Friday, November 26, 2010

Immigration Movies

From Sojourners, a list of movies dealing with immigration.
I just watched "Entre Nos" recently and very much enjoyed it.
Other immigration movies I liked include:

The Visitor

District 9
Children of Men
Planet 51
and, of course:
South Park: Goobacks

Immigration this week

Hey, folks,
I know things are winding down. There are still two weeks in the semester. I will finish discussing health care this week and introduce a discussion on immigration.
There were several key points in last week's lecture, so get the notes if you left early.
Also, immigration is an issue which I am very passionate about, and hope to get your feedback on.
Finally, I will pass out teacher-evaluations before break Monday night. I value your comments more than anything, so feel free to take time before Monday to prepare your thoughts before putting them on the evaluation forms.

A Farewell to Jobs

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lobbying and Body Scanners

USA Today has the article:
Body scanner makers doubled lobbying cash over 5 years

Is this a bootleggers and baptists story or not?

Monday, November 8, 2010


Or, internalizing externalities.
You can learn more about Oakridge, Oregon, and how they are engaging in enviro-capitalism here.

Crisis of Abundance Resources

To hear Arnold Kling discuss his book, and to hear others ask him questions about it you can listen to this Econtalk podcast (you may have noticed I am a big fan..)

you can listen to or watch this CATO event where pointed criticisms are made of his conclusions, though most agreed about his assessment of the situation.

Greenhouse Economics

Hayek, Why the Worst Get on Top

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hasnas' Rule

What I think he is saying is that the market produces a particular set of outcomes. When those outcomes are not to someone’s satisfaction, they can engage as an entrepreneur to change market conditions, or they can appeal to legislation to change the climate. If we look carefully at legislation, we can uncover the market conditions which existed prior to that legislation. The legislation will be more or less explicit about the new set of conditions it is attempting to create, and/or the set of conditions it was attempting to adjust. Often times legislation is very explicit concerning the conditions it found unsatisfactory. In these cases we can just read the legislation and show the set of market conditions it describes. This is one way to learn what markets can do. I find Hasnas’ Rule very compelling, interesting, and a novel way of investigating what market conditions are like. This rule further provides a tool for understanding what market conditions were like in older societies, where the market might not ever have been described, but where legislation did exist. We can read that legislation and learn something about the way markets have operated in different places and times.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hmmm... It's not always a B&B story...

One of your colleagues shares this report from the Washington Examiner: Baptists & Bootleggers: Red-light-camera manufacturers lobby for red-light cameras.
There's only one problem. This isn't a good Bootleggers and Baptists story.
The Examiner jumped to conclusions in making its analysis. Actually, I think the staffer probably had recently read something about Baptists and Bootleggers and went looking for an example of the phenomenon. (Heh. That's what you were doing, too.)
Merely identifying providers of cameras as employing a profit motive is insufficient grounds for employing this paradigm. Both sides to a transaction within the marketplace are also employing the profit motive.
The question is whether the same transaction could have happened in the marketplace? B&B stories require the government to broker an agreement because there are third parties who are harmed by the legislation. In the basic B&B story, alcohol consumers are harmed.
But in the red-light story, everyone is better off.
In the end, this is actually a better example of the difficult of providing public goods as compliments to goods which fall into the commons.

An excellent final exam multiple choice question might ask: Which of the following is NOT a good example of the Bootleggers and Baptists phenomenon?

Monday, November 1, 2010