* Silas Barta smells a rat in the official inflation numbers.
* Ha ha, those Austrian economists teach at small schools and have funny names for their dogs. QED.
* I have written in several places that the Fed is responsible (at least in part) for rising commodity prices and oil in particular. Jerry Taylor and Peter van Doren disagree, saying that speculators have nothing to do with oil prices. It can all be explained by fundamentals and elasticities.
* William Grigg has been following this disturbing story of a SWAT team barging into a guy’s house and killing him. Apparently they held the medics at bay for an hour while the guy died. Does anyone want to play devil’s advocate and offer some rival interpretation?
* The nightmare is over. And remember, they hate us for our Walkers. (BTW the top comments are better than the article.)
* My article at Mises today talks about privatizing transportation in New York City. I didn’t make this assertion in the piece, but I honestly believe the crime rate would drop significantly over time if they implemented my ideas. A highlight:
As an economist, it appalls me how wasteful the current system is. Every weekday, millions of very productive engineers, doctors, writers, and other workers sit in traffic jams going into and out of Manhattan. Under private ownership, the tolls on bridges and tunnels, and the fees (however allocated) for driving on the normal roads would reflect the actual demand for the scarce product.
There would be time-varying prices, too, so that people who could rearrange their schedules to avoid rush hour could save money and thereby reduce peak congestion. (Such pricing structures have slowly been introduced even by the government’s transportation authorities, but not very quickly.) Yes, the month after a full-scale privatization of all the roads and bridges, it might be very expensive to drive from Wall Street to the Hamptons at 4:45pm on the Friday of a three-day weekend. But at least it could be done in a very smooth fashion, without having to stop-and-go for an hour or more.
Even better, the high prices would only be temporary. Entrepreneurs would see the demand (signaled by the high prices) and would devise new ways of catering to it. After a few years of genuine private ownership in transportation systems, Manhattan would look like a science fiction movie. There would probably be multiple layers of new bridges and tunnels, and extremely clean subway systems that were never too crowded, because of appropriate pricing and customer management. (Do you ever go to a movie theater — even for a popular film on opening night — and have someone try to squeeze into your seat? Of course not: the theater owners don’t allow patrons to crush each other. But that happens all the time with government subways.)