Mea Culpa (or, How I Got Pwned By Public Radio)

Last night as I was driving to an appointment, I was listening to our local NPR affiliate here in Grand Rapids, and specifically to the show Marketplace. I happened to hear a story about how the government and economists were concerned that the money given to taxpayers via the “economic stimulus package” may actually be used for purposes other than retail spending, thereby not causing the intended “stimulus.” Not the first story of this sort that I’ve heard over the last few weeks. Continue Reading...

CAGW Names Names

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has released their “Pig Book” for 2008, which is an “annual compilation of the pork-barrel projects in the federal budget. The 2008 Pig Book identified 11,610 projects at a cost of $17.2 billion in the 12 Appropriations Acts for fiscal 2008. Continue Reading...

Humans and Hybrids

In recent years the UK has emerged as a key player in both genetic experimentation and in corresponding legal battles over the extent to which the government ought to regulate such research. Continue Reading...

New Deal for April Fools

Last month marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of FDR’s “New Deal”. The Great Depression is the most famous event in U.S. macro-economic history. Most or all of my students know that it happened in the first half of the 20th century. Continue Reading...

The Burden of Italian Red Tape

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Europe, Alberto Mingardi of Istituto Bruno Leoni (and long-time Acton friend) lists some of the reforms Italy needs to boost economic growth, which is forecast at a measly 0.6 – 0.8 percent for 2008. Continue Reading...

Spending the Stimulus

Last week the Providence Journal ran a piece by me on the forthcoming “rebate” checks from the government intended to be an economic stimulus, “The mandate is to ‘spend all you can’.” I take issue with the idea that the government gives us money that is our own in the first place, and then tells us how we ought to spend it: on consumables and retail goods to spur growth in the economy. Continue Reading...