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Is New York City’s Proposed Ban on the Use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits for Purchases of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Effective Policy?

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Politics, Regulation.

In 2011, New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg proposed a ban on using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (commonly known as food stamps) for the purchase of sugar-sweetened beverages. While the plan has been criticized by food and beverage

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The Ethics of Disease Control

Monday, September 29th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties, Philosophy.

As the threat of the ebola virus looms large and the Center for Disease Control issues what are undoubtedly hyperbolic projections of over a million casualties to the disease by January, we owe it to ourselves as libertarians to ask

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About Those Monotonic Transformations…

Monday, September 29th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

If you have spent an egregious portion of your life in economics classrooms, you have doubtless heard that the utility functions used therein are representations of purely ordinal preference rankings. As your professors likely told you, although utility functions assign

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More Evidence That Canadian Success Story Didn’t Rely on Loose Money

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

In a previous post, I reviewed the great Canadian success story involving relatively large budget cuts as a way to turn around the fiscal crisis of 1995. On the surface, this seems anomalous to those who think Aggregate Demand is

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Krugman vs. Krugman on Conservative Canadian Cockroach

Friday, September 26th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

You really have to feel bad for Paul Krugman. No matter how many times he tries to kill the idea that 1990s Canada serves as a lesson for today’s policymakers, it just keeps coming back, like a cockroach. In case you

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New Taxes on the Way

Friday, September 26th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

The province of Ontario is a financial basket case. The provincial government pays nearly 10% of its tax revenue on interest to cover the $270bn. debt load (over $20,000 per Ontarian). To put this in perspective, the slow-motion train wreck

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Civil Society and Order

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties, Law, Regulation.

This past summer was anything but good for limited government supporters. We saw yet another killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white cop, followed by a military-style occupation by police of a suburban community. Parentless children along America’s

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The World´s Largest Subprime Debtor

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.

Do you have a friend who consistently borrows 30% of his income each year, is currently in debt about six times his annual income, and wanted to take advantage of short-term interest rates so that he needs to renegotiate with

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A Letter to the City of Oshawa

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by posted in Regulation.

Mr. Major and all Council members of the City of Oshawa 50 Centre Street South Oshawa, Ontario L1H3Z7 Dear Madams/Sirs: I would like to comment on the ban the city of Oshawa is considering on sale of puppies and kittens

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Forced Organ Donations

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties, Economics, Health Care.

In his work  A Critique of Interventionism, Ludwig von Mises concluded that an endless progression of interventions was the inevitable consequence of otherwise well-intentioned policy makers “In a private property order isolated intervention fails to achieve what its sponsors hoped

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Dependency and Farming

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.

In his work Prejudices, H.L. Mencken wrote plenty of scathing criticisms about American social life. His arch-nemesis received the most scorn: the average farmer. The farmer, he wrote, is “a tedious fraud and ignoramus, a cheap rogue and hypocrite, the

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Germany takes a stand against Keynesian stimulus

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by posted in Economics, Regulation.

Re: US urges EU to do more to stimulate its economy   At the recent meeting of the G20 US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew led the majority of the industrial world’s finance ministers and central bankers to urge Europe to increase

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Did Canadian Government’s Famous Budget Cuts Rely on Loose Money?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

The progressive Keynesians don’t like the “conservative love affair” with Canada. In particular, they are pushing back against the people who are pointing to the Canadian government’s budget-slashing starting in the mid-1990s as an example of “fiscal austerity” that did

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Gender Quotas: To What End?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by posted in Economics, Philosophy, Regulation.

With the continuing refrain of the “War on Women” still ringing loudly out across the land, we are hearing more and more calls for government to intervene and help out these poor gals who just can’t seem to catch a

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Billionaires Load Up on Cash

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by posted in Banking.

One of Ludwig von Mises’ most insightful parts of Human Action is his discussion on the reason to hold a cash balance. By using his construct of the “evenly rotating economy”, Mises shows that the only reason why an individual

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Paul Cantor: Model Mentor

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by posted in Economics, Education.

I once called Paul Cantor “the incomparable Cantor.” Another apt, alliterative sobriquet would have been “model mentor.” When others weren’t, Paul was there for me. He helped me. He taught me. He guided me. He’s the type of scholar I’d like

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Is Science Investment Always a Good Thing?

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by posted in Economics, Politics.

The worship of science is a peculiar feature of our age, especially given the incredibly broad and non-specific nature of the term, and the vast quantitative and qualitative differences in  outcomes from various types of research within the scientific disciplines.

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The Scottish Referendum

Friday, September 19th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties.

I’ve refrained from comments on the Scottish referendum on independence. Let people decide their own path is a reasonable stance to take, so let the Scots decide the future of Scotland. Yet in discussion with one of my past students

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IMF: QE Encourages Risk

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.

Recently the Fed released research stating that it encouraged moral hazard and risk taking with its QE programs. Never one to fall behind, now the International Monetary Fund is in on the trick. After promoting QE for years (see here

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The Efficient Majors Hypothesis

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

One day a smart young graduate from the University of Chicago named Eugene barged his way into the office of the Cubs’ owner, Tom Ricketts. The following conversation ensued: EUGENE: Mr. Ricketts! You’re throwing away millions of dollars in your

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