Day: April 19, 2016

How EU membership has transformed the constitution

The Constitution Unit Blog

thumbnail_Prof Patrick Birkinshaw MSP_1891 copythumbnail_Varney_M MSP_3893

A timely new book examines the implications and consequences of a British exit from the European Union. In this post Patrick J. Birkinshaw and Mike Varney summarise the first chapter, which discusses how our EU experience has changed our notion of sovereignty. They argue that, even if the UK leaves the EU, the effects of decades of European influence would not be reversed and there would be no return to a pre-1972 prototype.

Will Brexit restore sovereignty? This is the question at the heart of our chapter that introduces the recently published Britain Alone! The Implications and Consequences of United Kingdom Exit from the EU. Voters will no doubt be motivated by the widest variety of factors in how they vote. Sober judgement and mature reflection have not been assisted by an absence of informed debate on the major principles and values at issue. The Prime Minister’s frantic negotiations leading to…

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Public Transportation Ridership: Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back? | @transportblog

Recent data showing declining transit ridership is only the latest news to cast doubt on expectations of a public transit renaissance.


Source: Public Transportatio Ridership: Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back? | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network

Understanding US Presidential elections

Trigger warning for the usual suspects

European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Written by Carmen-Cristina Cirlig and Micaela Del Monte

Graphics by Giulio Sabbati

Understanding US Presidential elections © Callahan /

In July 2016, the two major US parties will nominate their respective official candidate for the 58th US presidential election which takes place in November. With less than three months before the national conventions, and a large number of delegates already allocated, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is running ahead of Bernie Sanders towards the nomination. On the Republican side there is still much uncertainty about who will finally be named official candidate.

The President is head of state, head of government, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Thus, presidential elections are an important part of American political life. Although millions of American citizens vote in presidential elections every four years, the President is not, in fact, directly elected by the people. Citizens elect the members of the Electoral College, who then cast…

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Thinking about The Great Leap Forward | Econbrowser

Source: Thinking about The Great Leap Forward | Econbrowser

Can crises be curbed? Hayek vs Keynes…

Mostly Economics

Today is a day of this versus this on ME blog. After Schumpeter vs Kirzner, here is another take on the more famous Hayek vs Keynes.

This one is by Norges Bank  Deputy Governor Jon Nicolaisen. As he is a central banker, what more to expect than whether one should intervene ot let markets work during a crisis:

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P.T. Bauer on @BernieSanders extending #fightfor15 to entire Third World!

India tried that in the 1950s as part of its five-year plans. It did not work that well. Bauer said that in development economics there is a “need to restate the obvious.”


Source: Ending the Race to the Bottom – Bernie Sanders.


Source: Indian Economic Policy and Development – P. T. Bauer (1959) – Google Books

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Question the Methods, not the Motive

A Force for Good

Over at Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux writes about a common slur we free-market supporters get called: shills for Big Business.  Don does an excellent job discussing how ridiculous such mudslinging is, so I’d like to discuss a tangentially related point: motive.

On top of being called shills, we’re often told we either don’t care about the poor (or, worse, are actively trying to oppress or hinder the poor) by opposing various “Progressive” welfare actions such as minimum wage, protectionist trade tariffs, or immigration restriction and the like.

The reality, however, is quite different.  We oppose these schemes because we, like many other economists including those on the Left, believe they to be counter to the poor’s well-being.  Our arguments are not that we hate the poor, that they just should be happy with their lot in life, or any other strawmen our accusers like to erect, but because we…

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