Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Proposition 72

In California, Proposition 72 could cost employers billions. This could hurt California's ailing economy. The proposition forces businesses who employ 20 or more employees to pay for their health care. This is effectively a tax on businesses as well as employment.

Update: Agoraphilia also worries about this ballot proposition.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Voter Ignorance

Interesting, this report from the Cato Institute makes the following conclusion:

The size of modern government is often so great that it is impossible for voters--even the most knowledgeable among them--to be adequately informed about its operations. Smaller government may actually be more democratic than that which we have now: voters would be more likely to exercise informed control over policy. Voter ignorance also suggests the value of decentralized federalism. In a decentralized federal system, citizens may "vote with their feet" by moving out of jurisdictions with policies they dislike and into those that have more favorable ones. Because each person decides whether or not to move, there is a much greater incentive to acquire relevant information with "foot voting" than with traditional voting at the polls.

The first sentence is especially interesting to me. Maybe there's some truth to that. The government's scope covers so many areas that it's impossible for one person to know everything about all of the topics, such as healthcare, foreign policy, education, etc. Exactly how much can you expect one man to know?

Link via Order From Chaos


It seems like Californians favor a proposition to scale back the 3-strickes law, meaning it will only apply to violent crimes.

Just in case you've forgotten

For the nth billion time, here's a report that says economic freedom and prosperity go hand-in-hand.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Welfare Reform

The Cato Institute has published a state by state report card on welfare reform. California received a C (warning PDF file).

Health Care

Another ballot proposition in California is a referendum on law that requires employers to provide their workers health care coverage. Unfortunately one likely problem is that the costs will be passed on to the consumer. Here are some other potential problems:

Firms will have a greater incentive to fire, outsource and not hire workers as a result of the higher costs; full-time employees working overtime will be preferred over part-time labor.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


In California, there's going to be two ballot propositions that are designed to grant the gambling industry favors from the state. Benjamin Powell says that you shouldn't vote for them. Here's an excerpt:

Both of the propositions are ploys by special interest groups for government handouts. Prop 68 will benefit card rooms and racetracks, while Indian tribes, such as the Cahuilla of Palm Springs and the Redding Rancheria, have funded the campaign for prop 70. Both bills involve the state government getting a cut too. Who is being left out? The California gaming consumer.

If you want more details you'll have to read the article.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

How to Reduce Poverty

According to George Reisman, the best way to reduce poverty is to reduce government interference. Here are some examples:

Instead of raising the minimum wage as the means of increasing the wage rates of the unskilled and poor, abolish prounion legislation. Such legislation, above all, the Wagner Act of 1935, which established the National Labor Relations Board, compels employers to recognize and deal with labor unions and to accept union wage rates. This enables the labor unions to impose the equivalent of minimum wages throughout the economic system, including for semi-skilled and skilled workers, at much higher levels than the government’s own minimum wage.

Just like the government’s minimum wage, the higher wage rates imposed by the unions serve to reduce the quantity of labor demanded, this time, of course, in the ranks of the semi-skilled and skilled occupations as well as among unskilled workers. The effect is that workers are displaced from occupations of their choice and pushed into other occupations, enlarging the supply of labor in those other occupations and either depressing wage rates in them or, to the extent that that is prevented, causing unemployment in those other occupations.

and also:

The repeal or liberalization of licensing legislation, which also serves artificially to reduce employment opportunities in many fields, would result in the same kind of improvement in wage rates at the bottom of the economic ladder as the repeal of prounion legislation. Such legislation presently applies to doctors and dentists, optometrists and pharmacists, barbers and beauticians, and liquor stores and taxicabs, to name a few leading examples. In every case, it serves to hold down the number of those allowed to pursue an occupation and thus to raise the wage rates or prices of the smaller number remaining in the occupation, while depressing wages in the lines into which the displaced workers are driven. And if wage rates in those lines are prohibited from falling, the result, as shown, is a further displacement of workers into still less desirable occupations, with the process culminating in the displacement of workers into the least desired, lowest paying occupations, and resulting either in the lowest paying occupations becoming still lower paid or in unemployment. In either outcome, the heaviest burden is borne by the least skilled, least educated, and poorest members of the economic system.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Did you know that you can link to a specific page within a PDF file.

Friday, October 08, 2004


Is anyone as bored as I am with listening to debates about foreign policy? I don't want to sound like a crude isolationist, but it is, by definition, events occurring elsewhere, so why should I care?


Here's a Cato Institute policy analysis on the benefits of privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Great Depression

How exactly did Roosevelt's policies exacerbate the Great Depression:

Roosevelt’s cartelization of America firms produced high wages and high prices, primarily in manufacturing and in some energy and mining industries.

Due to high employment losses during the Depression, a relatively small number workers ended up in these high paying jobs (cartel jobs).

Initially, the high wages attracted more workers to these industries and such businesses expanded -- increasing national output and reducing unemployment.

But over time, the inefficiencies of these arrangements began to restrict employment growth (in part, because workers were being paid more than their productivity merited) and economic recovery stalled.

More here

Sunday, October 03, 2004


I'm trying to figure out why my blogroll keeps sinking to the bottom of the page. Does anybody know how to fix that?

Friday, October 01, 2004


Okay, maybe the governator isn't as bad as I previously thought. Let's just hope that he keeps this up.

Link via Catallarchy

Update: ...but then again...