26, 2011 at 11:50 pm

All these links tell me is that Libertarians and Republicans and Conservatives clearly have sided with the ruling political elites over the majority of main street Americans and against opinion the world over.

From Fox News no less;

Ken October 27, 2011 at 1:53 am


Can you provide a logical argument for what Steven Landsburg said is “sid[ing] with the ruling political elites over the majority of main street Americans”? Can you provide a logical argument why the death tax does not encourage over consumption by the rich?

Or are you just going to stand behind vague statements again?


T Rich October 27, 2011 at 5:20 am

I read your link (damned insomnia). The poll that you are pointing to is not a scientifically constructed measurement. Basically, anyone can sign in and volunteer to take the poll. As the article points out, the OWS support groups like Daily Kos et al, have been pointing all of their readers, twitter followers (twits?), etc to go and take the poll. Therefore, the poll results are really a measure of intensity and is not getting at true proportions. I am guessing that many people who don’t agree with a single grievance being pushed by the OWS crowd don’t know anything about that poll and wouldn’t waste 1 second of their time to seek it out and vote if we did.

I mean really, is this the 99%?

My apologies for subjecting the rational posters to that video.

brotio October 28, 2011 at 2:59 am

Sounds just like Yasafi with the CAPs-lock on!


kyle8 October 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

Well the ruling political elite right now are socialistic democrats so, Wrong again!

Greg Webb October 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

George, read and comprehend before posting non sequiturs.

Steve_0 October 27, 2011 at 12:32 am

I don’t know a single libertarian who sides with ruling political elites. And I’d venture to say I know more of them than you, by an order of magnitude. And I understand their beliefs well enough to articulate them.

Bastiat Smith October 27, 2011 at 1:20 am

All very informative. That last one was especially, damn good. ;-)


tigerlily October 27, 2011 at 3:10 am

Regarding the Pethokoukis article, another reason not to worry about income equality (at least in a society like ours with rule of law and strong property rights) is that iincome inequality has been an important factor in bringing new products to the market. The automobile was a rich man’s toy for a couple of decades before the Model T; the first radios cost several months pay for an average worker in the 1920′s; the first commercial cell phones cost about $3K. Similar stories could be told for most household labor-saving appliances and devices. The rich give firms and inventors the opportunity to develop and refine their products until such time as the cost and quality allow for ordinary people to enjoy them.

vidyohs October 27, 2011 at 7:16 am

Contemplate the economic and business understanding that went into this.

On the road to Beaumont on Tuesday I overtook an 18 Wheeler, that had on its rear door a large easily readable sign that said:


Not being as tuned to the cell phone world as most of you probably are, it didn’t occur to me until I was well past that I should have used my cell phone camera to take a photo of that. I can’t remember what trucking firm it was, only that it was a fleet truck and well maintained.

T Rich October 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

Thanks for the early morning chuckle, Vid.

kyle8 October 27, 2011 at 8:50 am

Just say NO to low prices
Just say NO to good values
Just say NO to cheap energy
Just say NO to cheap booze
Just say NO to variety
Just say NO to free love
Just say NO to entertainment
Just say NO to long life and health

Matt McCandless October 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I was wondering if the data cited in these income charts record home equity as income. I notice that most of the data sets only go to 2005, if home equity is being cited as income in these studies and the housing bubble is inflating home prices, then incomes and consumption would also be inflated.

EG October 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Maybe you can post the interview Richard Epstein did for PBS on income inequality. Epstein, as always, is brilliant.

Bill October 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm

What a striking contrast between Steve Landsburg’s insights on taxes, consumption, saving, and investment and the drivel of Keynes that Higgs commented on and the drivel of Livingston that Don exposed a couple days ago.

Greg Webb October 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Excellent article, Don! You express your ideas clearly and concisely. It is much appreciated.

Bill October 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Don, as I read your Freeman piece, especially the part about Elinor Ostrom and the “free-rider problem,” I couldn’t help being reminded of some lessons from Ronald Coase’s 1974 JLE article, “The Lighthouse in Economics.”

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