Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quotes of the day

Love makes you fat.--Alex Tabarrok

So in the name of improving health care, government has increased its stake in making sure that lots of people continue to smoke.--George Will

It turns out there is no statistic that a basketball player accumulates that cannot be amassed selfishly.--Michael Lewis

You don’t see too many good-looking girls with Battier jerseys on. It’s usually 12 and under or 60 and over. That’s my demographic.--Shane Battier

The Seattle City Council is expected Tuesday to approve a surcharge on city water customers to help cover the cost of a $22 million court-ordered rebate to water customers.--Kathy Mulady

Washington, which has run up a $10.7 trillion national debt, wants to punish Wall Street execs for running their companies into the ground. How ironic.--Chicago Tribune Editorial Board

... under the "stimulus" bill that President Obama will sign today, marginal tax rates for some of the most-productive people in the world will rise.--David Henderson

... ultimately, the health of the economy relies on the ability of the private sector to generate growth, and the private sector to generate jobs. It's the tax revenue from that growth, those jobs, that allow the government to create government jobs. In the short term, the government can borrow and spend, but if the private sector and the labor market are not growing, eventually lenders will get worried about the ability to repay and raise the interest rates they charge. Result: well, there are a lot of deposed Latin American heads of state who could describe the result in some very vivid language.--Megan McArdle

The stimulus bill's adverse incentives deserve special attention because of the government's current approach to the banking sector. While infusing large amounts of capital into banks, the government has chosen to leave their management largely to the discretion of bank executives. This makes executive incentives of paramount importance. Compensation structures with distorted incentives may have already imposed large losses on investors and the economy. Public officials should be wary of introducing new distortions and perverse incentives. With so much hanging in the balance, ensuring that those running the country's banks have the right incentives is as important as ever.--Lucian Bebchuk

If [Greg] Mankiw's list [of economist consensus] is the best economics can do, it sure seems like a naked emperor moment to me. Where's the beef? My challenge would be simple: please list 14 useful, non-obvious predictive rules that economics provides that have survived rigorous, replicated falsification trials.--Jim Manzi

Many Americans know that it took strong government action in the 1950s and 1960s to end Southern segregation. Far too few realize that it was government action that established segregation in the first place. Today, when the power of the state is being aggrandized as never before, the history of Jim Crow offers a cautionary reminder: When the political class overrides the private sector, what ensues can be a national disgrace.--Jeff Jacoby

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