Monday , October 15 2018
Home / EconLog Library

EconLog Library

How to Believe in Free Speech

Almost all libertarians earnestly say, "I believe in free speech."  Normally, though, this goes way beyond the right to speak freely.  Most libertarians also believe that free speech "works" in some sense - that given a free exchange of ideas, the truth will at least ultimately prevail.On reflection, this is an awkward position.  Western countries don't have completely free speech, but they are amazingly...

Read More »

Why the Singapore summit might be a net plus

Let's start with the negatives: 1. This was one of the most complete capitulations by US negotiators since the 1973 peace agreement with North Vietnam. For years we've been demanding that North Korea de-nuclearize, and this agreement does not achieve that goal. Despite this failure, we gave up some significant concessions, including the meeting itself and also the end to certain training exercises. A...

Read More »

War Fighting and the Loss of Liberty

But if we forswear military intervention in other countries, are there any tools left to affect the world in a positive way? Yes, and one of the main ones is free trade. In 1750, the Baron de Montesquieu, whose philosophy influenced the Founding Fathers, opined that "the natural effect of commerce is to bring peace." More recently, economists Solomon W. Polachek of SUNY Binghamton and Carlos Seiglie of...

Read More »

Koyama Responds on State Capacity

My colleague Mark Koyama responds to my recent critique of state capacity research.  Reprinted with his permission.  Enjoy!Hi Bryan,   My response is below. I agree with Noel on measures of rule of law.  When one looks at how these indexes are constructed it is hard to put too much faith in them.  At least estimates of tax revenues collected are a "thing".  Bryan is kind enough to link to the article...

Read More »

Why the Surveillance State is Dangerous

by Pierre Lemieux ...surveillance and control go hand in hand. Control may grow as a consequence of surveillance.Let's define the Surveillance State as a state that aims at preventive, everyday, mass surveillance. Many people don't mind the Surveillance State. Some like to be surveilled because it shows that somebody is paying attention to them. Others think that no information about them can be...

Read More »

Good and bad nationalism

The Washington Post has an article discussing the competition between the US and China for pre-eminence in science and technology. While the US is still well ahead, China is progressing rapidly. This reminds me a bit of the space race between the US and the Soviets, after Russia launched the first satellite into space in 1957. Competition can be a good thing, as long as it's not a negative sum game....

Read More »

Chronology of Past Jobs I Have Had, Part 2

Occasionally our family didn't spend the whole summer at our cottage and so I had to come up with ways of making money other than hunting golf balls. One way was to pick crabapples at the local Aubin's Nursery in Carman. We were paid by the bag. I was about 12 or 13 at the time. The person who oversaw the work said that we couldn't put a lot of leaves and other filler in the bag; we needed to do a clean...

Read More »

Chronology of Past Jobs I Have Had, Part 1

On Facebook in the last few months, various friends have listed jobs they had chronologically. I've gotten quite a lot of enjoyment from reading them, but in many cases I wanted to know more: (1) how old were you when you had it?(2) what did you do in that job?(3) what did you learn from that job? So I've decided to do a series of posts, starting with my earliest work (at about age 8). WARNING If you find...

Read More »

Good and bad pardons

A couple of pardons recently issued by President Trump illustrate the two extremes of this type of executive power. A few weeks ago, Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County (Phoenix). Arpaio combined contempt for the rule of law with punitive actions against some of the weakest members of our society. It would be difficult to find someone less deserving of a pardon, as this decision...

Read More »

How Republican John Cox Can Win California

One word: water.This bill [AB 1668] would require the State Water Resources Control Board, in coordination with the Department of Water Resources, to adopt long-term standards for the efficient use of water, as provided, and performance measures for commercial, industrial, and institutional water use on or before June 30, 2022. The bill would require the department, in coordination with the board, to...

Read More »