Division of Labour: June 2012 Archives
June 22, 2012
Friedman Collaborator Anna Schwarz passes at 96.

Anna Schwarz, Milton Friedman's collaborator on "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960," passed away yesterday at age 96. I had the chance to meet her some years in Washington, and she was charming and modest. The Hoover Institute has posted a nice tribute Milton Friedman made to Schwarz in 1987. http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/120766. R.I.P.

Posted by Brad Smith at 06:12 PM

June 18, 2012
Recommended Reading

One of the biggest problems with health care in the U.S. is the lack of prices to coordinate producer and consumer behavior. So John Goodman's new book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis looks to be an important contribution to the policy debate. It's high on my reading list.

Speaking of reading list--I will be working on my reading list during an upcoming vacation. Expect only sporadic posts.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 10:48 AM

June 13, 2012
June, 1980: Reagan takes lead from Carter

Gallup poll results from the first six months of 1980:

Two man race:
February 1-4: Carter 60%, Reagan 31%.
February 29-March 3: Carter 58%, Reagan 33%.
March 28-31: Carter 50%, Reagan 42%
April 11-14:Carter 49%, Reagan 43%
April 26-27: Carter 47%, Reagan 43%
May 2-5: Carter 47%, Reagan 40%
May 16-18: Carter 49%, Reagan 41%.
May 30-June 2: Carter 48%, Reagan 41%.
June 13-15: Reagan 45%, Carter 42%
June 27-29: Reagan 47%, Carter 41%

Three man race:
March 28-31: Carter 40%, Reagan 34%, Anderson 21%
April 11-14: Carter 42%, Reagan 34%, Anderson 18%
April 26-27: Carter 38%, Reagan 35%, Anderson 19%
May 2-5: Carter 38%, Reagan 33%, Anderson 21%
May 16-18: Carter 40%, Reagan 32%, Anderson 21%
May 30-June 2: Carter 39%: Reagan 32%, Anderson 21%
June 13-15: Reagan 36%, Carter 35%, Anderson 23%
June 27-29: Reagan 39%, Carter 31%, Anderson 21%

And some other polls in that time:
March 5-8, Washington Post (Harris): Carter 58%; Reagan 40%.
April 14-17, New York Times/CBS: Reagan 44%, Carter 43%.
June (1st week): Newsweek: Reagan 45%, Carter 43%.
June 18-22, New York Times/CBS: Reagan 47%, Carter 37%

Posted by Brad Smith at 02:03 PM

June 11, 2012
There's a Laffer Curve in Here Somewhere

A NY Post article reports that a recent investigation found that 42% of NYC cigarette retailers were selling cigarettes without tax stamps or with phony tax stamps. At $5.85 per pack, NYC's cigarette tax (city, state, and federal combined) is the highest in the country.

The article also reports that NYC's cigarette tax revenue fell 56% from 2003 to 2011 (from $158.5m to $69.8m) even though the city's smoking rate fell by only half as much (28%).

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 12:47 PM

June 06, 2012
Nanny Bloomberg Update

With his stance against Big Gulps, you'd think Hizzoner would be particularly concerned about more dangerous things such as people being able to splatter their brains on the street, right? Apparently not because Nanny Mike is opposed to a law that would mandate helmets for bike riders.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 10:30 AM

June 05, 2012
IJ Sues to Overturn CON Laws

Certificate of Need, or CON, regulations require medical facilities to obtain government permission before offering certain types of procedures. For example, only one hospital in Rome has CON approval to deliver babies (I've wondered what would happend if an expectant mother went to the ER at the other hospital) and the other hospital is the only one with CON approval for certain cardiac procedures. The premise that some bureaucrats can determine the need for additional providers just smacks of Soviet style planning (even the name Certificate of Need is grating) and the program is ripe for rent-seeking as existing establishments try to protect their privileges.

Fortunately the fine folks at IJ have CON laws in their crosshairs and they have now filed suit to overturn VA's CON restrictions. I'm hoping IJ prevails and dispatches CON laws to the rubbish bin of central planning. Here's an IJ vid summarizing the case:

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 04:07 PM

June 04, 2012
Just Asking

Apparently nanny-in-chief Bloomberg is going to ease up on marijuana arrests. Isn't this at odds with his war on obesity? Won't more people want large surgary drinks and other grub after smoking more pot?

(Just to be clear--I do think the mayor is doing the right thing in reducing marijuana arrests. If anything he's not going far enough.)

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 04:25 PM

June 03, 2012
McCotter out: libertarian in?

U.S. Representative Thad McCotter has decided not run a primary election write-in campaign to retain his seat in Congress. This could lead to the election of one of the more interesting members of Congress, Kerry Bentivolio.

Read More

Posted by Brad Smith at 03:14 PM in Politics

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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