Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on April 17, 2015

in Hubris and humility, Innovation, Myths and Fallacies, Social Security, Taxes, Technology, Trade

Writing recently in the Washington Post, the Cato Institute’s David Boaz makes the case for giving taxpayers greater say over how their money is spent.

Steve Horwitz argues that

[w]hile the [political] right resists same-sex marriage and the left thinks that cultural paradigm shifts are responsible for the transformation of today’s family, the fact is the creative powers of the market are largely responsible for the face of the family in the early 21st century.

Daniel Bier takes Paul Krugman to task for the latter’s call to expand Social Security.

Over at the American Spectator, Ross Kaminsky explores Hillary Clinton’s fatal conceit.  A slice:

The problem, as Hayek point out, is that no expert or group of experts could ever hope to “generate and garner greater knowledge” than can all of us troglodyte participants and believers in “spontaneously generated moral traditions underlying the competitive market order” as we manage our own businesses, know our own customers, suppliers, employees, local market peculiarities, etc.

Therefore, “what works” in any government program is usually some provision that would have been unnecessary but for prior actions by government “experts” who created a problem to begin with. Obamacare is a perfect example: essentially all of the aspects of American health insurance that consumers objected to prior to Obamacare resulted from government restricting competition within that market so that, for example, a resident of California is (still) not allowed to buy a much cheaper plan from Idaho.

Damon Root ably defends Herbert Spencer against the the trumped-up charge – first fabricated by Richard Hofstadter – that he, Spencer, wished to see poor people starve to death or to otherwise be ‘weeded out’ genetically by social forces.  Another contributor to this discussion is Trevor Burrus.

Merrill Matthews makes the case for ending Uncle Sam’s ban on crude-oil exports from the U.S.

Bret Swanson explains that the actual operation of Moore’s Law exceeded even Gordon Moore’s expectations.  A slice:

Moore’s law unleashed relentless spirals of innovation, lower prices, surprising consumer demand, more capacity, and further invention. These learning curves depended upon a freewheeling environment where entrepreneurs could both iterate rapidly and also take big risks on unproven technologies and business models.

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