Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on December 2, 2016

in Crony Capitalism, Cuba, Data, Economics, Hubris and humility, Man of System, Media, Podcast, Seen and Unseen, Subsidies, Trade, Work

Bob Higgs explains the rise of Trump.  A slice:

Enter Trump, seemingly on a lark, because his manner of speaking and campaigning amounted to little more than thumbing his nose at political correctness and its adherents. Yet, no doubt to the surprise of the Clinton camp, he elicited an enthusiastic and growing response from millions of people united by little more than resentment and, in some cases, hatred of their self-anointed betters. This kind of popular rebellion was not supposed to happen; the deplorables were supposed to recognize that they were on the losing side of a long historical-cultural conflict and act in a way that validated their acceptance of defeat. But the make-America-great-again group was not buying it, and they leaped at the chance to embrace a political leader who would proudly endorse their burning desire to spit out political correctness like a rotten fish.

Kevin Williamson reflects on what he accurately calls “the economic stupidity of the Carrier bailout.”  (HT Warren Smith)  A slice:

This is a case of Frédéric Bastiat’s problem of the seen vs. the unseen. The benefits are easy to see, all those sympathetic workers in Indiana. The costs are born by sympathetic workers, too, around the country, and by their families and by their neighbors. But those are widely dispersed, so they are harder to see and do not hit with the same dramatic impact.

But the math is the math is the math. Trump and Pence are trying to sell you a free lunch, the same way the Keynesians and their magical spending multiplier do when they promise that government stimulus programs (Trump is pushing one of those, too) will somehow magically pay for themselves.

Speaking of this especially nasty slice of corporate welfare served up by Generalissimo Trump, Fred Hiatt understandably finds disturbing similarities shared by Trump and Putin.

Here’s a wonderful podcast with Deirdre McCloskey.  (HT Neel Chamilall)

You can find here, in one convenient place, all of Mark Perry’s inspired Venn diagrams.

Virginia Postrel writes with great insight on Obama’s (thankfully now on hold) new overtime-pay diktat.  A slice:

Regardless of the eventual outcome, the mandate illustrates an all-too-common blindness to the diversity and nuances of employment arrangements. Not every workplace is, or aspires to be, the civil service. Not every worker longs to be on an assembly line. And not everybody is working entirely for money. One size does not fit all.

Just as Trump imagines he can give industrial workers job security by canceling trade agreements, the Obama administration thought it could give managers more money or shorter hours by decree. The overtime rule assumes that employers have a big pot of money somewhere that they’re keeping for themselves instead of paying their hard-working staffs. It also assumes that rigid time-keeping that forces people to work 9 to 5 is a good thing. Announcing the new rule, Vice President Joe Biden called it part of “the basic middle-class bargain that used to exist.” Nostalgia for the Organization Man is a bipartisan affair.

Wisdom from GMU Econ PhD student Jon Murphy.

Arnold Kling explores the fake-news problem.


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