You are browsing the archive for 2014 July 11.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Rizzo on Cochrane

July 11, 2014 in Economics

By John P. Cochran

Several days ago I highlighted John H. Cochrane’s critique of modern macroeconomics.

In today’s Wall Street Journal Austrian Economist Mario J. Rizzo provides an excellent comment Cochrane’s defense of modern modeling techiniques.

“Mr. Cochrane’s excessive scientism is on display when he pooh-poohs Paul Krugman’s critique regarding the “haze of equations” that has become standard in this field. Apparently Mr. Cochrane is worried that economics might become “ephemeral” like philosophy. I would welcome the ephemerality of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hume, Kant, Wittgenstein and so on.”

Prof. Mario J. Rizzo

New York University

New York

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

LeBron James Leaves Miami Heat to Rejoin Cleveland Cavaliers

July 11, 2014 in Blogs

By Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

NBA star announces in Sports Illustrated his decision to return to hometown team Cleveland Cavaliers from Miami Heat.


LeBron James announced on Friday that he will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his hometown team.

The NBA star, who left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010, made the announcement in an essay for the Sports Illustrated website.

He said: “My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”

James, 29, who has been reported to be on his way to Brazil for Sunday's World Cup final, ended a week of intense speculation by saying: “I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.”

James was born in Akron, Ohio, where he became a high-school basketball star. Selected first in the 2003 Draft, in 2007 he took the Cavaliers to their first NBA Finals. They were swept, four games to nothing, by the San Antonio Spurs.

The form of James's announcement echoed, if in less dramatic form, that of his decision to go to Miami. In 2010, he made his choice in a much-derided ESPN TV special entitled “The Decision”.

That move led to a public falling out with the Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, who posted an infamous open letter to fans in which he promised that his team would win an NBA championship before James did.

James has appeared in four straight NBA Finals series with the Heat, winning against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 and the Spurs in 2013. Last season, the Heat lost the finals to the Spurs in five games, leading to suggestions that their ageing team was in need of rebuilding.

The Cavaliers have not made the playoffs since James left, although their struggles over recent seasons have landed them the last two No1 Draft picks. They are also reported to be in trade talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves, for the star forward Kevin Love.

In his Sports Illustrated piece, James considered his acrimonious departure from Cleveland and said he had met Gilbert before making the decision to return.

“The letter from Dan Gilbert, the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Outrage: Tennessee Arrests Its First Woman Under its New Pregnancy Criminalization Law

July 11, 2014 in Blogs

By April M. Short, AlterNet

They're locking women up for drug use instead of getting them the health care they need.


Two days after she gave birth to a healthy baby, 26-year-old Mallory Loyola of Tennessee was arrested. She was the first person to be charged under a law that went into place last week, which criminalizes women for narcotic drug use while pregnant. Tennesse's is the first U.S. law to directly criminalize pregnant women for their actions while pregnant, and has been widely criticized. The frightening implication of the law for women is that once one of your eggs is fertilized—accidentally or not, and whether you’re aware you’re pregnant or not—there goes your right to medical privacy.

“Our state chooses to waste tax dollars locking up women instead of getting them the health care they need,” Rebecca Terrell, chair of Healthy and Free Tennessee, told ThinkProgress via email according to a recent article. “We are already receiving reports of women seeking out non-licensed health providers to avoid having a medical record and risking arrest. This is extremely dangerous.”

Healthy and Free Tennessee is a vocal opponent of the law, which states that “a woman may be prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, if her child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug.”

The local news has reported that methamphetamines showed up in Loyola’s blood, but no narcotics to speak of, so it is possible that she will not be prosecuted. 

As the ThinkProgress article notes, “this [new law] may not actually apply to Loyola’s case. So far, there’s no evidence the young woman either used a narcotic drug or caused harm to her newborn child.”

Lynn Paltrow is executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW),  is against the criminalization of pregnant women who use drugs. She toldThinkProgress:

“This law was sold as if it were just about illegal narcotics. But sure enough, the first case has nothing to do with illegal narcotics — and nothing actually to do with harm to anybody. There’s no injury. There’s just …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Sen. Rand Paul Appears on Fox's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren – July 10, 2014

July 11, 2014 in Politics & Elections

…read more

Source: RAND PAUL

Avatar of admin

by admin

Bubbles Everywhere: Krugman Wrong Again; Austrians and the BIS Are Correct

July 11, 2014 in Economics

By John P. Cochran

Paul Krugman is at it again – distorting or misinterpreting work by other economists to attack critics of  today’s central bank driven low interest rate environment and to defend policy status quo or to push for even more stimulus. This time the economist is Knut Wicksell whose work in both monetary theory and capital theory was part of foundation for Mises’s development of Austrian business cycle theory (ABCT). Krugman’s rant is in response to Neil Irwin’s  commentary on booms and bubbles in asset prices driven by central bank policy and his target is Austrian influenced economists and Wall Street analysts and pundits with a pointed jab at recent work from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).  From Krugman:

The proximate cause is obvious: policy interest rates are very low, and expected to remain low, so money is pouring into alternative assets, driving their yields down too. The question is what you think about this situation.

Quite a few people — including a lot of people on Wall Street, at the BIS, and so on — look at this and say that it’s terrible: the Fed is keeping interest rates “artificially low” and thereby distorting asset prices across the board, and it will all end in grief.

But for Krugman there is no reason to panic, rates are not too low and there are no asset price bubbles:

Mainly, though, there simply isn’t any macroeconomic case for claiming that interest rates are wildly depressed relative to fundamentals, and not much reason to believe that assets in general are overvalued.

Robert Murphy at Mises Canada exposes the fallacy of Krugman’s argument:

Krugman is supposed to be a technical wizard who throws up an impressive array of mathematical models to justify his policy conclusions. Well, in this case he tries to get his readers to accept first derivatives in place of levels. Nope: However you slice it, central banks have pushed interest rates artificially low. That’s why their balance sheets have exploded. It is astonishing that Krugman is trying to justify this outcome as “natural.”

What I find interesting here is Krugman’s explicit attempt to discredit the recent BIS warning, based on the work of Mises and Hayek, of Central bank excesses. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, (“Stop Us before We Kill Again”):

The Bank for International Settlements issued a report warning that global monetary policies are reaching their useful limit and may be contributing to …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Economics of Scottish Secession

July 11, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

scot

Not all secessionist movements are created equal, because some secessionist regions are more economically independent than others. In the case of Venice and its region, secession in the medium- to long-term appears rather plausible because of Venice’s long history of economic success, political independence, and its current status as a wealthier region of Italy.

People laugh at Texas when it hints at forming its own republic (again), but the truth is that economically speaking, Texas would be just fine by itself. It’s already a net taxpaying state, which means it pays more to the feds than it gets back (much like the case with Venice and the Italian government). Secession would mean it just keeps more of its own money.

Similar things might also be said of Basque country and Catalonia in Spain, which are among the more wealthy and economically-sound regions.

If the economic points raised by many critics of Scottish secession are correct, however, then the situation with Scotland appears to be different.

In an unsigned editorial, The Economist opines:

On economics, the nationalists say that Scots will be £1,000 a year better-off per head if they go it alone. That number, however, is based on implausible assumptions about the oil price, Scotland’s debt burden, demography and productivity. The British government’s estimate that Scots would be £1,400 a year better off per head if they stay in is based on more realistic assumptions. Scotland’s population is older and sicker than the British average, and productivity 11% lower than that of the rest of Britain. As a result, the state spends around £1,200 more per head on Scots than on the average Briton. Depending on what happens to the oil price, North Sea oil could more or less cover those costs in the short term, but the oil is running out.

It is, of course, possible that independence would cure Scotland’s entitlement culture and revive its entrepreneurial side. If either of its two dominant parties—the SNP and Labour—were disciples of Adam Smith that would be plausible. But their statist philosophies are more likely to drive Edinburgh’s fund managers, Aberdeen’s oil-services engineers and other talented Scots south. Independence would also impose one-off costs: a new Scottish state would have to set up an army, a welfare system, a currency and much else.

If it is indeed true that Scotland is a net tax receiver, then secession appears far less likely. Voters, and especially older voters, …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Mises Weekends: Brian Doherty Talks to Jeff Deist About Reporting the Revolution

July 11, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Jeff Deist and Brian Doherty discuss Brian’s role as both a participant in—and observer of—libertarian circles, the impact of Austrian economics on today’s intellectual debate, Ron Paul’s lasting legacy, and why for the first time ever it’s cool to be a young libertarian.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Thomas Piketty and Mises’s ‘The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality’

July 11, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Money balance

Friday:

In his short book The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, first published in 1954, Ludwig von Mises explains why Piketty’s new anti-capitalist tome is popular among a certain class of people, and why much of Piketty’s book relies on a re-telling of old myths about capitalism.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE