Subsidies at Home, Suffering Abroad

In today’s NYT: “Oxfam Suggests Benefit in Africa if U.S. Cuts Cotton Subsidies.” “Eliminating billions of dollars in federal subsidies to American cotton growers each year would reduce American cotton production and exports, raise world prices by about 10 percent and modestly improve the incomes of millions of poor cotton farmers in Africa, according to a new study by Oxfam, the aid group.” About how many other industries could a similar thing be said? Continue Reading...

In Defiance of Logic and Good Sense

Last Friday, the New York Times editorialized in critique of American tariffs, which it says “raise the price of goods and are all too often based on outdated political considerations that defy logic and good sense.” Huzzah! Continue Reading...

The 100-Mile Suit

In the film The Pursuit of Happyness (review here), there’s a scene where Will Smith’s character arrives late for an interview with a stock brokerage firm and has no shirt on. Continue Reading...

‘Reverse’ Subsidies

A couple weeks ago the NYT magazine ran a piece by contributing writer Tina Rosenberg, which attempts to outline some of the ways in which “everyone in a wealthy nation has become the beneficiary of the generous subsidies that poorer countries bestow upon rich ones.” What does she mean? Continue Reading...

Google Minds the Gaps in Statistical Analysis

Google recently announced that it has purchased the Trendalyzer software from Gapminder, a Swedish non-profit (HT: Slashdot). Trendalyzer is the brain-child of professor Hans Rosling, who was lecturing on international development “when it struck him that statistics were an underexploited resource, often presented in an incomprehensible fashion. Continue Reading...

NYT Editorial on Chávez: Necessary Not-So-Evil

The NYT editorializes today that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez is, at worst perhaps, a necessary evil given the current political climate: “if it takes Mr. Chávez’s demagogy to spur Washington toward more enlightened policies in the Americas, so be it.” Oh yeah, and more US foreign aid to Latin America equals “social justice.” “Mr. Continue Reading...

Commerce and War: Poles Apart

Make trade, not war? In an excerpt from his new book “The Commercial Society,” Sam Gregg examines the long held view that nations engaged in trade are less likely to wage war. Continue Reading...

Economic Lessons in Your Morning Mug

A NYT editorial informs us today that retail prices for coffee products are rising (HT: Icarus Fallen). We are assured, however, that the price rise has been “relatively modest” and that an important factor is “changes in supply and demand in a global economy.” No kidding. Continue Reading...

Immigration and Innovation

From today’s WaPo: About 25 percent of the technology and engineering companies launched in the past decade had at least one foreign-born founder, according to a study released yesterday that throws new information into the debate over foreign workers who arrive in the United States on specialty visas. Continue Reading...