Oops, GMU’s History Department accidentally contradicts GMU’s Mercatus Center. Bye bye, history department.

March 30, 2013 § 4 Comments

By accident GMU’s History News Network (I actually have no idea how closely it is related to the history department, you would be reasonable to assume some) passed along a story that undermined a Mercatus narrative. I expect the retribution was swift, I can’t find the story there now.

Happened to listen to this podcast

http://mercatus.org/podcast/2013/03/25/daniel-sutter-discusses-welfare-block-grants-model-medicaid-reform-inside-state

Daniel Sutter said something that sounded fishy. He was discussing the success of Clinton era welfare reform and his metric was caseload, which is kind of like trying to tell who is winning a baseball game by counting the number of tickets sold. Daniel Sutter and the host reassured each other with the standard planters points that the slaves were lazy, had bad attitudes, didn’t know how good they had it etc.

At the time I thought the razor in the apple was the prison population going up about the same time. But then

“History News Network – NPR’s This American Life is reporting a story that undermines the claims of success for the Clinton-era reform of welfare. After the legislation was passed by Congress welfare rolls dropped by half in two years. Where did all the people go who were dropped? The assumption at the time was that they found jobs. But NPR reports strong evidence that millions simply moved from welfare to the Social Security disability program. Growth in the program exploded in a few short years. States hired companies to push people from welfare onto the rolls of the disabled to save money. Welfare is jointly paid for by both the states and the federal government. Social Security is paid for entirely by the federal government.”

http://prorevnews.blogspot.com/2013/03/npr-exposes-con-behind-clintons-welfare.html

http://mercatus.org/publication/welfare-block-grants-guide-medicaid-reform

Frackademic Russ Roberts pretends he doesn’t understand macro

March 17, 2013 § 1 Comment

http://cafehayek.com/2013/03/everything-you-need-to-know-about-macro.html

http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/03/14/frackademia-strikes-again-usc-powering-california-study

If you believe this, then the rise of neoliberalism is a no-brainer. Neoliberalism is simply the economic philosophy that works. But why should anyone believe this? The idea that unleashing free markets then leads to good economic times should never have survived the Great Depression, and should surely be killed for good by the Great Recession and its aftermath.

March 9, 2013 § 1 Comment

“In the past 14 months, tightened sanctions have nearly halved the value of Iran’s currency and fuelled soaring inflation” (How can Russ Roberts and Don Boudreaux claim basic macro doesn’t work when we use it as a weapon of war every day?)

March 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

I am sorry for the response your Grace’s proposals are meeting here today, so near the spot where your maternal grand-mother, by giving some forty-eight hours notice, marshaled 1,500 men to pick out the 800 she required. But there is a cause for it, and a genuine cause, and, as your Grace demands to know it, I must tell you, as I see that none else is inclined in the assembly to do so. These lands are now devoted to rear dumb animals which your parents considered of far more value than men . . . . your parents, yourself and your Commissioners have desolated the glens and the straths of Sutherland where you should find hundreds, yea thousands of men to meet and respond to your call cheerfully had your parents kept faith with them. How could your Grace expect to find men where they are not?

February 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

As Michael Brander tells it, in his book on the Scottish Highland Regiments, the Scottish Highlands produced, between 1740 and 1815 men for some 86 Highland Regiments who travelled around the world to strengthen the British Empire. But, towards the end of that period sheep were introduced into Scotland and the great land clearances began that replaced the crofters on the estates with the occasional lone shepherd and his flocks. Thus, by the time of the Crimean War when the Duke of Sutherland tried to raise a regiment he got no volunteers. As an old man explained to him:

I am sorry for the response your Grace’s proposals are meeting here today, so near the spot where your maternal grand-mother, by giving some forty-eight hours notice, marshaled 1,500 men to pick out the 800 she required. But there is a cause for it, and a genuine cause, and, as your Grace demands to know it, I must tell you, as I see that none else is inclined in the assembly to do so. These lands are now devoted to rear dumb animals which your parents considered of far more value than men . . . . your parents, yourself and your Commissioners have desolated the glens and the straths of Sutherland where you should find hundreds, yea thousands of men to meet and respond to your call cheerfully had your parents kept faith with them. How could your Grace expect to find men where they are not?

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9849

Don Boudreaux and Russ Roberts trot out the same tired minimum wage myths.

February 15, 2013 § 1 Comment

Media Matters has a good debunking, as usual (they have to repost this regularly):

http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/02/15/the-minimum-wage-myths-amp-facts/192692

Don Boudreaux, all those ‘issues that need to be addressed’? You are supposed to address them BEFORE you write the article. ‘It’s all so confuuusing!’ is an excuse used by a teenage girl, not a senior academic economist.

January 27, 2013 § 1 Comment

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