Aug 12

The economics of stolen bikes

I bet you didn’t know this

Feb 09

An interesting thought

Via Megan McArdle – I’m not for this, but it would solve the problem.

My lunatic proposal for the day: why not make it easier to move homeowners out of homes they can’t afford? Set up a streamlined foreclosure proceeding where a current or mildly delinquent homeowner can simply give the house to the bank and walk away. Do this with two legal provisos:

1. No tax on the forgiven loan

2. No black mark on the credit record. The bank marks the loan as fully satisfied.

Of course, if we decide to actually “fix” the problem we should loosen immigration and get people actually in the vacant houses.

Feb 09

Line of the day

Via Megan McArdle “History may not repeat itself, but it stutters like hell.”

Dec 08

Turning Japanese

We’re officially in a recession – and for the first time in living memory American household debt shrinks! Americans really will do the right thing once all other options have been tried!

Sep 08

Another from MR

From Marginal Revolution comes this adage

It is through exchange that difference becomes a blessing, not a curse.

Sep 08

The post of the day

From Marginal Revolution

Thanks goodness we bailed out Bear Stearns back in March if we hadn’t we might have lost Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and who knows what else. Oh wait…

Jul 08

Sunday reading

May 08

John Robb’s annoying moments

On the whole, I like John Robb, his book Brave New War was thought provoking, and his upcoming book on Resilient Communities looks to be good as well.

But then posts like this one anger me to no end. He goes over current world trends in apocolyptic tones and then closes with

Except for the fanatical optimists, market mystics (the divine invisible hand), and the naive/uninformed, the debates over these trends are over.

He always mentions the broad trends with no real mention of where economics might shift the current, instead he just brushes that off with the thesis (this is what I gather from reading him anyway) that practically all of the benevolent inputs are dynamic, whereas the benevolent inputs are static.

Feb 08

This is no ordinary Tuesday

My predictions are Obama and Huckabee here in GA. On a related note, I met my first Ron Paul door to door guy on Saturday, he seemed very nice. He gave me a bumper sticker too.

Before I go vote, here are some links that caught my eye:

Jan 08

Quote of the moment

I was perusing Marginal Revolution (about vouchers) and came across this comment

In other words, even if a child’s chance of going to the state university is not increased by his new school, the kid’s chance of ending up in the state penitentiary is radically decreased. This consideration might not be of primary concern to many who support vouchers, but to those who live in the ghetto, it is of PRIMARY concern. Schools, more than anything, breed gangs. Like the projects of old, when you are FORCED to a geographical location, you make gang recruiting easier – and your kids chances of entering the prison system that much greater.

I saw a lecture by Nobel Laureate James Buchanan many years ago and before he veered off into pure math he said that there were three types of social organization, which he dubbed (something like this anyway), the closed circle, the open circle, and the broken circle. The closed circle is a prison, the open is free association, specifically where members have the right to exit and the right to exile rouge members and the broken circle, which is no association at all.

The Buchanan point came to mind…