Monthly Archives: January 2013

Still More on Political Authority

In a comment on this post, “Ross” writes, If I understand Arnold’s position correctly (I guess this response is to clarify it for interested parties), the prevailing reason for the belief in authority (offices, people, what have you), is rooted … Continue reading

Posted in Libertarian Thought | 14 Comments

Michael Huemer Responds, I Reply, Bryan Caplan Rejoins, etc.

Reacting to my essay, Huemer emails (my response follows his quote), Dear Arnold, Thanks for your blog post. There are several important points raised there. Here are a few comments; I cc Bryan [Caplan] in case he’s interested. 1. Did … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Libertarian Thought, links to my essays | 4 Comments

Solar Power

Noah Smith writes, I guess I should give a concrete prediction about when solar will actually start being cost-competitive with fossil fuels, without subsidies, in some locations for some customers. My prediction is: around 2020, or 7 years from now. … Continue reading

Posted in energy and the environment, Timothy Taylor is my Favorite Blogger | 8 Comments


The proposed Commonwealth of Belle Isle (near Detroit). There are three sources of revenue. The first is user fees, which apply primarily to the monorail. A 10% sales tax provides a second source. Importantly, sales taxes encourage thrift and are … Continue reading

Posted in Libertarian Thought, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | Comments Off

My Sense of Huemer

I have a long review essay of Michael Huemer’s The Problem of Political Authority. I conclude: I believe that Michael Huemer has put his finger on an important question, namely: What justifies having an institution with special privileges to coerce … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Libertarian Thought, links to my essays | 6 Comments

Housing and Wealth Destruction

Thomas J. Sugrue writes, The bursting of the real estate bubble has been a catastrophe for the broad American middle class as a whole, but it has been particularly devastating to African Americans. According to the Center for Responsible Lending … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Crisis of 2008, Housing and housing finance, Three-Axes Model | 10 Comments

Betting Aversion

Derek Thompson interviews Daniel McFadden. McFadden says, If two “rational” people meet and disagree on the probability of an event (e.g., the AFC team wins the super bowl, the price of Google stock goes up), then both can gain by … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics | 6 Comments

Geithner, Wallison, and History

What is the legacy of Timothy Geithner? In an essay, I write, In 2009, at the height of the financial crisis, there was widespread public and political support for making serious changes to how Wall Street and the financial sector … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Financial Crisis of 2008, links to my essays | 3 Comments

Where are the Macroeconomic Bulls?

Bill McBride writes, the 780 thousand housing starts in 2012 were the fourth lowest on an annual basis since the Census Bureau started tracking starts in 1959. Starts averaged 1.5 million per year from 1959 through 2000. Demographics and household … Continue reading

Posted in PSST and Macro | 1 Comment

David Brooks on Inequality

He writes, Decade after decade, smart and educated people flock away from Merced, Calif., Yuma, Ariz., Flint, Mich., and Vineland, N.J. In those places, less than 15 percent of the residents have college degrees. They flock to Washington, Boston, San … Continue reading

Posted in David Brooks, income distribution-wealth-poverty | 8 Comments