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EconLog Library

Henderson on Hazlett and the FCC

Most histories of radio in the United States will tell you that the Federal Radio Commission (FRC)—the predecessor of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—came into being as a necessary response to the chaos that prevailed when signals from multiple radio stations interfered with each other. But according to Clemson University economist Thomas Winslow Hazlett, in his recent book The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from...

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The future of money

Commenter Ted asked me the following question: What will money look like in 100 years? In 1,000 years? In 10,000 years? I’m no more able to answer that question that a citizen of the Holy Roman Empire (or a Mesolithic human) would be able to describe our current monetary system.  So I’ll try to answer an easier (but still quite difficult) question: What will money look like in 50 years? In 100 years? In 200 years? My current views on monetary policy are quite...

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Three Felonies a Day?

The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected...

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It’s getting harder to influence the Fed

The Economist has an interesting article discussing central bank independence: Mr Trump has already appointed a majority of the sitting governors of the Federal Reserve Board. Had he kept his mouth shut but appointed more doveish types, he might have achieved the same end without the outcry. That sounds reasonable at first glance, but there are some tricky issues here that need to be disentangled.  First of all, what is “the same end” that President Trump achieved? ...

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Alternative Money University

For the second year in a row, the Cato Institute is sponsoring a short course on alternative approaches to money and monetary policy. Last year’s event was a lot of fun, and I look forward to participating again this year. This link has much more information, if you are interested in applying: https://www.cato.org/alternative-money-university The event will take place July 21-24, 2019, at the Cato Institute in DC.

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The Novikov Experiment

About a year ago, educator and start-up engineer Lev Novikov bought a dozen copies of The Case Against Education and let them circulate around his school.  Last week, he let me know what happened.  Reprinted with Lev’s permission. Just wanted to give you an update on what happened with a dozen copies of Case Against Education in one high school. I ended up buying every format of the book and had my staff read it and listen to it as well. The short version is that...

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South Africa: A New Assault on Economic Liberty

Despite deeply worrying headlines, South Africa is among the best positioned developing countries able to achieve an economic boom according. Its freedom champions require the same international solidarity they received in the fight against apartheid. South Africa has hit the headlines in recent weeks amidst a deeply contentious motion to remove property rights, again; this time almost twenty-five years after apartheid. White farmers are the target, according to...

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About that Cuban Life Expectancy

Cuban health statistics appear to be a paradox. Wealth and health are correlated because greater wealth can buy better health care. Yet, Cuba remains desperately poor and appears to be healthy. Cuban life expectancies of 79.5 years and infant mortality rates of 4.3 per 1000 live births (2015) compare well with rich nations like the USA (78.7 years and 5.7 per 1, 000 live births) yet its per capita income of 7602.3$ make it one of the poorest economies in the...

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Government regulation: Even worse than we thought

I’ve done a number of posts discussing ill-advised government regulations that prohibit a free market in kidneys.  In the past, I’ve cited estimates that these regulations kill 5000 Americans each year.  A new article by Frank McCormick, Philip J. Held, and Glenn M. Chertow, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggests the actual cost may be nearly an order of magnitude greater, perhaps 43,000 excess deaths per year: That’s nearly a million...

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Carter on The Case Against Education

I’m very pleased to have made famed author Stephen L. Carter‘s list of best non-fiction books, and even more pleased with the write-up: I’m not sure he’s right, especially about education being almost entirely for the purpose of signaling, but goodness does he make a strong case. Agree with him or not, you’ll never look at the schools and colleges in quite the same way. It’s not too late to buy the book, of course. P.S. My next book (a non-fiction graphic novel...

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