By Paul Graham at Y Combinator. At least a couple have to be winners.
Bluefin tuna is used in sushi and sashimi "and has become the most desirable food fish in the world". It's being overhunted to the point of near-extinction. Scientific American asks: Property rights, anyone?
(Basic economics to the rescue, once again.)
Big education + local government = potential for trouble. Case in point: "New York City declares neighborhood 'blighted' so that property coveted by Columbia University can be condemned".
Sometimes just local goverment = potential for trouble. See this interesting post by Carl Close about what eminent domain did to San Francisco's Fillmore District.
Robert J. Lieber, professor of government and international affairs at Georgetown, notes a pattern:
Over the years, America’s staying power has been regularly and chronically underestimated—by condescending French and British statesmen in the nineteenth century, by German, Japanese, and Soviet militarists in the twentieth, and by homegrown prophets of doom today. The critiques come and go. The object of their contempt never does.
. . . correlations have generally increased among sectors, while stocks have become less correlated with oil, gold and Treasuries. Correlations between stocks and the yen have increased the most in the short-term compared to their long-term correlations.
The Independent Institute is producing a fine blog, The Beacon. Some of the leading figures in the conservative/libertarian community are posting there. Just to mention a few whose work I'm a little familiar with: David Theroux, Peter Klein, Robert Higgs, and William Shughart.
Here are four recent posts that I think are worth your time:
Robert Higgs, "Notes on the Fannie Mae/Freddic Mac Bailout".
Yes, what is a government for, if not to save us from the impending disaster that its own policies have produced? Thank heavens for the government!
Jonathan Bean, "Affordable Health Insurance is ILLEGAL".
In the late 1980s, I sold health insurance in New England to people who did not have it. Many were self-employed. A young healthy person could buy top-rated major medical for $30/month. That was low enough to encourage my clients to buy. Then, the “progressives” tacked sugar plum mandates onto health insurance and eventually required all companies to take on any one who applied. The result? Costs soared and most private insurance companies withdrew from the state. That made it necessary for the state to create an indemnity pool to cover those without insurance. Guess what? The cost was sky high.
[This is so right. One of the absolutely least defensible parts of our current health care system is government inhibition of "no frills" policies, policies that would be especially attractive to the young and healthy individuals who comprise a substantial part of the uninsured.]
Forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Growth, by Djankov, Montalvo, and Reynal-Querol:
Foreign aid provides a windfall of resources to recipient countries and may result in the same rent seeking behavior as documented in the “curse of natural resources” literature. In this paper we discuss this effect and document its magnitude. Using panel data for 108 recipient countries in the period 1960–1999, we find that foreign aid has a negative impact on institutions. In particular, if the foreign aid over GDP that a country receives over a period of 5 years reaches the 75th percentile in the sample, then a 10-point index of democracy is reduced between 0.5 and almost one point, a large effect. For comparison, we also measure the effect of oil rents on political institutions. We find that aid is a bigger curse than oil.
Glenn Reynolds: "If Barack Obama is elected President, he'll be far more warlike than President Bush, and far more warlike than his pre-election rhetoric suggests. Because before he's elected President, attacks on America are just attacks on America. But after he's elected President, attacks on America will also be attacks on Barack Obama."
Cory Booker, major of Newark, "came to raise a city from the dead".
Three pieces on the almost-certainly coming Iranian conflict:
Distinguished Israeli historian, Benny Morris, writes that it's on.
Israel will almost surely attack Iran’s nuclear sites in the next four to seven months. (New York Times, July 18.)
Michael Hirsh, Newsweek (July 9):
But there appears to be increasing daylight between Washington, which is eager to avoid military action, and Jerusalem, which is reluctantly coming to the conclusion that there may be no choice.
And that's because, frankly, nothing else seems to be working.