Wednesday, July 23

NPR just doesn't get it

They say,
Congress is expected to vote this week on legislation that addresses the home foreclosure crisis and provides financial aid to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The struggling firms are currently regulated by a division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The bill would establish a new, independent regulator

But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been highly successful at evading regulation in the past; see The Fannie Mae Gang.

Monday, July 21

Candidates Split On Homeland Security Spending : NPR

They're both dummies. As Schneier on Security summarizes John Mueller's The Quixotic Quest for Invulnerability: Assessing the Costs, Benefits, and Probabilities of Protecting the Homeland:

  1. Any protective policy should be compared to a "null case": do nothing, and use the money saved to rebuild and to compensate any victims.
  2. Abandon any effort to imagine a terrorist target list.
  3. Consider negative effects of protection measures: not only direct cost, but inconvenience, enhancement of fear, negative economic impacts, reduction of liberties.
  4. Consider the opportunity costs, the tradeoffs, of protection measures.

Tuesday, July 15

A failure of central planning

The collapse of [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac], and of the housing market in general, can be viewed as a failure of central planning. Unfortunately, the dynamics are such that when central planning fails, you typically get more central planning.

Sunday, July 13

I think much like an economist

I agree with these:
  • Support Free Trade
  • Oppose Farm Subsidies
  • Leave Oil Companies And Speculators Alone
  • Tax The Use Of Energy
  • Raise The Retirement Age
  • Invite More Skilled Immigrants
  • Liberalize Drug Policy

But "Raise Funds For Economic Research"?! Can't economists rely on the market like everyone else?