Roundup 3 May

Organizations and Markets closes. Farewell Pete and thanks for the memories! See you later in the year! Pete Boettke on the dynamics of interventionism.

Weather. Lomborg on the impact of electric cars on emissions _ Not very much!! Clean fossil fuels. Falling ocean temperature.

A few years ago, Professor Humlum, Professor Solheim and myself mounted a meteorological expedition to Svalbard on the island of Spitzbergen, with the attendance of some others. The expedition was armed and sustainable, as reported in WUWT here. In that report, it was noted that “the fall in temperature of the Atlantic Ocean to the west of Norway from the peak in 2006 has been just as fast as the rise from 1990. When will the cooling stop and at what level?” Well, the cooling hasn’t stopped and the rate of temperature fall has steepened up. Meteorologist Paul Dorian has described the implications of this on his site Vencore Weather.

Converting no observed effects into a full-on catastrophe.

Note the difference between the paper and Slate’s agitprop. The climate scientists ran models and said “We find that the forced signal should already be evident” (not that it is evident). Their conclusions are similarly modest (i.e., we don’t have sufficiently detailed or long records to validate the model’s output)…

“Our results suggest that ocean deoxygenation might already be detectable on the basis of state anomalies and/or trends in regions within the southern Indian Ocean, as well as parts of the eastern tropical Pacific and Atlantic basins. Observations have insufficient spatiotemporal coverage, however, to adequately characterize the natural [O2] distribution, in the case of evaluating state anomalies. Furthermore, in most regions where early detection is possibly {sic}, relatively long records (>50 years) are required to assess the exceedance of a trend from the O2 variability generated in a stationary climate without external forcing.”

Slate sweeps all this away. Model outputs become definite observations of damage appearing today. Tentative conclusions become certainties. Those are Slate’s smaller misrepresentations of this paper.

Regulation. Mercatus Centre. If regulations had been held constant at levels observed in 1980, the American economy would have been about 25 percent larger than it actually was as of 2012.

A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University uses a new economic model that looks at the effects of regulations on firms’ investment choices, which drive innovation and efficiency. The study finds that economic growth in the United States has, on average, been slowed by 0.8 percent per year since 1980 due to the cumulative effects of regulation. The study finds that:

If regulations had been held constant at levels observed in 1980, the American economy would have been about 25 percent larger than it actually was as of 2012.
This means that in 2012, the economy was $4 trillion smaller than it would have been in the absence of regulatory growth since 1980. That is equal to $13,000 loss per capita, a significant amount of money for most American workers.

Mercatus study of overtime rates.

While the Department of Labor claims that this change will encourage additional hiring, improve the well-being of employees, and lead to higher paychecks, economic theory and empirical evidence suggest otherwise.

A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University provides a thorough analysis of the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rules, finding that the rules will fail to achieve their objectives and will reduce the diversity of labor contracts used across different industries in the United States. Research indicates that the rules will increase compliance costs for firms, and that employers will respond to the new requirements in unintended ways. In particular, employers will be forced to move some employees from salaries to hourly pay or find other ways to clock their work.

Obama’s economic legacy.

Ten examples of anarchic societies. From the Indian Libertarians. 1) The people of Icelandic Commonwealth formed voluntary associations for mutual defense, and the most prominent military leaders met annually in an assembly called “Althing” to adopt arbitration arrangements among themselves. 2) The native American peoples such as Yurok, Hupa, Karuk and some of their Northern California neighbors have traditionally lived in an anarcho-capitalistic society since the medieval ages till the 19th century. The economy was based on private property, and traditionally, the Dentalium shell was used as currency. Disputes between individuals were settled by hiring private arbiters, and there was no State. Today, these tribes live in autonomous regions and maintain many of their old ways. 3) The Ifugao province of Philippines. 4) The Kapauku Papuan people of West New Guinea. 5) In medieval Europe, many free cities were able to secure their autonomy against the lawless nobility. These free cities became Europe’s centers of economic development, trade, art, and culture. 6) American Western frontier during 1830 to 1900, also known as the “Old West. And more.

China. Beware of Chairman Xi.

Above all, Xi has followed Mao in the demand for ideological conformity. He has invoked Mao’s “Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art” in explaining why cultural and media workers must display “Party character” and serve as the Party’s “throat and tongue,” and has used the resolution that Mao wrote for the Party’s 1929 Gutian Conference to emphasize the importance of Party control of the army. He has warned Party members against “irresponsible talk” (wangyi) and academics against “universal values.” As David Shambaugh reports in his recent book China’s Future:

There has been an unremitting crackdown on all forms of dissent and social activists; the Internet and social media have been subjected to much tighter controls; Christian crosses and churches are being demolished; Uighurs and Tibetans have been subject to ever-greater persecution; hundreds of rights lawyers have been detained and put on trial; public gatherings are restricted; a wide range of publications are censored; foreign textbooks have been officially banned from university classrooms; intellectuals are under tight scrutiny; foreign and domestic NGOs have been subjected to unprecedented governmental regulatory pressures and many have been forced to leave China; attacks on “foreign hostile forces” occur with regularity; and the “stability maintenance” security apparatchiks have blanketed the country…. China is today more repressive than at any time since the post-Tiananmen 1989–1992 period.

Odds and ends. Historical pictures. Spiked Sort of Libertarians in London.

For nerds. Intellectual autobiography of Chris Coyne, libertarian and Austrian economist.

A new economics professor, Peter Boettke, joined the faculty at Manhattan, and I happened to take two of his classes. These two classes would change my undergraduate experience and my life trajectory. Pete was energetic and passionate. The way he presented economics made it exciting, and the stories he told and examples he used linked the concepts to what was happening in the world. In Comparative Economics, Pete introduced us to the work of Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek regarding the importance of property rights for the market process and, ultimately, for development and human wellbeing. In Public Finance Pete exposed us to the work of James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock who used economics to study non-market behavior, including political behavior.

For the first time I felt that I understood what economics was about and why it was relevant.

Libertarian liberal Econlog. The Heterodox Economics Newsletter.

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6 Responses to Roundup 3 May

  1. Peter

    Not sure that every community not meeting the criteria of a modern Nation-State or living under a Feudal Lord qualifies as “anarchic”.

    I lack knowledge on many of them, but the Free Cities of Medieval Europe were not without government. Self-Governing does not mean anarchy. They also had a place – in Germany – within the overall organisation of the Empire.

    As for the American Frontier. Communities commonly self-organised. Vigilance movements were not the Hollywood stereotypes of masked riders in the night, but the community coming together to see justice done at a time when it could not afford a permanent, paid police force and judiciary. As communities grew, it was normal for the stable population to elect their own forms of government. Town Councils headed by Mayors. Peace officers.

    Anarchy does not seem to have been so prevalent or successful that the majority either found it superior or wanted it to continue.

  2. Nelson Kidd-Players

    Perhaps CFA volunteers are also anarchists to the Victorian ALP?

  3. handjive

    Re: Falling Ocean temperatures

    Kevin Trenberth, distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, seeks to explain why the global air temperature hasn’t increased over the past 15 years:

    “The oceans can at times soak up a lot of heat.
    Some goes into the deep oceans where it can stay for centuries.”

    http://www.npr.org/2013/08/23/214198814/the-consensus-view-kevin-trenberths-take-on-climate-change

    Obviously the ‘missing heat’ is no longer hiding in the Atlantic Ocean.

  4. You need to admit, handjive, that the Armageddon Warriors are persistent.
    In much the same way that the Sorcerers Apprentices’ brooms were persistent in filling the well.

  5. Mayan

    Thanks for the link to the article about anarchistic societies. I can still recall being enthralled by the discovery that this had occurred, when I stumbled upon a book on Icelandic history at university (while looking for something completely unrelated). I guess there’s still a bit of anarchist in me, not as a goal, but as a hope. It’s unlikely, but maybe in the world to come …

    So many of the books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen have been the result of serendipitous discovery in libraries, bookshops, video stores, and so forth. Online shopping just doesn’t have that same quality. Even the allegedly out-of-the-box suggestions on the screen are the product of algorithms, steering you without cretinous intent, but with cretinous result, toward more of the same-ish. We need random and unexpected. How odd that one potential use for virtual reality might be to recreate the facility for random discovery found in physical shops.

  6. Simon/other

    Not sure that every community not meeting the criteria of a modern Nation-State or living under a Feudal Lord qualifies as “anarchic”

    A quick look at French history from the 8th to the 13th century would suggest otherwise.

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