Yesterday I noted the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Institute for Justice.  Today comes further evidence – which thrills me to my marrow – for why this great institution deserves our applause and support:

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a unanimous opinion granting victory to cancer patients and their supporters from across the nation in a landmark constitutional challenge brought against the U.S. Attorney General. The lawsuit, filed by the Institute for Justice on behalf of cancer patients, their families, an internationally renowned marrow-transplant surgeon, and a California nonprofit group, seeks to allow individuals to create a pilot program that would encourage more bone-marrow donations by offering modest compensation—such as a scholarship or housing allowance—to donors. The program had been blocked by a federal law, the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA), which makes compensating donors of these renewable cells a major felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

I’ve yet to read Alex Tabarrok’s new e-book, but I join Bryan Caplan in cheering its publication!

George Will explains some unintended consequences of racial preferences.

Carpe Diem’s Mark Perry offers good sense in response to some truly twisted commentary on Wal-Mart opening stores in DC.

The indomitable George Selgin discusses NGDP targeting.

Bob Higgs explains the sorry reality that government is rapidly expropriating private wealth.  (This activity, alas, is one for which government enjoys a decided comparative advantage.)

In today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch I discuss another talent for which government enjoys a comparative advantage: arrogance.

Nick Schulz identifies three inconvenient truths for OWSers.

And Jonah Goldberg hits a home run.

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Jon Murphy December 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Hey Don: the Carpe Diem link is broken.

Don Boudreaux December 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Thanks, Jon. I just fixed it.

Jon Murphy December 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Thank you

Invisible Backhand December 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Don’s column had a comment, which mysteriously disappeared. Good thing I had a screencap of it:

I wish there was a way to add the “dong ding dong ding” music after “The more you know.”

Now to email the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Invisible Headslap December 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

If ignorance is bliss, you must be very, very happy.

Invisible Backhand December 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Did anyone else notice Russ Roberts was mentioned in Paul Krugman’s blog today?

kyle8 December 1, 2011 at 8:26 pm

No, because I don’t waste my time with the ravings of a loony who sold out all of his previous beliefs.

Josh S December 3, 2011 at 9:35 am

You mentioned Russ Roberts all by yourself? Here, have a lollipop.

Invisible Backhand December 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I’m carefree and gay.

Invisible Backhand December 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I am a paid shill of Anonymous and I wish I could say “The opinions expressed in my posts are my own” but I cannot lie to my many admirers. The opinions expressed in my posts are not my own, but those of my paymasters. They tell me what to think, and I love them for it.

The only things that are my own are my knee-pads (autographed by Paul Krugman and used by him only once).

Troy Camplin December 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Here’s a link I thought you might find of interest. Stuart Kauffman likes Austrian economics:

Austrians might find his comment of particular interest.

Adam Smith December 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Thanks for a link I found within this link. I am definitely interested in all research regarding catallaxy and ecotones. I am especially interested in their application and promotion within dense urban environments. Cheers.

Troy Caplin December 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I am also very interested in ecotones. I had a paper on theatres as organizations within several ecotones I presented at the FSSO conference this year. I am also revising a paper titled The Far-From-Equilibrium City for publication.

vikingvista December 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Re: Higgs–

The tax code explicitly requires taxing of even that portion of TIPS used to adjust for inflation. This fact disproves any notion that the theft is an accident caused by economically ignorant lawmakers. It is clearly deliberate. It also makes a joke of TIPS.

Jon Murphy December 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm

And then they wonder why Americans don’t save

Methinks1776 December 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm

And then they wonder why gold and silver are soaring. Oh, they try to manipulate that those prices too by continually jacking up the margin (which the exchanges say is to account for volatility, but they never ever increase margins when volatility spikes and the price goes lower.

Get a portfolio margin account (6x leverage) and lever up your HYG purchase to stay ahead of inflation. The Fed wants force everyone into risky assets your personal risk tolerance and time horizon be damned. How’s that for nudging?

vikingvista December 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Yeah. Nudging all of us over a cliff. Some will have the good fortune to land in the water, while some will land on the rocks.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 2, 2011 at 9:12 am


Methinks1776 December 2, 2011 at 9:16 am

HYG is the ishares high yield bond ETF.

khodge December 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Pity that it is the ninth circuit court issuing the opinion on bone marrow transplants. They are usually the most progressive court and most frequently overturned.

Adam Smith December 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm

The reason for government arrogance is it can’t complete with other groups that have a superior ability to ratiocinate. These groups include the local grocer and your kids’ scout troop. Anything or anyone sharper than the blunt ideas that ooze from their blunt heads must be caged or toxically fumigated immediately.

Dances with Wolves December 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Bryan Caplan says it is time to stop pretending that that non-STEM majors are producing “positive externalities.” I don’t even know what he means by that. Speak English. People should study something that they like and be less concerned about money. Every Jewish boy gets drummed into his head that should become a doctor. By that standard Caplan is a failure. We don’t need Caplan to tell us what to study or what line of work to pursue. He’s a totalitarian to even suggest such a thing.

The Other Eric December 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

Prancer, look up ‘externality,’ then, in your own words, explain how it could be negative or positive.

Caplan’s point, poorly made perhaps, is that science and engineering drive innovation and that drives the economy to produce longevity and happiness-inducing goods and services. You can major in poetry or choreography if you’d like, but you can’t dance the next revolution in information systems into existence.

Caplan’s non-totalitarian point is that we need more Hedy Lamarrs and fewer performance artists.

steve December 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm
sethstorm December 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Thanks can now go to the IJ and the pliant Ninth Circuit for declaring open season on raiding the destitute for organs. Another outcome is that lower quality organs will go to the masses, in a place where lowering quality is a fatal outcome.

Hopefully the Institute for “Justice” gets slapped upside its head by having that decision reversed. If the IJ were arguing for compensation on cloned organs, they would have a better case. The only plausible thing is to require the best medical care be offered at no cost to anyone that is allowed to sell organs – indefinitely.

Sam Grove December 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm

How do you eliminate cost?

sethstorm December 2, 2011 at 7:00 pm

For the associated healthcare? That’s a poison pill provision.

If someone is being raided for their organs while alive, that will require the best possible medical care – this would ensure they live a full life of indefinite length and condition prior to the organ gutting. Of course, you’d rather harvest the destitute and have them in conditions that are worse than death.

Jon Murphy December 2, 2011 at 7:30 am

Question Sethstorm:

Why is it a foregone conclusion that, if organs are allowed to be traded on an open market, the quality of organs will go down? In markets, when competition is allowed, quality goes up not down. Why is this market any different?

sethstorm December 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Cost-cutting – as what happens with things like electronics, cars, and various other goods & services. The quality goes down, even if the feature count goes up.

Medically questionable organs would end up with the masses, with medically safe organs being reserved for the few.

Jon Murphy December 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I don’t follow.

sethstorm December 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Not understanding or not wanting to?

The lower quality organs, more likely to be from questionable sources and of lower quality, would be what would end up in the bodies of the masses – much like the lower quality goods and services are today that end up with the average person.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 2, 2011 at 10:05 am

Regardless of the merits of the case, there’s a reason they call it “the ninth circus”. Highest reversal rate among all of the circuits.

muirgeo December 2, 2011 at 1:18 am

Nick Schulz has to be a total ass to not mention financialization of our economy and political graft as major players in the increasing inequality as well as the stagnation of our economy.

Occupy DC finally came out with their Declaration and theyshw they have a far better understanding of the big pictures then the AIE shill Nick Schulz. The fact is shills like him are the modern day equivalenmt of the kings vassals.

ANYONE who thinks OWS is just going away is a damn fool and an arrogant one at that.

SaulOhio December 2, 2011 at 7:54 am

Who says OWS is going away any time soon? We are just saying they are a bunch of misguided fools.

Go to and have a look at their most recent “Friday Funnies”.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 2, 2011 at 8:44 am

ANYONE who thinks OWS is just going away is a damn fool and an arrogant one at that.

Oh no, not until their puppet masters stop payintg them.

It will be interesting when reality pimp-slaps them and they realize they are slaves to Soros and decide to pursue a value-added activity, because Mommy and Daddy aren’t buying their next IPhone.

How will they explain their long period of unemployment? Employers dislike that. If they put “occupier” on the resume, that only signals mental disorder, poor personal hygiene, fair weather effort, sense of entitlement, you know those things that make you highly undesirable.

“Occupy”, kicking the Tea Party’s ass in criminality from the get go!!!

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 2, 2011 at 8:45 am

And you thought “The Pied Piper” was a fairy tale….

sethstorm December 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Even if one does not support the OWS, wouldn’t that make things worse for all-out forsaking those protesters? That just sounds like the things done in prior eras, such as blacklisting, that were legislated away for very good reason.

Daniel December 2, 2011 at 8:13 am

Here’s a fun paper: It’s on why households that are able to observe the same stock market data think differently about investment potential.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 2, 2011 at 8:46 am

It might be, if it wasn’t a 404 error.

Dan J December 3, 2011 at 12:15 am

Thought for sure I would have found some remarks in regard to the highly offensive and ludicrous op-ed by former SEIU president, Andy Stern, about the antiquated ‘free-market fundamentalist’ system destined for the trash heap. He marveled at the Chinese system of GOVT directed planning.
I could barely stomach reading the entire article. The problem is Mr. Sterns close relationship to the Obama admin and the purpose of such tripe. Was it a test run to see the response or was it the first shot in the push to fully implement the Marxist agenda.

Dan J December 3, 2011 at 12:16 am


Jon Murphy December 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm

RE: Alex Tabarrok’s New e-Book

There are lots of positive reviews about this book from people all over the spectrum. I really cannot wait to read it now!

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