Friday, July 31, 2009

An Inconvenient Consensus?

If you go against the consensus of climate change scientists, then the left will call you a traitor. But the left has no problem ignoring the consensus view of economists that price controls cause shortages and minimum wages increase unemployment among unskilled workers.

The latest affront to Economics 101 to come from the Hill appears to be a move to limit price increases for health insurance. As mentioned above, price controls lead to shortages (or black markets, or the very creative use of loopholes like you see for apartments in New York). You would think that the D.C. crowd would learn from Florida's mistakes, where insurance price controls forced the state's largest property insurer to seek an exit from writing policies in the state.

Now, here is the real question: are politicians really this ignorant of economics, or are they fully aware but count on the popularity of the measures getting them re-elected and hope that the failures won't amass before they retire? I used to believe the former, but lately I am thinking it may be the latter.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rule of Law, or Military Coup?

I was in Europe when I learned of the ouster of Honduran President Zelaya and it was very quickly apparent to me that the media, CNN Europe in particular (which is horrendous enough to deserve its own post on my part), could not tell the difference between the rule of law and a military coup. For anyone who still holds that Zelaya was unlawfully removed from power, please read "The Path Forward For Honduras" over at the WSJ. Honduras should be praised for holding their own president subject to the rule of the law. Too many are too slow to realize that it is our constitution and the rule of law that protects our rights, not democracy. The Weimar Republic of 1930's Germany demonstrated quite well that a democracy is only as good as its constitution. I would say that Honduras's constitution has done what a good constitution should , even if its provisions are a little different from what we are used to (no impeachment process, the use of military instead of police forces to remove Zelaya).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Healthcare Solution?

It appears that some Democrats in power do not want you to see this chart: