Category Archives: applied price theory

FIFA Rids Itself Of Corruption . . . By Eliminating “Corruption” From Its New Ethics Code and Allowing Prosecution Of Critics


William_Powell_Frith_Claude_DuvalAs many of you know, I have been a long critic of the corrupt history of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and its sleazy leadership. For years, many have called for FIFA officials to end their global reputation as corrupt and self-dealing. They showed utter contempt for such calls and investigation. It was not until the United States worked with other countries to arrest top officials that FIFA fessed up to its problems. However, it did not take long for FIFA to go back to its old ways.  It has now made future corruption scandals less likely not by the implementation of  new rules allowing the punishment of those who “defame” FIFA officials or the organization.  Indeed, the word “corruption” is no longer in the code of ethics. Moreover, bribes and other violations kept secret for ten years will be essentially wiped clean for purposes of prosecution.

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Gary Becker Intellectual Portrait part 6

Roundup The Academics? Monsanto Verdict Raises New Troubling Questions About Professors Working Under Corporate Sponsorship


Roundup_herbicide_logoFor a growing number of critics, the breakthrough verdict against Monsanto for $289 million over its Roundup weedkiller is an indictment of the company’s corporate culture but also of academics who were used by the company to discredit scientific studies linking the herbicide to cancer.  Former groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, 46, reportedly has only months to live but he just delivered a body blow to one of the largest corporations in the world. It is not that $289 million is a crippling fine for Monsanto, but the verdict of guilt based on a finding of actions taken “with malice or oppression” will likely trigger tens of thousands of such claims.  Not surprisingly, Monsanto is now ditching its name in favor of Bayer after its recent acquisition.

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North Carolina Judge Fines Klansman For Littering In Troubling Free Speech Case


There is an interesting case out of North Carolina where Justin Adams was fined $1,000 for littering.  Adams is a KKK member who was distributing Klan literature on car windshield wipers.  Complaints followed and police were called.  Chief District Judge Mark Galloway imposed the fine, but there are serious questions raised about content-based discrimination of speech. Adams’ views are vile but it seems unlikely that others distributing literature would be subject to arrest. Indeed, Roxboro Police Chief David Hess seemed to confirm as much in his later comments.

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The War of 1812 by Carl Benn (2006)

Books & Boots

‘Free trade and sailors’ rights’ (American rallying cry for the 1812 war)

In June 1812 the United States, under president James Madison, declared war on Great Britain. The war lasted three years and fighting took place along the America-Canada border, around the Great Lakes, off the American coast, and in the Deep South, then called West Florida, now called Louisiana.

Why? Why did America attack Britain in 1812?

I read picked up the Osprey ‘Illustrated History’ of the war of 1812 in my local library, to find out.

Osprey Publishing publish a series titled ‘Essential Histories’, short illustrated texts describing the political and especially the military aspects of wars and conflicts, ancient and modern, ranging far and wide from the wars of Ancient Israel to Russia’s offensives in Chechnya.


The reasons American politicians gave were that:

  1. Royal Navy ships had been stopping and searching American…

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How Canada Tracked the US during the Great Depression

Notes On Liberty

Over the last few years, while I continued my research on other fronts, I started spending small amounts of time on a daily basis to read about the Great Depression and more precisely, how Canada lived through the depression.

Since the old adage is that Canada gets pneumonia when the US gets the flu, I thought that it was a worthy endeavor (although Pedro Amaral and James McGee have been working on that front) to try to see what insights we can derive from looking at Canada’s experience during the Great Depression (especially since it had a very different banking system).

In the process, I managed to collect in a datasheet, the Industrial Production Index of Canada (consisting largely of heavy industry with some light industries and utilities, making it a relatively well-rounded index). This is what it looks like.


Other than seeing Canada’s experienced mirrored in the US experience…

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Hirshleifer on the Private and Social Value of Information

Uneasy Money

I have written a number posts (hereherehere, and here) over the past few years citing an article by one of my favorite UCLA luminaries, Jack Hirshleifer, of the fabled UCLA economics department of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Like everything Hirshleifer wrote, the article, “The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity,” published in 1971 in the American Economic Review, is deeply insightful, carefully reasoned, and lucidly explained, reflecting the author’s comprehensive mastery of the whole body of neoclassical microeconomic theory.

Hirshleifer’s article grew out of a whole literature inspired by two of Hayek’s most important articles “Economics and Knowledge” in 1937 and “The Use of Knowledge in Society” in 1945. Both articles were concerned with the fact that, contrary to the assumptions in textbook treatments, economic agents don’t have complete information about…

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Another lionized Democrat cozying up to anti-Semites

Why Evolution Is True

Well, my headline may be a tad exaggerated, but I’m pretty sure that the subject of this post is not friendly to Jews (she’s made some remarkably ill informed comments about Palestine). Read on.

Many Democrats have been excited about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for the young Hispanic activist (she’s 28) won the Democratic primary for a House seat in New York, gaining a big upset victory over the incumbent. She’s a Democratic Socialist, but my take on her is that she’s not particularly bright and is espousing views that, while they may win her a seat in the House, won’t advance the Democratic platform. In fact, her election may give Democrats an even worse image.

I say that because Ocasio-Cortez has cozied up to some odious characters. Here she is headlining the Universal Muslim Association of America meeting with our favorite sharia-lover and FOF (Friend of Farrakhan), Linda Sarsour (click…

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Transgender issues are unrelated to gay rights. Gay rights is about being left alone. Transgender women want access to common spaces and opportunities reserved for women.


Suzan Revah Suzan Revah

Lesbians, feminists, and lesbian culture, heck women of all stripes have been under assault by anti-woman transgender activists for years in profound and violent ways. You can read a re-cap of some of that history HERE.

Gay culture, that is, gay MALE culture has basically supported trans politics, because trans politics are essentially male-centric and anti-female. Champions of women’s liberation gay men, like most men, are not. In fact, gay culture including gay lawmakers and political organizations often carry water for the anti-woman agenda of the trans movement. We see gay gentlemen like Tom Ammiano introduce transgender legislation designed to obliterate women’s rights with nary a consideration for how such initiatives impact the lives of women and girls, such lives being unworthy of consideration by gay men. We see appalling displays like gay activist/blogger Joe Jervis celebrating the “epic rant” of gay male assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, who…

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Journalistic bias and distortion about latest incidents in Israel

Why Evolution Is True

You might have heard that about 200 (or more) rockets were fired at Israeli civilian targets by Hamas last week, and that Israel responded by the Israeli Defense Forces targeting over 100 Hamas terrorist and military sites. No Israeli civilians were killed, though at least 7 were injured and more treated for shock as 30 rockets not intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” landed in fields but also destroyed Israeli houses, cars, factories, and a playground (Israel has an efficient early warning system). According to reports, three Palestinians were killed: a woman, her one-year-old chid, and a Hamas militant.

Not in dispute is that Hamas has continually been firing rockets from Gaza at Israeli citizens for months, but not on the scale that happened this week, which was a significant escalation of the violence. Also, since April Hamas has been sending incendiary devices via balloons and even birds into Israel, aimed…

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BBC Radio 4 news bulletins mislead UK audiences on Gaza rocket attacks

BBC Watch

h/t CL

BBC Radio 4’s ‘Midnight News’ on August 9th included an item (from 18:09 here) concerning events in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip which had begun several hours beforehand.

The BBC’s newsreader refrained from informing listeners who carried out the missile fire mentioned in his chronologically reversed portrayal of the story. [emphasis in bold added, emphasis in italics in the original]

Newsreader: “Israel has carried out a dozen airstrikes on targets in Gaza in response to the firing of around 36 missiles into Israel. One Palestinian man was killed. The Israelis said at least three people were wounded inside Israel. Yesterday two fighters from Hamas, which controls Gaza, were killed by Israeli fire. From Jerusalem, Yolande Knell reports.”

By the time that news bulletin went on air (02:00 Israel time), over 70 projectiles had been launched from the Gaza Strip. In other words, Radio 4 news…

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Constitutional Change and Upper Houses: the Italian Case

The Constitution Unit Blog

downloadOn 11 and 12 June 2018 the Constitution Unit co-hosted a workshop at Rome LUISS university, on ‘The challenges of reforming upper houses in the UK and Italy’. This is the second in a series of posts summarising the speakers’ contributions. Professor Carlo Fusaro, a leading proponent of Matteo Renzi’s failed Senate reform of 2016, reflects on why the proposals were defeated and what wider lessons can be learned from their failure.

In a previous blog, Constitution Unit Director Meg Russell set out some more general obstacles to bicameral reform. In this post, reflecting on the recent Italian experience, I argue that the challenges of reforming second chambers have changed, and grown, significantly in recent years.

Constitutional change is difficult by design. Transformation of those constitutional bodies which have a say in the decision making process of constitutional revisions is even more difficult, the most difficult of all…

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