Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Quotes of the day

Do I belong in an insane asylum? Or should I be on the FOMC (with Hall, Thompson and Svensson?) Damned if I know. This blog is either grossly overrated or grossly underrated, but it ain’t average.--Scott Sumner

People low in Stability, on the other hand, habitually blow minor problems out of proportion. Even when they live in First World countries, they manage to convince themselves that the sky is falling. Their typically neurotic response is to beg for Big Brother to save them from their largely imaginary problems. When government solutions don't work out, they misinterpret it as further proof that life is hopeless - not that their "solutions" were ill-conceived.--Bryan Caplan

Slavery has never had a very good record of producing wealth. Think about it. Slavery was all over the South. Buying into the reparations nonsense, you'd have to conclude that the antebellum South was rich and the slave-starved North was poor. The truth of the matter is just the opposite. In fact, the poorest states and regions of our country were places where slavery flourished: Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia while the richest states and regions were those where slavery was absent: Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts. --Walter Williams

From 2003 to 2008,the aggregate gross domestic product (GDP), in constant, chained 2000 dollars, for the states with the lowest share of workers under union monopoly control increased by a healthy 17.3%. In these 10 states, as of 2003 4.7% or less of private employees were forced to accept a union as their monopolybargaining agent. Meanwhile, the real GDP of the country as a whole grew by just 12.7%. And in the 10 states with the highest private-sector unionization, aggregate output grew by just 9.9%.--Mark Mix

Note to Greg Mankiw: when Larry [Summers] comes back to Harvard, you should invite him to take ec 10. He seems to have no concept of how the multiplier is supposed to work.--Arnold Kling

A question for Paul Krugman and other stimulus proponents: would you rather have a second stimulus, or health care? I know that in an ideal universe you wouldn't have to choose, but assume that the worrywarts are right, and you do. Which should Obama get done?--Megan McArdle

On Sept. 26, 2008, Barack Obama knocked John McCain for singing, “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.” Now Vice President Joe Biden told Israel, go ahead and bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.--Don Surber

Lack of war is a major reason for Sweden's remarkable economic advance. In a matter of 100 years it moved from being one of the poorest parts of Europe with a massive exodus of near-starving people to America to being one of the two richest countries in Europe (the other was Switzerland.) It has produced more world-class industrial giants than any other country of its size. (At 9m, its population is less than that of the state of Michigan.)--Jonathan Power

I've heard it said that "socialism is the religion of the Swedes." This is not quite correct, though it hints at an important truth. I think of "being Swedish" as the religion of the Swedes. And the more cosmopolitan they behave, the more they are partaking in this religion; don't be fooled! This "being Swedish" business is a wonderful religion for Sweden. It is not a good or possible religion for most of the rest of the world. And it is not a religion to which I have been or could be invited.--Tyler Cowen

If you define sexual freedom as being able to do whatever you want with whomever you please, then (except in very rare cases of perfect compatibility with one's partner at every moment) one man's freedom is another woman's compulsion. Women in traditional harem cultures languished in a condition of de facto slavery, where they had no right to determine anything about their own lives, let alone their sexual partners and activities. Their very survival was predicated on pleasing men. They were treated for the most part as animate commodities, like livestock, to be bought, sold and discarded at will.--Laura Miller

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