Friday, June 25, 2004


I'm busy, so I won't have much time for blogging.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Mandatory Minimums

The American Bar Association advocates abolishing mandatory minimum sentences.

The Icelandic tax model

Veronique de Rugy explains the success of Iceland as a model for tax competition. Iceland cut its taxes and has grown an average of 5% per year, which means its now among countries like Switzerland as a haven for wealth.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Capitalism in Iraq

Cool, here's the website for the Iraq Stock Exchange.

Monday, June 21, 2004


Going where the private sector has never gone before.

Plane Soars Out of Earth's Atmosphere

Update: There's more about the subject at LP News.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The EU

The Mises Institute has a good critique of the European Union.

Saturday, June 19, 2004


Drizzten at Magnifisyncopathological explains why it's a bad idea to vote for either Bush or Kerry in November, though I'm more sympathetic to pragmatism than he is.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Canadian Medicine

This article from the Foundation for Economic Education goes into detail about the negative aspects of the Canadian health system. It also notes a mistake that people make regarding "free" government services, they might be free from the consumer's perspective, but it's not free if you're a taxpayer. So government services can be used as a wealth redistributing tool, as well as a source of vote-buying.

Affordable Housing

According to the Reason Public Policy Institute affordable housing laws don't work (warning PDF file) and they site my hometown of Orange County, California as evidence of the law's failure.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

An Experiment

I've just installed some text ad thing (look on the right). I don't quite know how it works, but I'm giving it a shot.

Update: Ok, I put some test add in there. I still don't know exactly what I'm doing, oh well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

More on Europe

Anthony de Jasay discusses the economy of Europe and the contradictory relationship between economic growth and social "justice".

Link via Arnold Kling


This TCS article discusses the rise of euroscepticism, especially as it relates to the recently held parliamentary elections. One interesting thing about this phenomenon is that euroscepticism seems to transcend the whole left-right dichotomy. Fear of increasing EU integration ranges from free-marketeers, greens, hard leftists, as well as moderates. My main reason for noting this is that it seems, at least to me, that the whole left-right dichotomy seems to be waning, especially regarding the relationship between the EU and its member states. For example, conservatives in the UK tend to eurosceptic, while many conservatives in the Scandanavian countries tend to be pro-EU.

The Myth

There's a big myth that in the U.S. we have a free-market system, well that's not true. The article I linked to doesn't mention this, but I'm of the belief that a lot of the reason medical costs are rising is a combination of regulation, litigation, and the subsidizing of medical consumption.

Monday, June 14, 2004

You can't always get what you want

Don at Cafe Hayek makes an interesting point. Even if voters vote for a party that advocates limited government, they may not necessarily get their wish. He points to findings in public choice economics, especially Arrow's impossibility theorem, to show that there can be a huge disconnect between what politicians want and what voters want.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Economics of Religion

Wow, Economics is a fascinating subject. Did you know there's a sub-discipline known as the Economics of Religion? There's a website devoted to it here.

Link via evolution will be blogged

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Reagan Again

Arnold Kling argues, "that Reagan's main contributions were on energy policy, tax reform, and resisting government expansion." He believes that the tax simplification of 1986 was more important than the tax cuts of 1981. He also credits him on the lifting of price controls on energy.

A Dilemma

According to the Cato Institute, winner-takes-all systems reinforce limited government while PR systems tend to lead to increases in the welfare state. If you've been reading my blog regularly you're well aware of my reservations of our current electoral system. I must say, though, I'm not entirely convinced with the Cato study. Most of the comparisons that are done are between the US and Europe. Is it possible that there are factors other than electoral systems account for larger welfare states and to what degree does an electoral system have on the size of the state. The US and UK use winner-takes-all systems, but they also have a history of economic liberalism, couldn't that account for the size of the state? Plus I think there's a counter example to the study, namely Switzerland, where they have use proportional representation and have a high degree of economic freedom.

Update: Oh, I should also mention Ireland as a counter-example as well.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Rent Control

An excellent article on TCS about rent control. What's harmful about rent control?

Rent control fails to actually assist those groups -- the poor and the elderly -- it was ostensibly designed to help...

There is no way -- short of an entire new bureaucracy -- to efficiently, fairly, or accurately assess tenants who are elderly, disabled, or 'low or moderate' income, those individuals generally identified as being most in need of protection.

Cities with rent-regulated housing have a great disparity in the rent levels between rent controlled units and market rate units.

Rent control limits, rather than increases, the supply of affordable housing.

Related to the decline in the market value of buildings put under rent control is the trend of owners to defer maintenance and repairs, since in the face of controlled rents an adequate return on investment is difficult to realize.

Rent regulations serve to discourage home ownership opportunities and the creation of new housing.

You'll have to read the article if you want the details.

Political Parties, Part 2

What do I want from a political party (or candidate)? I've decided to list some minimum requirements, most of which center around the economy and the size/role of government.

1) Free Trade: I want to see unilateral trade liberalization, multilateral trade agreements do some good, but unilateral is superior in my opinion.

2) Immigration: Open immigration is somewhat similar to free trade, but I'm willing to be a little more flexible on the grounds that there might be some security concerns.

3) Taxes: I would like some sort of reform. Getting rid of double taxation on things like capital gains would be a good start. Though I'm not 100% sure I want either a flat tax or national retail sales tax (I might do another post later about what I think a good tax system should consist of).

4) Spending: Reforming entitlement spending is a must. In the area of discretionary spending, I would support across the board cuts in spending while maybe keeping some areas flat (like military, roads, etc.)

5) Monetary: I'd like to see some sort of commodity standard for our currency, whether it's gold or silver or whatever.

6) Bureacracy: A lot of departments exist that simply shouldn't. At the very least we could get rid of the departments of education, agriculture, energy, labor, commerce, and HUD.

7) Electoral Reform: Abolish the FEC, scrap Campaign Finance reform, and allow state governments to choose what electoral systems they can use. I'm also willing to support more radical reforms like using Instant runoff voting for presidential elections, using proportional representation in the House of Representatives, and repealing the 17th amendment.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Political Parties, Part 1

I've been wanting to do a post like this for some time now. Every now and then I think about the two party system we have in the US and why I detest it. First of all the differences between the two parties are, at best, overstated. Second, our electoral system is rigged (unintentionally, I believe) so that no one can compete with them. Third, we have terrible ballot access laws that are (intentionally) rigged to make it easier for the two major parties to run candidates. I'll post some more on political parties tomorrow, this quasi-rant isn't over yet.

California Bloggin'

I've just been admitted to the Cali Blogs web ring.


David Boaz has tribute to Reagan here.


According to a recent study, since handguns were banned in Britain, crime has increased considerably. Some interesting facts:

Since handguns were banned in 1998, handgun crime has more than doubled.

One is six times more likely to be mugged in London than in New York City.

Good Idea

The California Libertarian Party supports reforming the "Three Strikes" law. This law often hurts people who have commit non-violent crimes more than violent ones.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Full Representation

The Center for Voting and Democracy, an organization that advocates the use of IRV and Full/Proportional Representation has a news story on its website that Iraq and Afghanistan will get PR. I wish we had PR here so our current two-party duopoly can be broken, but that's not likely to happen anytime soon.

Much Better

Are you as sick of the old template that I used as I am? I think this new one is much better. I hope you like it too.

Friday, June 04, 2004


I've added two links to my Activism area of my blog. One is Open Debates, which advocates letting non-major party candidates join presidential debates, and Verified Voting, which advocates the use of voting systems that have a verifiable paper trail.

Good News

U.S. cuts duties on Canadian softwood lumber by more than half

Link via


What leads to unemployment? Thomas Sowell thinks high minimum wages and powerful unions play a role.

Zero tolerance makes zero sense

Neal Boortz explains to us why zero tolerance laws are a bad idea. Some examples:

Wisconsin: A sixth-grader gets suspended because of a science project. The project involved cutting an onion. He brought a kitchen knife to school. Bad sixth-grader.

Georgia: Ashley is in the sixth grade. She loves Tweety Bird. She has her wallet on a Tweety Bird keychain. The government employees running her particular government school decide that her keychain is a weapon. She could strangle someone with it. (I guess … if they had a neck the size of a pencil.) Ashley … suspended. Thankfully her father sees the light and sends her to a private school.

Texas: This zero-tolerance idiocy comes from Ft. Worth. Cory Henson plays baseball on the Diamond Hill-Jarvis baseball team. In the trunk of his car is his baseball equipment, including aluminum bats. In the front seat of his car we have a souvenir baseball bat. It is made of wood and 8” long. That’s not as long as a piece of copy paper is wide. Ft. Worth government school officials decide that the 8” bat is a weapon! The real aluminum baseball bats aren’t. I wonder if these school officials know that virtually every car in the student parking lot has a weapon in the trunk. It’s called a lug wrench. Now If you want to clobber someone, which would you choose? The 8” wooden bat or the two-pound steel lug wrench?

Missouri: October of 2001. It is just a month after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. A fifth-grade student draws a picture of an airplane flying into a building. Suspended.

A third-grader has a brother serving in the Army in Afghanistan. The proud third-grader draws a picture of his brother. The drawing shows his brother with a gun. Suspended.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Happy 200th Birthday

Did you know that today is the 200th birthday of Richard Cobden? He was one of the leading figures in the fight for free trade in England, which led the way for prosperity and globalization. For an analysis of Richard Cobden and the upcoming Euro elections click here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Downsizing the Federal Government

How exactly can we make the federal government smaller? Well, the Cato Institute has a plan. This document (warning PDF file) is filled with all sorts of interesting stuff. Go ahead and take look. You would be suprised how many programs can be terminated, privatized, or devolved to the state and local levels.

Link via Evolution will be blogged


I recommend all bloggers out there to add The Angry Economist to your blogrolls. My only complaint is that he doesn't post often enough, but other than that it's an excellent blog. Today he has interesting post that discusses the value of dividends.


Just for fun, I've made a poll (see right) to see what type of libertarians visit my website. Go ahead and vote.

EU vs. US

"If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states. France, Italy, Great Britain and Germany have lower GDP per capita than all but four of the states in the United States. In fact, GDP per capita is lower in the vast majority of the EU-countries (EU 15) than in most of the individual American states. This puts Europeans at a level of prosperity on par with states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia. Only the miniscule country of Luxembourg has higher per capita GDP than the average state in the USA."

So concludes a study by the Swedish free-market think thank, the Timbro Institute.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Idiot's Guide to Politics

The Heartland Institute has an idiot's guide to politics. The article mostly discusses voting.