==> Once again, Bryan Caplan beats me to the punch. Barry Ritholz et al. have things exactly backwards when it comes to the “welfare queen” corporations relying on food stamps etc. to underpay their workforce. Other things equal, a stronger “social safety net” makes workers pickier when it comes to their jobs. Put it this way: Would it make sense to eliminate welfare benefits and tell the recipients, “We’re trying to give you more bargaining power against Walmart”?
==> THIS IS FREAKY. Scott Sumner (in an older post to which he recently alluded) documents how Frederic Mishkin altered key sections of his textbook, mysteriously right around the time that retaining them would have embarrassed Ben Bernanke. Sumner of course thinks Mishkin is a great guy, but I’m not so sure. To me, the most ominous part about the “Inside Job” attack interview wasn’t that Mishkin got paid to write a study on Iceland, but that he apparently renamed the title of the paper on his CV after Iceland blew up. (Here’s the whole attack piece, but the Orwellian titling stuff starts around 1:05.) That would be like me altering my blog posts to, “My Deflation Bet With David R. Henderson.”
==> Matt Walsh says husbands don’t need to “earn” respect from their wives, just like wives don’t need to earn love from their husbands. Good stuff.
==> This Tom Woods interview with Michael Huemer (on justification for political authority) is really good.
==> Tatiana Moroz is so talented, she makes grown men cry.
==> Some people demanded that I comment on Jon Stewart’s attack on Judge Napolitano. What do you want me to say? He opens with a joke about killing vampires. Of course the writers at the Daily Show weren’t trying to increase sales of Napolitano’s books, but they did give long clips of his statement so people at least had the context. Yeah I didn’t find this piece as funny as, say, Stewart calling the trillion dollar coin a bad idea (full of swear words), but Krugman is right that the same amount of nuanced analysis went into that earlier episode. As Stewart himself said in response to Krugman, it’s a comedy show and they admittedly don’t get into all the subtleties of the argument; what seems an acceptable shortcut for the joke probably depends on whether you agree with the target or not. (If you want a true example of people lying about their opponents, how about Noah Smith retweeting some guy who called Walter Block a “pro-slavery prof”? Even if the NYT quote were in context, that would be wrong. I could say, “You know, bee stings aren’t that bad.” Wouldn’t make me a pro-sting economist.)