Monday, March 27, 2006

FEC Won't Regulate Internet Politics

It looks like we're in the clear for now, but let's hope the FEC doesn't have a change of heart down the road:

The Federal Election Commission decided Monday that the nation's new campaign finance law will not apply to most political activity on the Internet.

In a 6-0 vote, the commission decided to regulate only paid political ads placed on another person's Web site.

The decision means that bloggers and online publications will not be covered by provisions of the new election law. Internet bloggers and individuals will therefore be able to use the Internet to attack or support federal candidates without running afoul of campaign spending and contribution limits.

FEC Won't Regulate Internet Politics

Friday, March 24, 2006

Consequentialism and Libertarianism

Miron makes an excellent case for pragmatic libertarianism. Here's an excerpt:

To begin, the consequential approach allows one to distinguish moderately bad policies from really bad policies. Drug prohibition is a terrible policy from the consequential perspective because it generates a black market and all the attendant negatives. Moderate sin taxation, however, does not create a black market This does not mean sin taxation is a good idea; it harms responsible drug users by raising drug prices. But the ratio of benefits to costs from moderate sin taxation is likely better than for prohibition. Thus consequential libertarians can feel comfortable encouraging sin taxation over prohibition, even if they have reservations about sin taxation itself.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

No Veto

I'm surprised to find Bush and Jefferson named in article together considering they have little to do with each other.

1,889 days and no vetoes: Bush gaining on Jefferson

Update: Speaking of Bush and Jefferson, Chris Edwards says that there should be a return to a "wise and frugal government" advocated by Jefferson. Again, both the President and the Congress have ignored that plea.

Update 2: Russell Roberts has some comments.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

No Thanks

I was on campus yesterday and some one offered me a "I Miss Bill Clinton" t-shirt. "No Thanks", I replied. Now, if he offered me a "I Miss Grover Cleveland" t-shirt I would have responded differently.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

French Labor Law

Coyote Blog has an excellent commentary on the folly of employment-for-life. One of the things that strikes me about these protesters is their selfishness. Notice that they only care about their job security. They don't seem to mind that, from the perspective of the employer, employment-for-life is insane and prevents bad employees from losing their jobs.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Cool Stuff

You can see a fantastic graphic showing where all of our money is being spent here.

Via Division of Labour and Finland for Thought

Update: What's fun about these charts is pretending what I would do if I had the ability to eliminate those various programs. Much of the right side of the chart would be eliminated. Even the left side would be trimmed. For example, is missle defense really necessary? Also, I think the navy probably doesn't play such a big role in fighting terrorism, so much of that could be scrapped.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Race for Governor

Former Vice Presidential Candidate and mayor of Bellflower Art Olivier will challenge Schwarzenegger for the position of Governor.

Minimum Wage

Via Tyler Cowen, here's one of the best posts I've seen on the minimum wage. I think I should read Jane Galt more often.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Union Membership

It looks like private sector union membership is heading towards oblivion. As you can imagine, the public sector is lagging behind on this trend.

Via Newmark's Door

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Prop 13, Part 2

It looks like rising real estate values, and the subsequent property tax increases, are leading to a second anti-property tax revolt.

High property taxes driving a new revolt

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I Have Competition

Here's a new blog called The Case for Small Government. His mission statement sounds similar to mine:

In this blog I provide a libertarian perspective on economic and social policy. By libertarian, I mean consequential libertarian, not philosophical libertarian. Thus, my arguments are based on assessments of costs and benefits, not on assertions about rights. My claim is that most government policies do more harm than good, even when the policies have good intentions and even when private arrangements work imperfectly.

Actually, I haven't been doing strict cost/benefits analysis. I've concentrated on the more disastrous side of government intervention.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Harry Browne died today.

Sad But True

I think Tyler Cowen is correct regarding the welfare state, in this interview:

My prediction is that, in general, welfare states will increase in size in most places around the world. We can expect most areas of the world to become wealthier because of globalization as well as other reasons. And if you look at countries that are wealthy, they tend to have very generous welfare states. Also, I believe that the human desire for security is extremely strong, even when it is not efficient or rational. So as long as we experience economic growth, I think we can expect welfare states to grow.

Via Marginal Revolution