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February 2018

A fine example of a pure economic rent

Kevin McHale:

“I remember after a game in Atlanta once, Larry looks at me, we’re having a beer, and he looks at me and says, ‘Can you believe they pay us to do this?’,’’ said McHale. “I started laughing and said, ‘They pay us. Plus we get free beer, which is a good deal.’ That’s how I felt about my entire career. I rode my bike to the gym every single day as a kid to play, and now they’re paying me to do something I went out of the way to do every single day of my life. I was always like, ‘That’s unbelievable.’’’

"The Obama Administration's $1.7 Billion Iranian Deception"

Lee Smith:

The Obama White House omitted several key facts.

First, when Iran submitted its claim in 1981, the US filed an $817 million counterclaim for Iran’s violations of its obligations under the FMS program. As Rick Richman explained in a 2016 Mosaic article, “with both the claim and the counterclaim still pending, it was possible that Iran owed billions of dollars to the U.S., not the reverse.”

Second, a 2000 law signed by President Bill Clinton, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, said that Iran’s FMS account could not be refunded until court judgments held by the U.S. government against Iran for damages from terrorist acts against American citizens were resolved to America’s satisfaction.

"Drought of Common Sense"

So true:

The real solution is not to “chip away at long-held water rights,” but to reinforce a system of rights and markets so that water users are incentivized to use water in its most economically appropriate way. Water is no different than any other commodity. If there’s a drought, the price should reflect its scarcity, which will convince people to use it more wisely. That, and an end to regulations that make it unnecessarily difficult to sell, store, and trade water, will do far more to conserve water than have people spy on their neighbors.

"Helping a Graduate Student Out"

A graduate student in political science e-mailed me to ask for a favor. A team of researchers from Stony Brook University have asked for help in studying the role that emotion plays in politics. I have completed their survey myself, and it only took me about 15 minutes to finish. The survey is completely anonymous.

The survey is here

The student's CV is here. The student's thesis advisor and co-investigator's webpage is here.