Monthly Archives: November 2017

Victor Davis Hanson – How a Border War in Europe Led to WWII


It is now clear we are headed to the 1970s

The Inquiring Mind

In our legislature today we had the unedifying spectacle of Labour MPs supporting a dinosaur union , shortly afterward we had union action cancelled.

On my first visit to NZ back in the 1970s I remember how the unions ran the country. Given Winston Peters nostalgia for Muldoon and the socialist proclivities of Ardern and her ‘team’ this clip seemed remarkably apt

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The Nirvana Fallacy is Not the “Fiction” Fallacy

Truth on the Market

In a response to my essay, The Trespass Fallacy in Patent Law, in which I explain why patent scholars like Michael Meurer, James Bessen, T.J. Chiang and others are committing the nirvana fallacy in their critiques of the patent system, my colleague, T.J. Chiang writes at PrawfsBlawg:

The Nirvana fallacy, at least as I understand it, is to compare an imperfect existing arrangement (such as the existing patent system) to a hypothetical idealized system. But the people comparing the patent system to real property—and I count myself among them—are not comparing it to an idealized fictional system, whether conceptualized as land boundaries or as estate boundaries. We are saying that, based on our everyday experiences, the real property system seems to work reasonably well because we don’t feel too uncertain about our real property rights and don’t get into too many disputes with our neighbors. This is admittedly…

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Hard Coase, Soft Coase

A Force for Good

Over the course of this semester, I have been working on two research projects which parallel each other very closely.  Both look at water market exchanges (ie, people who buy and sell water), one from a Coasian perspective (ie, how changes in legislation affect markets), and the other from an Ostrom/Ellickson perspective (ie, how social norms and mores affect markets).  Both these papers are being finished up and I will post links to them here, but there is an interesting connection between the two: both forms of bargaining are “bargaining under the shadow of the law.”

“Bargaining under the shadow of the law” typically refers to working within a framework established by a court (eg, how a court determines property rights).  This is the “hard Coase” theorem.  However, “law” need not apply to just courts; indeed, it does not.  There are general rules, or laws, that develop “[From] our continual observations…

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Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Second World Wars”

American Elephants

Enlarge this one, and watch the whole thing. Victor Davis Hanson explains World War Two in ways that you have never heard before, that makes the whole thing more understandable, and more real. The mistakes, the misunderstandings, the abilities of some and the lack of ability of other. A masterful approach.

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Flipping Flynn: The Real and Imagined Damage For A Mueller Deal



Since the appointment of the Special Counsel in the Russian investigation, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been the most obvious target for not simply a criminal charge but a possible prosecutorial deal.  The news that Flynn is no longer sharing information under the prior joint defense agreement with Trump figures could prove significant . . . or not.  Such a change would occur even with a non-cooperation plea agreement.  Nevertheless, it could be an effort of Flynn to strike a deal on a deal for himself and his son in exchange for cooperation.

While it did not attract the same attention, another notable development was the cooperation agreement reached with Reza Zarrab, a Turkish businessman accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.  His cooperation could have magnified the pressure on Flynn, whose greatest exposure appears to be his Turkish as opposed to his Russian dealings.

Here it the…

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The Classic – You’re So Vain – Carly Simon

Break-ups songs was the old-fashioned way in which musicians stalk their ex-boyfriends and exgirlfriends.

In this case, the stalking has been going on since 1971 W because Carly’s Simon still will not reveal which of Warren Beatty and some record executive was the topic of song. As a whole lot of hatred going on there.

The Inquiring Mind

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Can extreme poverty ever be eradicated? | The Economist didn’t mention spread of capitalism, globalisation and deregulation

If You Want To Understand Why Obama’s Tax Agenda Is Bad for Workers, this Picture Says a Thousand Words

International Liberty

A good tax system (like the flat tax) does not impose extra layers of tax on income that is saved and invested.

I’ve tried to emphasize this point with a flowchart, and I’ve defended so-called trickle-down economics, which is nothing more than the common-sense notion that investment boosts wages for workers by making them more productive.

But if you doubt this relationship, just take a look at this chart posted by Steve Landsburg.

(H/T: Cafe Hayek)

That’s an amazingly powerful relationship. Wages for workers are very much tied to the amount of capital that’s invested. In other words, capitalists are the best friends of workers.

Something to think about with the President proposing big increases in the double taxation of capital gains. And something to consider since he wants America to have the highest level of dividend double taxation in the industrialized world.

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