Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on December 11, 2013

in Data, Great Depression, Health, Monetary Policy, Seen and Unseen

John Taylor on the risks of quantitative easing.

Speaking of questionable monetary policy – or, more generally, questionable government policy – here’s my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  A slice:

Making matters worse were the unprecedented interventionist policies of Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt. FDR’s New Deal interventions and his increasingly anti-capitalist rhetoric were especially harmful. These interventions and the anti-market climate of FDR’s Washington generated what economic historian Robert Higgs calls “regime uncertainty.” Investors were scared of what government might do to their property: tax it excessively, regulate it until most of the value was squeezed from it, or even confiscate it.

In such an economic climate, investment dries up — and, along with it, the creation of jobs. Thus, the Depression wasn’t prolonged because of a lack of spending. Rather, the lack of spending was a result of government policies hostile to business and entrepreneurial activities.

Contrary to myth, New Deal policies prolonged and deepened the Great Depression.

GMU Econ PhD candidate David Hebert says that you might be an anarcho-capitalist if….

Matt Walsh (not to be confused with Matt Welch) is rightly angry at the lawlessness of a Colorado judge for forcing a baker to bake, against the counsel of that baker’s conscience, a wedding cake for a gay couple.  (HT Bob Murphy)  (To be crystal clear: the issue here is not attitudes toward gays.  The issue is attitudes toward freedom and toleration.  Were I a baker I’d happily bake cakes for gay couples – although not for the gay couple in question here.  I’d refuse to serve, on the counsel of my conscience, anyone with such antediluvian, bigoted, and illiberal attitudes toward people’s freedom of association and action.)  Here’s a slice from Walsh’s post (original emphasis):

The right to not be discriminated against doesn’t, and can’t, exist alongside the First Amendment, but progressives always make up rights as they go along. Often, we cooperate when the fabricated right feels and looks innocent. “Hmm, a right to not be discriminated against? Well, that neither exists nor makes any sense at all, but it feels good so I’m fine with it!” In the next phase, the made-up right is applied in ways that we don’t particularly enjoy, but we’ve lost the ability to oppose it.

John Goodman is rightly angry at Paul Krugman for misrepresenting the facts about trends in health-care spending in the U.S.

Is President Obama sexist?  These data from Mark Perry scream ‘yes!’ – at least to some people who interpret such data sloppily and in ways to suit their political and ideological priors.  Of course, in reality these data are better explained by other, more benign forces.

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