Art Carden celebrates Gordon Tullock’s birthday . A slice:
Every year, Tullock was still considered one of the favorites for the [Nobel] prize. He had been passed over for his contribution to the development of public choice, but his path-breaking research on what came to be known as the theory of rent-seeking deserves the prize in its own right. Tullock’s 1968 [DBx: 1967] article “The Welfare Costs of Tariffs, Monopolies, and Theft ” paved the way for a new understanding of how resources are used in political processes. In 1974, the economist Anne Krueger would coin the term rent-seeking  to describe spending in pursuit of a fixed pie. Their insight is insufficiently recognized in public and popular discussions of the political process even today. Lost consumer surplus–the reduction of output to a point where the marginal benefit is greater than the marginal cost, meaning that there are unexploited gains from trade–is not the only cost of tariffs, monopolies, and theft. The resources invested in getting the policies are wasted, as well.
Tunku Varadarajan talks with Shelby Steele . A slice:
Americans look at statistics and disparities and many think “there’s another explanation for inequality other than racism,” Mr. Steele says. “Inequality may be the result of blacks not standing up to the challenges that they face, not taking advantage of the equality that has been bestowed on them.” He points to affirmative action and diversity—“the whole movement designed to compensate for the fact that blacks were behind”—and says that blacks today have worse indices relative to whites in education, income levels, marriage and divorce, or “any socioeconomic measure that you want to look at” than they did 60 years ago.
The element that really sings institutional cowardice isn’t the firing or flip-flopping, but the apparent need to extort a North Korea apology from Mr. McNeil as he left. “I thought the context in which I used this ugly word could be defended,” he conceded probably on the advice of his bank manager. “I now realize that it cannot.”