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Home / Tag Archives: Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Tag Archives: Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Great Stories and Weak Economics

The two were the most important players in economics in the last half of 20th century. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Samuelson, a Keynesian, thought fiscal policy was more powerful than monetary policy as a tool to manage the economy. Throughout his career he believed in a large amount of regulation, taxation, government spending, and redistribution. Friedman believed monetary policy was more powerful than fiscal policy and believed that the United States and other countries should...

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The poison of nationalism

Colin Thubron might be our best living travel writer.  (If he isn’t, please tell me who is better.) I recently finished a book he wrote on travels in Mongolia, Eastern Russia and Manchuria (mostly following the course of the Amur River.)  I was struck by the highly negative attitude of many people toward foreigners, and the positive feelings toward some of the worst people in all of human history—including Genghis Khan (in Mongolia), Stalin (in Russia), and Mao (in...

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Like Hayek? Check Out These New Books in Austrian Political Economy

The presses were busy in 2021 with new work in Austrian political economy. The label ‘Austrian economics’ reminds some of early 20th century scholarship on the economic calculation debate, or of the Austrian’s contributions to the earlier marginal revolution. I use the term Austrian political economy to refer instead to the living research agenda that emphasizes social interconnections, process thinking, subjectivism, and patterns of order in the absence of central...

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Oakeshott the Aphorist

Michael Oakeshott was born 120 years ago today. I posted last year on the 30th anniversary of his death, providing some links hopefully useful for those who are not familiar with his work. The question asked by the title of that post (“Michael Oakeshott: A Hero for Whom?”) is perhaps all the more pertinent these days, with “conservatism” becoming “nationalism” and often furiously in favor of bigger government (see, on that, this report on a recent ISI conference...

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The Economist on the growth of government

The Economist devotes its last cover to “The triumph of big government”. The brief is an interesting piece on governments getting bigger all the time. A citation of Bob Higgs’ Crisis and Leviathan would have been nice, as the piece deals with the core ideas of that, marvelous book, but to its credit The Economist interviewed and quoted a couple of libertarians, like John Cochrane, Johan Norberg and Mark Littlewood of the IEA. Mark is credited with the only thing...

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On Asimov’s Foundation

As, I suppose, many other viewers, I welcome the Apple TV series “Foundation” as a dream coming true. I remember reading Asimov’s Foundation as a kid of 9 or 10 years old. Science fiction and comic books were my path toward the appreciation of literature. I read (in the Italian translation) many novels of the golden era of American sci-fi: A.E. van Vogt, Robert Heinlein and, yes, Asimov. While I never quite cared about his Robot stories, I loved the Foundation...

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Economics in One Lesson

Connecticut State Representative Kimberly Fiorello released the 1-hour video of my discussion with her and her constituents about Henry Hazlitt’s 1946 book, Economics in One Lesson. Some highlights follow. 0:00 to about 1:30: Intro from Kimberly. From about 1:30 to about 12:00: My opening remarks. I cover labor unions, minimum wages, and tariffs. 14:00: How absence of the minimum wage helped Hazlitt early in his career. 16:00: Hazlitt’s answer on why it’s so hard for...

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Climate Shock Bet: Reply to Reeves

Here’s my point-by-point reply to Daniel Reeves.  He’s in blockquotes; I’m not. Daniel gets the last word if he wants it! Bryan seems to start by acknowledging that 6 degrees of warming (we’re approaching 1 degree so far, for those just tuning in) would be devastating and that a 10% chance of that by the end of the century warrants mitigation efforts. He even acknowledges that — warming being proportional to cumulative historical emissions — we can’t afford to wait....

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Law is Hell

Huemer’s new Justice before the Law is full of memorable passages, but this is the one that stayed with me: There are few threats more frightening to Americans than the threat to embroil someone in legal trouble. An illustrative case occurred at a nursing home in California in 2013. An 87-year-old woman living at the facility had stopped breathing, and a nurse on staff called 911, the local emergency services. The 911 dispatcher pleaded with the nurse to start CPR,...

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Climate Shock Bet: Daniel Reeves Responds

Daniel Reeves has written this reaction piece to my write-up of our bet.  I’m in blockquotes; he’s not. By the way, I will be in Guatemala from November 11-16.  I’ll be doing a bunch of events at Universidad Francisco Marroquín on Friday, and speaking for the Mont Pelerin Society on Monday.  I’ll be at Tikal over the weekend.  If you see me in any of these places, please say hi! Now here’s Daniel. Bryan seems to start by acknowledging that 6 degrees of warming (we’re...

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