Monday, February 09, 2009

Quotes of the day

In our free-enterprise system, employees are valued largely in terms of what they can do. This is why teenagers fresh out of high school often go to vocational training institutes to become auto mechanics or electricians. They understand a basic principle that seems to elude social commentators, politicians and union organizers. If you want better pay, you need to learn skills that are in demand.--Charles Platt

Most often, the slogan “fair trade” is little more than a rallying cry for protectionism.--Greg Mankiw

The deeper problem, I think, is that the textbook theory doesn’t have any politics in it.--Will Wilkinson

If you are correcting someone else just to prove yourself the smartest guy in the room, that automatically disqualifies you from the contest. Most annoying guy, maybe.--Erin McKean

Notice in this clip when [Nassim Taleb is] asked what to do now and he has no clue. His answer is to fire Bernanke. Yep, that’ll solve things. Strip away the attitude and vindictiveness, and there’s nothing to him.--Eddy Elfenbein

My research shows that government actions and interventions -- not any inherent failure or instability of the private economy -- caused, prolonged and dramatically worsened the crisis.--John Taylor

In today’s uncertain environment, we need to look beyond the most likely outcomes from various policies. Instead, we should be watching out for black swans. The two black swans that emerge from this scenario analysis are the risk of spiraling downward into a depression and the risk of excessive government indebtedness causing a collapse of confidence by investors. Steering a course between these two risks requires policies designed more carefully than those being discussed in the current stimulus bill on Capitol Hill.--Arnold Kling

Most of the bill makes no sense from a stimulus perspective. But all of it makes sense from a reparations perspective.--Arnold Kling

President Obama has issued an executive order that permits federal agencies to require union labor for work on federal contracts. This is good news for union workers, bad news for non-union workers, and bad news for taxpayers, who will pay more for what the government buys on their behalf. In my judgment, it is bad news from a macroeconomic perspective. As I learned from Professor Larry Summers, one "cause of long-term unemployment is unionization."--Greg Mankiw

President Obama has asked us to set aside childish things, but he hasn't said a word about adolescent things, so here we are with "He's Just Not That Into You."--Joe Morgenstern

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