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September 2003

Old story in a new form. Some people have not learned that markets are usually efficient and that therefore, true bargains are hard to find.

"The most obvious lesson to be learned from reading Kenneth’s e-mail is how tentative and embarrassed people feel when they challenge a seller’s legitimacy. Consumers looking to send $2,000 to a complete stranger they will never see in person are dramatically apologetic when questioning the seller’s credentials, an attitude easily manipulated by a con artist."

On September 17 I argued that Richard Hofstadter's famous piece, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" was newly relevant today, albeit applied to the extreme left wing rather than the right wing Hofstadter originally discussed.

Today, renowned (and new Bradley Award winner) columnist Charles Krauthammer ends his column as follows: "Kennedy's rant reflects the Democrats' blinding Bush-hatred, and marks its passage from partisanship to pathology."

Pathology. Newmark's Door: remember where you read it first!

(Also see Rich Lowry's hilarious recounting of "What Democrats Believe.")

A very fine analysis of how California got into its current mess by Hal Varian. He states two economic lessons worth remembering:

1. "a deregulated wholesale market and a regulated retail market is a recipe for disaster."

2. "don't spend transitory income on permanent commitments."

Some French workers are unhappy about that wonderful, creative way to reduce unemployment, the 35-hour work week. "While the extra leisure time is appreciated, most employees resent the way wages have been held down to absorb higher costs."