Grumpy economist John Cochrane thoroughly dismantles Eric Posner’s and Glen Weyl’s proposal for Uncle Sam to create a “financial FDA.” (Posner’s and Weyl’s proposal reminds me of a suggestion that I heard long ago from one of my GMU colleagues during a water-cooler discussion. [My apologies for forgetting exactly who. Bob Tollison? Jim Bennett? Dick Wagner? Todd Zywicki? Walter Williams? Vernon Smith?] The suggestion is that there be created an annual prize for the nuttiest serious proposal that flies smack in the face of basic public-choice analysis. Such a prize is an excellent idea. It could be named the “Gordon Tullock Belly Laugh Award.” This award would go to the author or authors of a proposal whose success requires that the government agents charged with carrying out the proposal act most consistently and most inconceivably as saintly angels rather than as the human beings that these agents invariably will be. Were there such a prize today, Posner’s and Weyl’s proposal would be a likely winner.)
Actually, Rep. Jim McGovern’s (D-MA) proposal would be another strong contender for this year’s Gordon Tullock Belly Laugh Award. George Will explains.
Check out this slide show, on the transformation of East Germany, sent to me by my close friend Fred Dent. (I first visited East Germany – including East Berlin – in September 1990, less than a year after the crumbling of the Iron Curtain. Some observations on what I saw are recounted in this May 1991 Freeman essay written with my friend and law-school classmate Tom Plofchan.)
I’d planned to post a link to Chris Edwards’s thoughts on Keynesian economics. But I just now discovered that David Henderson did so before me. Here’s David (with, of course, a link to Chris’s blog post.)
Finally, this essay by Mark Steyn is absolutely brilliant and hilarious. (HT Henry Manne)