100 Years of Communism, 100 Million Deaths, and the Moral Blindness of (some) Economists

International Liberty

To “commemorate” the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in Russian, I’ve been sharing a series of columns on the evil of communism.

Today, I’m going to target my profession.

But I’m going to bend over backwards to be fair. I’m not going to condemn the economists back in the 1920s and 1930s who were sympathetic to central planning. They were horribly wrong, but that was before economists from the Austrian School prevailed in the “Socialist Calculation Debate.” So we’ll give them an undeserved pass.

And we’ll even excuse the wrongheaded thinking of economists who sympathized with communism in the first couple of decades after World War II. After all, maybe they were…

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Climate Talk Crisis: Where’s the Money?

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t GWPF – UCS Strategy Director Alden Meyer has accused developed countries of “hiding behind the United States”, refusing to provide firm commitments to use taxpayers funds to pay large climate “damages” to poor countries.

Breakthrough eludes climate talks, scientists concerned over US role

Developing country negotiators lamented the fact that the United States, which has decided to pull out the Paris Agreement, was continuing to block any meaningful breakthrough on these issues and that other developed countries were not helping matters either.

Written by Amitabh Sinha | Bonn | Updated: November 14, 2017 5:15 am

With more than half the schedule of climate change conference already over, frustration was beginning to show at the lack of progress on any of the key issues under discussion, including the issues of finance, loss and damage, and ‘pre-2020 actions’. Developing country negotiators lamented the fact that the United…

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New Report: Canadian Interchange Fee Caps Would Hurt Consumers

Truth on the Market

Canada’s large merchants have called on the government to impose price controls on interchange fees, claiming this would benefit not only merchants but also consumers. But experience elsewhere contradicts this claim.

In a recently released Macdonald Laurier Institute report, Julian Morris, Geoffrey A. Manne, Ian Lee, and Todd J. Zywicki detail how price controls on credit card interchange fees would result in reduced reward earnings and higher annual fees on credit cards, with adverse effects on consumers, many merchants and the economy as a whole.

This study draws on the experience with fee caps imposed in other jurisdictions, highlighting in particular the effects in Australia, where interchange fees were capped in 2003. There, the caps resulted in a significant decrease in the rewards earned per dollar spent and an increase in annual card fees. If similar restrictions were imposed in Canada, resulting in a 40 percent reduction in interchange fees…

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The Triple Convergence

Walkable Streets

Stuck in Traffic (1992), pp. 27-29, by Anthony Downs

“Nearly every vehicle driver normally searches for the quickest route, one that is shorter or less encumbered by obstacles (such as traffic signals or cross-streets) than most other routes. These direct routes are usually limited-access roads (freeways, expressways, or beltways) that are faster than local streets if they are not congested. Since most drivers know this, they converge on such ‘best’ routes from many points of origin.

The problem is that during the peak travel hours on weekdays, so many drivers converge on these ‘best’ routes that they become overloaded, particularly in metropolitan areas. Traffic on them eventually slows to the point where they have no advantage over the alternative routes. That is, a rough equilibrium is reached, which means that many drivers can get to their destinations just as fast on other roads. At times, the direct road may become…

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