Monday, December 31, 2012

Quotes for life

The ONLY disability in life is a bad attitude.--Matthew Jeffers via Peter King

Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.--Kitty Werthmann 

When we try to eliminate bad things via more laws and top-down policies, it just creates a more capricious and unjust world. The solution is not more laws, but fewer. --Eric Falkenstein

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Quotes of the day

The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.--William Gibson

If you can stay light and stay loose and stay relaxed, you can play at the very highest level, as a baseball player or as a human being.--Bill Murray

The more I study the history of intellectuals, the more they seem like a wrecking crew, dismantling civilization bit by bit -- replacing what works with what sounds good.--Thomas Sowell

Now obviously booze and guns aren’t the same kind of thing (even if they are regulated by the same federal bureau). But there are some similarities.--Ross Douthat

The level of taxation ultimately determines the size of government since no government can continue to spend substantially more than its revenues. Greater government spending may help stimulate an economy coming out of a major recession, although the absence of any clear stimulus to the economy from the Obama stimulus package raises serious questions about the ease of stimulating an economy with fiscal policy. However, the level of federal government spending also has major direct effects on an economy, such as through spending on medical care, defense, and subsidizing the production of ethanol. Greater government spending also tends to crowd out spending by the private sector on consumption and investments.--Gary Becker

... there’s a very good reason Bill Gates is not going to succeed Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway that is not in the book, and it has to do with the increasingly visible disintegration of the so-called “Wintel” duopoly that spelled mega profits for many years at Gates’ baby. That disintegration is occurring—slowly but surely—even as you read this virtual column, and it is visible in stores across America. Just today we visited a prosperous mall in a prosperous city in America—a mall filled with post-Christmas holiday shoppers taking advantage of the post-Christmas sales that make this one of the busiest shopping days of the year. And at a little after noon, we counted a grand total of 38 shoppers at the Microsoft store…and 280 customers at the Apple store.--Jeff Matthews

As a normative matter, [Robert] Bork argued that the antitrust laws should have one goal and one goal alone, namely, the maximization of consumer welfare, which Bork equated with allocative efficiency and thus total economic welfare.  To be sure, other scholars embraced a "total welfare" approach before Bork did.  In particular, and as I explained in this article, Harvard-school economists Edward Mason, Donald Turner, and Carl Kaysen also embraced "total welfare" as an exclusive goal of antitrust regulation.  However, Bork's work differed from the work of these scholars in two ways.  First, Bork expressly linked "total welfare" and "efficiency" to "consumer welfare," whereas the Harvard School had not employed the latter term, choosing instead to focus only on "efficiency" as the appropriate goal.  Second, unlike these Harvard scholars, Bork offered a legal defense of total welfare/consumer welfare as an antitrust goal. --Alan Meese

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Best fake commercial, evah, and boy, can Jean-Baptiste Say sing!

Via Greg Mankiw.

Quotes of the day

... common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind before you reach eighteen.--Albert Einstein

Yeah, [life before winning a record lottery jackpot] was a lot easier then.--Jack Whittaker

The comfortable society is not necessarily the good society, and while a future that promises mass idleness and mass isolation might be more stable than demographic pessimists suspect, that doesn’t make it a future where I’d particularly want to live, let alone one I’d feel happy bequeathing to my daughters and generations after them.--Ross Douthat

Five years ago, the United States' budget deficit equaled 1.5 percent of GDP and its national debt stood at 36 percent of GDP. This year, the deficit will exceed $1 trillion, or seven percent of U.S. GDP. Over the same period, the debt ratio has doubled to 73 percent of GDP. --Martin Feldstein