Current Affairs

"How the solar business became an afterthought for Tesla"

This is yet one more example of why government should not try to pick business winners.

. . . the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo hoped it was catching lightning in a bottle by spending $750 million in taxpayer money to land what then was a fast-growing business in a hot, environmentally friendly industry that promised to bring nearly 1,500 jobs to job-starved Buffalo. . . .

For $750 million, you expect more.


"An Interview with Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics and of History, UIC"

As usual, a lot of good stuff from Prof. McCloskey. She's asked how much of our GDP should be devoted to government and she replies, "Put me down for 10 percent slavery to government. Not the 30 to 55 percent at present that rich countries enslave."

I like it.

Also this:

Much of the research on the economics of inequality stumbles on this simple ethical point, focusing on measures of relative inequality such as the Gini coefficient or the share of the top 1 percent rather than on measures of the absolute welfare of the poor.  It focuses fashionably on an inequality that’s very hard to measure properly or to alter rather than on a poverty that is very easy to measure properly and alter. They elide the two. Speaking of the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin’s egalitarianism, the philosopher Harry Frankfurt observed that Dworkin in fact, and ethically, “cares principally about the [absolute] value of people’s lives, but he mistakenly represents himself as caring principally about the relative magnitudes of their economic assets.”  We should care about lifting up the poor, not how many diamond-incrusted Rolex or Cartier watches the rich have.

"The Revolt of the Feminist Law Profs: Jeannie Suk Gersen and the fight to save Title IX from itself"

The part of the article this sentence is drawn from discusses domestic violence legislation, but it could apply to the recent developments of Title IX and much else besides:

Few considered the consequences of this expansion of state power, or the sometimes dramatic effect on other aspects of our legal doctrine. 

"The crippling cost of doing business in California"

An Orange County Register editorial:

CNBC’s annual state-by-state “business climate” study is out. No surprise, we’re dead last — No. 50 — among the states for “cost of doing business.” Here’s an area where you don’t want to say, “As California goes, so goes the nation.”

Almost all of California’s business-climate problems are self-inflicted, as lawmakers try to balance conflicting interests.

"Why Libertarians Distrust Political Power"

Steve Horwitz has posted a wonderfully concise, beautifully exposited argument for why reasonable people should be suspicious of big government. It also serves as a very necessary rebuttal to the assertion that I'm, sadly, hearing more frequently from conservatives: big government is fine as long as it is guided by "conservative" principles.

(And Professor Horwitz's argument is nicely consistent with the case made numerous times on this blog that government has problems relative to the market in two areas: information and incentives.)