Day: September 18, 2019

If political correctness is just good manners, why is the woke left so rude?

The role and power of the House of Lords

The Victorian Commons

To mark Parliament Week 2018, our editor Dr Philip Salmon looks at a key element of Parliament which we don’t usually have much opportunity to reflect on in our work on Victorian MPs and constituencies: the House of Lords. Yet, as he explains below, the upper chamber played a vital role in many important 19th century reforms and continued to wield significant influence even after the 1911 Parliament Act.

The pre-1834 Lords (Court of Requests)

The House of Lords remains a rather neglected subject in modern British political history. One recent study has even suggested that ‘for the last half-century and more it has been largely ignored’ (but note the reading list below). Most studies constructed around the traditional theme of democratic development inevitably tend to downplay the significance of the ‘unelected’ chamber. The Lords, however, should not be under-estimated.

Over half the twenty prime ministers of the 19th century…

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Political Prorogations: a view from the Victorian Commons

The Victorian Commons

It’s been a long time since the business of suspending Parliament and starting a new session has generated so much political controversy. Throughout most of the 20th century prorogations invariably tallied with the expectations of most parliamentarians, neatly book-ending a government’s legislative programme. Scroll back a little further into the 19th century, however, and a rather different picture emerges …

Parliament’s historic procedures and conventions have generated a huge amount of public interest recently. Responding to popular demand, the latest version of Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice, detailing the ‘law, privileges, proceedings and usage of Parliament’, has even been uploaded online. What readers won’t find in the latest edition, however, is much information about prorogation. Beyond stating that it is a personal prerogative power exercised by the Crown on the advice of the prime minister, which ends the current session of Parliament, there is remarkably little discussion of how and…

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Electing a new Speaker: what happens next?

The Constitution Unit Blog

download.1.jpg (1)After over ten years as Speaker, John Bercow has announced his intention to stand down at the end of October. As for who will replace him, that is unclear and will be decided by an election amongst MPs, several of whom have already declared their candidacy. But how does that election work? Mark Bennister offers a guide to the process. 

During yet another dramatic day in the House of Commons on Monday 9 September, the Commons Speaker John Bercow announced he would be stepping down either ’when this Parliament ends’ (if the Commons voted for an early election) or on 31 October. As the motion for an early election under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act did not secure the required two-thirds majority, this means he will be in the Chair for some further drama until the end of October.

On 22 June 2019, John Bercow marked his tenth anniversary as…

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Louis CK on Helen Lovejoyism

Brad Taylor's Blog

Steven Horwitz points to an example of Helen Lovejoyism at Liberty & Power:

You’ve all seen them. Those ubiquitous TV ads where a simple little pill transforms a man suffering from erectile dysfunction, or ED, into a virile tiger who puts a smile on the face of his now beaming wife.

Well, Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) has seen them too, and you’d be hard pressed to see a smile on his face when he talks about the ads. “A number of people,” he says, “have come up, including colleagues, and said I’m fed up. I don’t want my three or four-year old grandkid asking me what erectile dysfunction is all about. And I don’t blame them.”

Comedian Louis CK (hat tip to Bryan Caplan for pointing to another Louis CK clip which prompted me to view others) sums up the Helen Lovejoyist argument against same-sex marriage. I’m not normally…

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@women_nz explains why the gender wage gap has nothing to do with employer discrimination @JulieAnneGenter @JanLogie

From https://www.stats.govt.nz/reports/effect-of-motherhood-on-pay-summary-of-results

If Nordhaus estimates invalidated by outliers, does #globalwarming postponing the next ice age count as a big plus? @CubaRaglanGuy

http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/115863761/climate-explained-why-we-wont-be-heading-into-an-ice-age-any-time-soon?cid=app-android

The Predictably Perverse Impact of Greek Bailouts

International Liberty

There are many reasons to oppose the various bailouts of the Greek government. Here are my two main reasons.

  1. I don’t like rewarding investors who make imprudent decisions, and it really galls me to bail out the (mostly) rich people who bought Greek bonds.
  2. I don’t like rewarding politicians who make imprudent decisions, and it really galls me since bailouts encourage additional imprudent behavior.

Let’s focus today on the second point.

Here’s Greece’s score for the “Size of Government” component from Economic Freedom of the World. As you can see, bailouts have actually subsidized a decline in fiscal responsibility.

And it’s worth pointing out that Greek politicians have been doing a bad job in other areas.

The burden of red tape has been, and remains, stifling.

Greece ranks at the top in difficulty in setting up and running a business among 75 countries, according…

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Stigler Confirms that Wicksteed Did Indeed Discover the Coase Theorem

Uneasy Money

The world is full of surprises, a fact with which rational-expectations theorists have not yet come to grips. Yesterday I was surprised to find that a post of mine from May 2016, was attracting lots of traffic. When published, that post had not attracted much attention, and I had more or less forgotten about it, but when I quickly went back to look at it, I recalled that I had thought well of it, because in the process of calling attention to Wicksteed’s anticipation of the Coase Theorem, I thought that I had done a good job of demonstrating one of my favorite talking points: that what we think of as microeconomics (supply-demand analysis aka partial-equilibrium analysis) requires a macrofoundation, namely that all markets but the one under analysis are in equilibrium. In particular, Wicksteed showed that to use cost as a determinant of price in the context of…

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