1. The paranoid libertarian and his enemy, the angry liberal. →

    A paranoid libertarian is someone who distrusts the government to an unreasonable extent. Sunstein believes that many people who oppose gun control, health care reform, and progressive taxation fit the description. For example, a paranoid libertarian might not object to modest gun licensing requirements or background checks in principle but opposes these policies because he believes that the government will deny licenses to people who deserve them, or that a licensing rule will accustom people to gun control, paving the way to confiscation of all handguns. Sunstein argues that these beliefs are unreasonable, and because they often reflect an exaggerated sense of victimization, “paranoid” (rather than merely “unreasonable”) is the right term for them.

    Interesting article. I don’t really buy the argument but it is a pretty good read.

  2. Basic Economics Has a Liberal Bias →

    People to the left of econ 101 will typically invoke the phrase “political economy” to explain why, for example, econ 101 underrates labor unions. Conversely those to the right of econ 101 will instead invoke the phrase “public choice” to explain why, for example, econ 101 overrates utility regulation. But in both cases the critics are saying the same thing, namely that the moderately liberal policies advocated by introduction to economics textbooks are ignoring certain realities of institutional design, practical politics, power dynamics, etc.

    That is 100% spot on. I just do not see how it fits in with his title. Maybe I am missing something but it reads like Yglesias is making the mistake of confusing economics with a morality play.

  3. Dennis Rodman arrives in North Korea for strange basketball themed visit. →

    Adding to what is already, objectively, a pretty ludicrous situation, Rodman’s trip is being sponsored by the online bookmaker Paddy Power. Executives from the company told the New York Times they struck up the relationship with Rodman after hiring him to help recruit bets on whether a black Pope would succeed Pope Benedict when he stepped down in February.

    I’m glad Dennis Rodman is representing American and the interests of the American people, said no one ever.

  4. Obamacare part-timism: A myth debunked. →

    My strong suspicion is that if the ACA has an impact on the labor force (which it probably will) it will be through a different mechanism. Right now “in order to qualify for health benefits” is a very good reason to work full-time, even if you’d rather have more free time and less money at your current wage level. The Affordable Care Act will make this benefit qualification rationale less compelling,


    The changes to part time employment in the past few years has almost nothing to do with Obamacare and everything to do with improved scheduling and time management systems in retail, hospitality and fast food sectors.

  5. State tax climate: Tax Foundation shows taxes don’t matter

    State tax climate: Tax Foundation shows taxes don’t matter

  6. Janet Yellen on macroprudential regulation →

    Yglesias does a good job summarizing a kind of dry speech.  I don’t think anyone should be worried about her being unqualified. 

  7. Kaiser Obamacare premium study: Affordable Care Act will be cheaper than expected. →

    The real success will be when the right starts using it as an example of market based reforms rather than dismissing it as socialized medicine.

  8. The Black-White High School Graduation Gap Has Nearly Closed. The Income Gap Is as Big as Ever. →

  9. Florida: History of shameful jury decisions →

    Twenty years for a warning shot against a known abuser versus no time at all for killing an unarmed teenager leaves you scratching your head and wondering if justice is not just blind but also insane.

    Worth a read. There is something seriously and deeply wrong about southern culture.

  10. Edward Snowden and asylum: He is a terrible candidate. →

    On the merits, Snowden’s claim for asylum would not count for much in any country. Applicants for asylum typically must prove they are the victims of persecution on account of their race, ethnicity, religion, or membership in a social or political group. Frequently, these are political dissidents who are fleeing government oppression, or members of the wrong group in a civil war or ethnic conflict. They have been tortured, their families have been massacred. Snowden could be regarded as a political dissenter, but the United States is attempting to arrest him not because he holds dissenting views, but because he violated the law by disclosing information that he had sworn to keep secret. All countries have such laws; they could hardly grant asylum to an American for committing acts that they themselves would regard as crimes if committed by their own nationals.

    Well written and fair article.