03 May 2016


Potpourri 9 Comments

==> On the latest Lara-Murphy Show, I interview Carlos about his decades of experience in keeping business owners out of bankruptcy.

==> Tom Woods brought to my attention this great article by Jeff Deist. I saw Jeff give the lunch keynote at the recent Texas LP convention and it blew me away.

==> BTW, if you’re in the Seattle area, Tom, Jeff, and I will be there–along with Lew Rockwell and Walter Block–for the Seattle Mises Circle.

==> If you’re a financial professional in the St. Louis area, consider attending next week’s “Freedom Advisor” event. I’ll be there with Carlos Lara and Nelson Nash.

==> Keynesians take Free Advice commenter Levi Russell to the woodshed–or do they?

==> This is old news, but someone recently reminded me that the public was led to believe that 16-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. strike because he was too close to his radical father. But actually, the kid was killed in a totally separate strike.

==> Can’t remember if I’ve already posted this, but anyway Roy Cordato has the single best summary of the North Carolina “bathroom law.” (HT2 David R. Henderson) In particular, the conventional treatment is about exactly backwards. The governor wasn’t forcing businesses to adopt his preferred view of gender sorting. On the contrary, the state came in to prevent smaller jurisdictions from imposing their own views on businesses. If you oppose the law on grounds of decentralization, OK fair enough, but it was not doing what most of the loud opponents claim it was doing. If you want to have a bathroom policy in your store that says people go into whatever room they “self-identify” as, that is perfectly acceptable.

9 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. baconbacon says:

    That reply to Levi Brown was pretty terrible, bad enough not to visit that site anymore.

    • baconbacon says:

      Blah- Levi Russell.

  2. Tel says:

    I think it’s great to see a bunch of entertainers asserting their personal rights to refuse service should they disagree with their potential customer’s lifestyle choices.

  3. Tel says:

    In terms of that Levi Russell article, I think it’s downright dodgy for Menzie Chinn to normalize in 2011, when clearly if you want to compare those four states (Kansas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California) you must immediately accept that Kansas is exceptional amongst the four in that it was the least hit by job losses during the 2009 recession (by a significant margin). You could normalize based on 2005 and get a completely different picture, it’s quite a deceptive presentation. BTW normalizing based on 2005/2006 would be supported because that was before any of the GFC problems became apparent and all the states were showing low unemployment.


    So I’m looking at unemployment WITH the discouraged workers included (which sadly is only available back to 2004) and that’s important because discouraged workers are pretty significant in the USA right now. The graph shows a ratio comparing Kansas to the three other states. Bigger number means Kansas doing worse (based on employment as an indicator) and smaller number means Kansas doing better.

    California needs it’s own axis (on the right) because otherwise it’s way out of the field.

    We see three down sloping lines starting about 2005 and ending about 2009, so Kansas was beating all those other states. From 2009 to 2015 both California and Wisconsin are flat and pretty unexceptional. Really no great change before or after Brownback’s policies… they don’t make a whole lot of difference.

    The stand-out in recovery is Minnesota, showing the class “Austrian” style of recession with a sharp downturn, followed by rapid bounce-back and recovery. Now the “Progressives” want to cling to something so they are grasping at Mark Dayton who came into office early 2011 and had several rounds of shuffling tax increases, then tax cuts, then different tax increases, he achieved a surplus and is spending on education, health, prisons, typical stuff. However, the “Austrian” influence was Tim Pawlenty who was keeping government spending under control going into the GFC and who continued to be tight fisted on government spending coming out of the GFC as well. He should be congratulated for making it possible to get a surplus in Minnesota and that early part of the recovery was far steeper than anything Mark Dayton managed to achieve later on (and possibly would have kept going into steep recovery if Tim Pawlenty’s policy had remained).

    Menzie Chinn calls it “the Kansas disaster” but that’s just political scaremongering. What disaster? Check the graph I posted above, in terms of weathering the GFC and recovery, Kansas is beating all three states shown. How is that a “disaster”?

  4. Andrew_FL says:

    Ah literally as I was composing this Levi sent me an email. Happy to see he’s doing well, fighting the metaphorical good fight and so forth.

  5. Bob Roddis says:

    The Salon.com maniacs have been attacking Kansas for years. Now I have a nice source of actual information on the topic. Thank you.

    • Levi says:

      Here’s another site that regularly tackles these issues, far more regularly than I do. He has boatloads of data too.


    • Bob Roddis says:

      I read this and get hopeful:

      Sam Brownback gutted Kansas: How America’s worst governor and an ultra-conservative ideology wrecked an entire state – GOP zealots, enthralled by a fictitious fantasy of tax cuts and free-market nonsense, turned Kansas upside down


      How cool is that? Then I read this from the Voice for Liberty in Wichita, and I’m not so hopeful.

      Kansas taxpayers are investing a lot of money into public education. Indeed, taxpayer support of public education in Kansas set a new record in 2015, at $6.08 billion. And the KSDE estimates that 2016 will set another record at $6.14 billion or $13,200 per-pupil.

      I know you’re shocked by this, but I just don’t think you can trust Salon.com.

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