Friday quick links

1. Bob Murphy claims that he doesn’t vote. I understand what his reasons but in the end, I don’t understand how you can be a policy critic without voting and convince other people that your policy recommendations are right but at the same time tell them not to vote. Austrian economics will never be adopted this way.

2. Tyler Cowen talks about the saliva market in South Africa. Apparently, its very competitive.

3. Brazil plans on restricting sugar cane production to prevent deforestation of the Amazon. I guess biofuels aren’t as ecofriendly and environmentalists would like to think. However, I don’t understand why Brazil doesn’t just subsidies rather than legislating more bans. If the costs farmers had to pay where closer to their natural costs, farmers would cut back on their own.

4. Open Economics blogs asks “What is Socialism in 2009?” and is Obama really a socialist? The answer of course is ‘no.’  But, then again, modern liberals are not classical liberals and capitalism was originally a derogatory term, so we’ll see if they left comes to accept the term and try to redefine it for themselves.

5. Toro’s Running of the Bulls blog tackles the large question of market rationality.  It’s a great post, but I think he misstates Jeffery Friedman’s point though. Friedman is trying to point out in the case of the crisis, irrational exuberance came out of government incentives, not market forces. People acted stupidly, but not necessarily irrationally, under the traditional assumptions of what rationality means: they where simply reacting in a predictable way based on the available information. The information turned out to be wrong, but that’s not the fault of 99.9% of investors.

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