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Persecuting the Mentally Ill Based on Anecdotes

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties.

In the last several weeks we have seen another mass shooting by a disturbed teenager, as well as a horrific murder committed by two clearly troubled 12-year-old girls at the behest of internet fiction Slender Man. Predictably, tragedies like this


More from France’s Bloated Public Sector

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

The public sector in France is among the best financed in Europe. Taxes claim around 45% of all income earned in the country, but even that is not enough to finance all the government projects. The country also runs a

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Krugman on ObamaCare: OK, What Would *Failure* Look Like?

Monday, June 9th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Health Care.

Paul Krugman assures his readers that his predictions and interpretations of economic events come out with flying colors. But that’s often because he ex post sets an unbelievably low threshold for success. Take for example his latest post on the

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IMF Gets It Wrong

Monday, June 9th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

Christine Lagarde admits that the International Monetary Fund “got it wrong” when it chastised the British government’s austerity plans. One year ago the IMF’s chief economist Oliver Blanchard claimed the U.K. was “playing with fire” by cutting its budget. With

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End Central Banking, End “Unearned” Wealth Inequality

Friday, June 6th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.

With all the brouhaha going around regarding income and wealth inequality, the question that is rarely asked is why inequality is something to abhor. As I wrote last November, whether inequality is a bad thing is not the right question


Negotiating with Terrorists

Friday, June 6th, 2014 by posted in Foreign Policy, Philosophy, Politics.

Can you imagine being held captive by radicalized militants for five years? The confusion, anxiety, and fear over whether you get to see your family or friends again must be excruciating. For loved ones, the pain goes even deeper. Unanswered


Does “Uncertainty” Bolster the Case for Restrictions on Emissions?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Environment.

It is really incredible to comprehend the degree of hubris underlying the case for aggressive government intervention in the name of fighting climate change. For example, when the Obama Administration created a task force to estimate the “social cost of

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The Right to Starve

Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by posted in Health Care, Law, Philosophy.

Questions of liberty can sometimes be difficult. Not everything fits together in a nice, easily-understood package. Morality often gets involved, along with emotional ties that complicate matters. Logical consistency should always trump passion; but it’s sometimes hard to shove the

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Reparations for US Slavery?

Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by posted in Economics, Environment.

A recent essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates makes the case for reparations to be paid to black Americans. The subtitle of the essay   provides a good summary of its main points: “Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of


Don’t Trust Piketty or Krugman on Inequality Evidence

Saturday, May 31st, 2014 by posted in Economics.

At this point most people’s minds are surely made up, on the issue of whether Thomas Piketty is a wonderful scholar versus a con artist. But I still think it’s worth commenting on this debate, because the innocent onlooker would

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What Else Piketty Says — on Inflation, Canada, and Democracy

Friday, May 30th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Politics.

With all the commentary that has greeted the publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, there seems to be little left to say about the book. However, it being a huge book, there’s more in it than has

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The inevitability of Private Healthcare in Canada in one chart

Friday, May 30th, 2014 by posted in Uncategorized.

  Graph Courtesy of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Don’t forget those Pension liabilities and Debt. Republished from the CBC: Rising debt a massive challenge, Charlene Johnson says Newfoundland and Labrador’s net debt will push close to the $10-billion

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A Third Option on Public Lands

Friday, May 30th, 2014 by posted in Environment, Politics.

One of the most common fallacies in public policy is known as The Golden Mean, sometimes referred to as the Fallacy of the Middle. Simply put, it is the tendency to think that a policy that falls between two extremes

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My letter to the NY Times re: UKIP is neither left nor right

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties, Politics.

Re: Populist Party Gaining Muscle to Push Britain to the Right Dear Sirs: It is about time to end the inaccurate labeling of all political parties as either of the left or of the right.  The ultra left is always

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Optimism, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Freedom

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by posted in Philosophy.

In the many debates I have engaged in on the relative merits of a free society, the most common charge that is leveled against me is that my arguments are Utopian, that they assume too positive and moral a human


Is There a Case for Reparations?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, History, Politics.

Any writer capable of making a reader rethink his firmly-held position is gifted. Words are the projection of meaning, and it’s through words that ideas change, attitudes adjust, emotions are tempered, and we learn. The message doesn’t always have to

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The Weak Defense of Piketty

Monday, May 26th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

In response to Chris Giles’ allegations in the FT that Thomas Piketty’s book is replete with outright mistakes and dubious methods of blending the raw source data, Piketty has hit back hard. Bloomberg reports: Piketty, the French economist whose book “Capital

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Changing the Climate Change Narrative

Monday, May 26th, 2014 by posted in Environment, Politics.

It’s a bit of a film cliche that the bad guys, while possessing armies of flunkies, have no loyalty to their employees and happily sell them out, or even murder them without a second thought. Many a Bond villain has

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Are You Kidding Me? Now Allegations That Piketty Fudged His Wealth Data

Saturday, May 24th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a moving target. The book contains foundational theoretical problems, a misreading of the empirical literature that blows up his whole case, sloppy and absurd factual errors concerning tax rates and minimum wage hikes, and shocking quotations that


Consistency and Libertarianism

Friday, May 23rd, 2014 by posted in Philosophy, Politics.

When it comes to reporting on matters of Christianity and the goings-on in the Catholic Church, few are better than George Weigel. Heralded as the next mantle-carrier from cleric and writer Richard John Neuhaus, Weigel keeps his ear to the

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