"An Introduction to Empirical Microeconomics"

Free--short--Principles text by Mathew Kahn, who has left UCLA for the University of Spoiled Children, that has an unusual approach:

. . . I still see an open niche here for a challenging e-book. Unlike other Principles books, this book will be “data driven”. I will present you with an empirical economics puzzle such as “why do men earn 22% more per hour than women”? I will then walk the reader through possible economic explanations for the fact but then we will go a step further. Often there will be several possible explanations for a given set of facts. I will challenge you to work with me to devise a new experiment for figuring out which explanation is right. In this sense, we will start with a set of facts.We will use economic logic to sketch out the set of possible explanations. We will then, because we are scientists, devise a new experiment for settling which of the explanations is right. The new experiment will generate new facts and the “correct theory” should both be able to explain the first fact and the new fact while the incorrect theories can explain the first fact but not the later facts.

"Growth, Not Forced Equality, Saves the Poor"

Deirdre McCloskey makes an excellent case for an idea that should be widely known, but, sadly, isn't.

A practical objection to focusing on economic equality is that we cannot actually achieve it, not in a big society, not in a just and sensible way. Dividing up a pizza among friends can be done equitably, to be sure. But equality beyond the basics in consumption and in political rights isn’t possible in a specialized and dynamic economy. Cutting down the tall poppies uses violence for the cut. And you need to know exactly which poppies to cut. Trusting a government of self-interested people to know how to redistribute ethically is naïve.

"Thank You, Professor Sowell"

Thomas Sowell announced last week that he will no longer write his weekly columns. It's a serious loss--A Conflict of Visions is one of the ten best books on any subject I've ever read--but at age 86 it's quite understandable. Michelle Malkin writes goodbye:

Asked once how he would like to be remembered, Sowell responded: “Oh, heavens, I’m not sure I want to be particularly remembered. I would like the ideas that I’ve put out there to be remembered.” Mission accomplished. Though it has been decades since he taught in a formal classroom, his students are legion.

See also "14 Amazing Thomas Sowell Quotes in Honor of His Last Column".


"Can Trump end Washington’s biggest budget gimmick?"

I hope so, but I'm really pessimistic.

A few more links about the Swamp That Needs Draining (TM Donald Trump):

"Obama White House Releases Final Cost Of Regulation Report".

"When Regulation Does More Harm than Good: Too much red tape can be suffocating".

"Abolish the Department of Energy".

Finally, a nominee for the Mission Creep Hall of Fame: "USDA Demands Holiday Snacks (and Parents) Be Removed From Schools".