From the Wall Street Journal: Bring Back the Robber Barons . I think I’ll pass. I mean why stop with the robber barons? Why not go all the way back to feudalism where most workers are the personal property of some monied rich baron who’s buddy-buddy with the king?
“The $800 billion federal stimulus bill has boosted employment by 1 million to 2.1 million and helped the economy grow about 1.5% to 3.5% larger than it would have without the stimulus, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.” Read more as the CBO smacks down the arguments of critics of the stimulus.
Rajiv Sethi on Intellectual Property and Guard Labor. Great article including good further links about how wasteful and unproductive copyrights, patents, and other forms of government-granted private monopolies on ideas. Really such efforts as copyright and patent schemes are really another form of attempted thought-control by a minority at great expense to the rest of us. [disclaimer: I own a patent myself, but have never attempted to restrict it’s use]
Gavin Kennedy at Adam Smith’s Lost Legacy withWhat Adam Smith Actually Identified as the Appropriate Roles for 18-century Governments responds to one of the latest attempts to claim Adam Smith was an advocate of tiny-government, libertarian policies. Gavin has a very detailed list of the many functions that Smith specifically said governments should provide (and not outsource to a private profit-making firm). It’s not at all what the Republicans, Libertarians, or Chicago Boys claim. I really wish people would read the books before they claim some dead author supports them.
For the student interested in economic history, particularly macro, the history of Say’s Law is essential. It defines the difference between Classical theory vs. Keynesianism/Progressive. Brad Delong has an excellent post on this.