Technical Difficulties

I continue to have problems reaching this blog (which means I have a hard time updating it). Others are also reporting problems.

The best advice I have gotten has been to re-start my router. This has worked a couple of times, including just now. I have no idea why the router wants to stop talking to the site. It is fine with in general, but getting to often fails, and logging into wordpress often fails.

Blogging will be light for a while, as we adjust to being grandparents.

in hospital

I have no idea why WordPress insists on turning us upside down.

DC’s Metro as infrastructure

Popular naratives to describe the problems of the DC metro system:

1. Epitomizes America’s failure to invest enough in infrastructure.

2. Results from unwieldy government structure.

My view:

Metro is an example of over-investment and malinvestment in infrastructure.

Metro’s problem is less one of poor governance than one of lack of economic viability. The demand curve is too far below the cost curve.

What is new is that more of the people who live in DC and are inclined to do without a car are white and affluent rather than black and poor. I do not see why this strengthens the moral case for non-riders to subsidize riders, although I can see how it will strengthen the political ability to advocate for subsidies.

Book Review

Over at, I have written a review of Thomas Leonard’s book on the early progressive economists. My essay is called Dismal Race “scientists.”

I am on econtalk this week

At discussing with Russ Roberts my forthcoming book. There is a lot in the book that we do not get around to discussing. That is because there is a lot in the book, in my view. It will be available in a couple of months.

Libertarians and Mass Shootings

I think that any way that you cut it, mass shootings will make people more statist. I have been saying for quite some time that this is not a libertarian moment, primarily because of concerns with terrorism.

The San Bernadino shooting is going to strengthen support for the anti-libertarians on both left and right. On the left, there will be more calls for gun control. On the right, there will be more calls for tightening immigration policy.

My reaction to the initial reports that said that there were three shooters was to think Charles Manson. That is, a psychopath with enough charisma to draw in some other people. As of this morning, that still would be my guess. A Charles Manson who happens to be Arab-American.

Of course, I have plenty of opportunity to be wrong. [update: one argument that goes against my view here.] But if my guess turns out to be right, then I do not think that this undermines the libertarian position in favor of admitting Syrian refugees or against intervening in the Middle East.

On the other hand, if my guess is correct, then I do think that this undermines the libertarian opposition to gun control. I believe that people who want guns for self defense do not need weapons that can fire many bullets rapidly. It should not take more than a couple of shots to ward off an intruder. There are a lot of proposals for gun control that serve only to take away liberty and do nothing to prevent mass shootings. But I can imagine proposals that would do a little bit to prevent mass shootings and do very little to take away liberty.

Off Topic: Don’t Take Up Swimming

I took it up in early October. About a month ago, I developed a bad cough, and which I just took to be “cough due to cold.” I curtailed many activities, including swimming. The other day, I felt better enough to try swimming again. Yesterday, not long after my swim I had a horrible runny nose, and I became suspicious. So, I did some Internet searching, and it turns out that breathing a lot of chlorinated air is not good for you. Or at least not for me.