Archive for January, 2009

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Who understands global climate change?

January 31, 2009

Not me, that’s for sure. I’ve no doubt that command-and-control advocates would have trouble finding a better excuse to tell everyone what to do than to promise us that, if we don’t cooperate, we’ll all be flooded, starve to death, and die of thirst. Yet, maybe there is something to it. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Medallions now at $155,000

January 31, 2009

Back in April, the median price for Chicago taxi medallions was $125,000. While almost every kind of “real estate” has continued crashing since then, medallions now (December 2008) have reached a median price of $155,000. Chicago Dispatcher says they get their data from the City of Chicago, but I haven’t found it on the City’s web site. Curiously, the only medallion listed on cabmarket.com is priced at just $139,000, and has lingered unsold for 54 days.

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Not much progress in 112 years

January 30, 2009

Even on matters such as in other sciences have long since been settled, he who today looks for the guidance of general acceptance in political economy will find a chaos of discordant opinions.

– Henry George, 1897

How many fields [other than economics] are there in which a big practical question pops up and the Nobel-level guys are on opposite sides yelling at each other?…They aren’t dickering over some minor proposal or detail. They’re talking about whether or not we should dump nearly a trillion dollars’ worth of stimulus money into the economy. And it isn’t a question that should be sitting at the far cutting edge of research, like how many dimensions your string theory needs to have. The raison d’etre of the discipline is to deal with stuff like this.

Ezra Klein, 2009

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Too much to post

January 19, 2009

That’s why I’ve not posted much lately, there is simply too much to post about. So I need to accept that some things will be missed, but here are two:
(1) UK Georgist journal Land & Liberty “commissioned ten top American economic reformers to address Barack Obama’s election call for ‘change for America’ and to offer ideas for a programme for President Obama’s White House.”  Results are in the Winter ’08-’09 issue, which unfortunately hasn’t been posted yet on their web site, but one can request a subscription.

(2) Saving Communities has posted the entire contents of the first issue (January 8, 1887) of Henry George’s weekly newspaper, The Standard.

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I don’t know much about art…

January 10, 2009

But I know I like Antoine Ferreira, ’cause he studied at the Henry George School. I wish there were more artists who understood the basic principles of economics. [Thanks for the offline correction, RJ Matter)

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Charity and money

January 2, 2009

Searching (of course) for something else, I found myself looking at Tom Johnson’s account of the recovery from the Johnstown Flood of 1889.  Initially, the community organized for its own relief, everyone was assigned a job and there was no quibbling over money.  But after a time…

To meet the problem of a community with no money was not easy, but we were presently confronted with the graver problem of a community with too much money. The greatly exaggerated reports of the loss of property and of human lives, the first press dispatches placing the number of the latter at ten thousand, brought a correspondingly great volume of relief. Read the rest of this entry ?