Side Effects: The Economic Consequences of the Health Reform


Obama EPA Hyped Cost-Benefit Numbers to Justify Regulations

Green Jihad

Some welcome news via an editorial issued by The Wall Street Journal. Barack Obama’s EPA hyped the cost-benefit analysis of its proposed rules while downplaying their overall impact on the economy. By doing so, EPA bureaucrats would push through almost 600 new mandates a year, imposing the highest regulatory costs of any federal agency.

Thankfully, the EPA is poised to take the first step in reforming cost-benefit analysis by requiring an agency-wide standard for how rules are applied. This, in turn, would make the regulatory process more transparent since it would allow politicians and even civilians to assess whether more regulation is needed. The Editorial goes on to state:

By introducing “social costs” and “social benefits,” the EPA began factoring in speculation about how regulatory inaction would affect everything from rising sea levels to pediatric asthma. EPA optimists even included their guesses about how domestic regulations could have a…

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Study suggests three periods of global warming slowdown since 1891 due to natural causes

Tallbloke's Talkshop

If ‘slowdowns’ in global average temperatures can be natural, why not ‘speed-ups’ as well? Recent global temperature patterns correlate very poorly, if at all, with changes in the trace gas CO2 as required by IPCC-supporting climate theorists.

A team of researchers from the U.K., Sweden and Australia has found that three periods of global warming slowdown since 1891 were likely due to natural causes rather than disruptions to the factors causing global warming, reports

In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their study of global mean surface temperatures (GST) since the late 19th century and what they found.

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The Law of Peoples by John Rawls — A Summary


Clueless Political Scientist

Rawls, John. 1993. “The Law of Peoples.” Critical Inquiry 20 (1). University of Chicago Press: 36–68.

  • This is the kind of paper that must be chewed and digested, not merely tasted and swallowed.
  • It is necessary that you have at least a cursory knowledge (although familiarity is recommended) of the author’s work on justice as fairness, especially the notion of the original position behind the veil of ignorance. For an interesting introductory discussion on the concept, check out Michael Sandel’s lectures from the course: “Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do?” The topic is introduced here and continued here.)
  • Sections under square brackets and cast in monotype font can, perhaps must, be skipped on first reading. End notes, on the other hand, must not be skipped.


The essay seeks to develop a “law of peoples” out of “liberal ideas of justice”.[1] By a…

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The government consults on slashing productivity growth

croaking cassandra

Since the current government took office, I’ve highlighted from time to time (eg here) the tension between the rhetoric about the desire to lift New Zealand’s productivity performance (poor for decades, woeful in the last five years or so) and to increase the outward orientation of the economy,  and the specific policy promises which mostly seem likely to work in exactly the opposite direction.

The determination to reduce carbon emissions even more aggressively than the previous government’s goal, especially while sticking with a largely unchanged immigration policy that continued to drive up the population, seemed a prime example. I didn’t have any numbers, but the direction of the effect seemed pretty clear.

But now the government has published some numbers, which really should be get a lot of attention.    Yesterday the Green Party leader James Shaw (Minister of Climate Change) launched a consultative document on what form the “net…

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Medic killed in Gaza riots said she was there “to be a human shield.” Another Hamas war crime @amnestynz ignores