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  • Economics

    The Special Interest Politics Game

    From the Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Milton’s son. Special interest politics is a simple game. A hundred people sit in a circle, each with his pocket full of pennies. A politician walks around the outside of the circle, taking a penny from each person. No one minds; who … More

    UAW Won't Let Detroit Make Competitively Priced Cars

    Even as the Detroit automakers are asking Congress for a taxpayer bailout, the Detroit News reports that Ford Motor Co. is operating highly automated, highly integrated, and highly profitable auto plants — in Brazil. They employ state of the art technology and techniques to produce high-quality vehicles: This state-of-the-art manufacturing … More

    Now Ethanol Wants a Bailout

    Nothing gathers a crowd in Washington like the sight of money being handed out. Banks, carmakers and now ethanol? From the Wall Street Journal: The Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group for the U.S. ethanol industry, has spoken with staff members from Capitol Hill and President-elect Barack Obama’s team and … More

    The Great Blurring

    It pains us to quote Thomas Friedman but this, unfortunately, sounds on target: It is both eye-opening and depressing to look at our banking crisis from China. It is eye-opening because it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the U.S. and China are becoming two countries, one system. How … More

    They Should Have Been Lawyers

    At some point in every law school, students are taught the old lawyer’s trick of “inconsistent pleadings.” The classic example of this involves a case where someone is accused to borrowing someone’s teapot and breaking it. The (perfectly legal) defense can simultaneously be: I didn’t borrow the teapot The teapot … More

    Should We Hand Detroit a Blank Check?

    Despite the fact that Congress intended the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) solely for financial institutions, the Bush administration, the Treasury, Members of Congress and the automakers are negotiating a plan to use the last $15 billion to bail out Detroit’s automakers. I won’t get into the illegality … More

    Too Bad He Isn’t Trying to Save Socialism

    “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” President George Bush on CNN, November 16, 2008.

    How to Bury Inconvenient News

    Washington Post assistant managing editor Eugene Robinson believes that anyone who opposes a federal government bailout of General Motors and Chrysler is a “lunatic.” So how does The Washington Post deal with the fact that their latest survey shows 55% of the American people oppose that very bailout? Well you … More

    Joseph Stiglitz Is a 'Lunatic'

    Well, that’s what The Washington Post‘s Eugene Robinson said. He didn’t say that word for word, but he might as well have. This is what he wrote: Despite the popular belief, lemmings don’t really hurl themselves off cliffs to reduce their numbers. That sort of behavior is seen only among … More

    Ford's UAW Contract

    Surely, some concessions can be made, right?