Sunday, July 31, 2005

Happy B-Day!

Today is Milton Friedman's 93rd birthday. I hope I look this good when I'm in my 90's.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Privatize PBS and NPR

David Boaz lists the top ten reasons why public broadcasting should be privatized. His number one reason is also the best one in my opinion:

1. The separation of news and state. We wouldn't want the federal government to publish a national newspaper. Why should we have a government television network and a government radio network? If anything should be kept separate from government and politics, it's the news and public affairs programming that Americans watch. When government brings us the news—with all the inevitable bias and spin—the government is putting its thumb on the scales of democracy. It's time for that to stop.

Okay, US public broadcasting is not as bad as Pravda, but I still think it's a good point.

Link via Institutional Economics

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Worthless Energy Bill

Lawmakers Near Agreement on Energy Bill

Why do we even bother having an energy policy? Even the article says:

With soaring gasoline and other energy prices...lawmakers acknowledged the bill includes little, if anything, to reduce gasoline or other energy costs in the short term.

The article goes on to mention what's in the bill:

The broad legislation includes measures to spur construction of new nuclear power plants, promote ways to reduce pollution from coal and provides a boon to farmers by requiring refiners to double the use of corn-based ethanol in gasoline to 7.5 billion gallons a year by 2012.

It also would:

• Provide subsidies and tax breaks for wind, geothermal and solar industries.

• Require new efficiency standards for commercial appliances from air conditioners to refrigerators.

- Extend daylight saving time by a month to save energy.

• Require utilities to meet federal reliability standards for the electric transmission grid, hoping to avoid future blackouts such as struck in the summer of 2003.

• Eases the way for more imports of liquefied natural gas by giving federal regulators final say over import terminals.

• Provides loan guarantees and other subsidies for clean energy technologies and new nuclear reactors. It would authorize a $1.8 billion program to promote clean coal technologies.

What a disaster. First of all, there are a lot of subsidies for big business (need I say more?). Second, some of the provisions, such as the efficiency standards for appliances, will make energy more expensive by imposing regulatory costs on businesses who will pass those expenses onto the consumer. Third, a number of these are non-solutions. Kip Esquire has a good post discussing how stupid the idea of extending daylight saving time is. With the exception of easing natural gas imports, this bill is atrocious.

Update: Here's more from the NCPA

Friday, July 22, 2005

Dingel's back from vacation and blogging again. His new blog is Trade Diversion. Dingel's an excellent blogger and I recommend you check him out.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


I reported earlier about Japan's privatization attempts. It looks like the reforms could be in trouble and they may not pass in the Upper House.

Link via Division of Labour

They've done it

China has revalued the Yuan, ending its link with the dollar. Will the protectionists stop blaming China for all of our economic woes now? I doubt it.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


I'm sorry that I haven't posted much lately. I've been busy with my summer classes. As of right now, I'm unsure about how much blogging I'll do until the end of summer.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Take that Morgan Spurlock!

Woman loses 33lbs on McDonald's diet

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Postal Privatization

Japan recently voted to privatize their postal system. I wish this was in issue in this country, but noone seems to care.

Education Reform

Micha Ghertner has some good suggestions for education reform:

We could have an education system that provided universal access for all children without making school choice prohibitively expensive for all but the very rich. The key to this system would be threefold: means-tested benefits, elimination of territorial-based school funding, and school vouchers.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Trade Not Aid

From Don Boudreaux:

Prosperity is goods and services to consume; not money...