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Category Archives: Entrepreneurs

Migration, history and countries as club goods

This is based on comments I made here and here. Thin conceptions There is a line of argument which holds that if free trade in goods and services is good for economies, if free trade in capital is good for economies, then surely free trade in labour would also be good for economies. So, just as one should […]

Arsonists in charge of the fire brigade

A favourite economic justification for state action is to deal with externalities–the effects on people of some action or transaction that they were not willingly a party to.  The problem with this is that the coercive nature of the state makes it a prime creator of externalities: since it has coercive power, it can force consequences […]

Banking privilege as social bargaining: a nice case study

Have been reading Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit by Charles Calomiris and Stephen Haber. It is an excellent, and highly readable, history of banking: slides from a presentation explaining the basic thesis of the book are here (pdf). The information in the book also explains a puzzle of economic history. Technologically, the key […]

The solution to the problem of outcasting is not more outcasting

So, the new (since March) CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich made a $1000 private donation in 2008 to the Proposition 8 cause. So, he is–or at least was in 2008–against equal protection of the law for (some) of his fellow citizens. A somewhat problematic proposition; one of a series of such propositions with a long […]

What if ‘net-neutrality’ was a really bad idea? Guest post by Brian Hanley

[SL: Despite long-term engagement with technology, I remain something of a tech sceptic. I'm not the only lawyer who's noticed that modern computer software often impedes the completion of important, time-critical tasks, or who has witnessed the property department at three different law firms refuse to part up with their IBM Selectrics. This article, however, […]

Response to Dr Horwitz’s thoughts

Dr Horwitz’s thoughtful and generous response to my original post is useful in clarifying what a serious Austrian school economist thinks and correcting some of my misapprehensions. It seems to have been a useful exercise, to provide reactions to Austrian commentary from someone much more familiar with mainstream economics. Even better, I now have something I […]

Common law and statute

So if one asks a student or a teacher of the law of obligations, “Which do you prefer, statutes or cases?”, the answer will almost invariably come back, “Cases, of course.” Cases have immediate human interest supplied by the facts; and the reasoning of the judges, while often complex, satisfyingly leads the reader from the […]

Power Dressing

SAN FRANCISCO _ Dressed in his trademark hoodie and jeans, Facebook Inc. co-founder Mark Zuckerberg kicked off a cross-country road show to pitch his company’s initial public stock offering. Hundreds of institutional investors stood in long lines Monday to pile into a ballroom at New York’s Sheraton Hotel to hear the billion-dollar pitch from the […]

About Austrian economics

I find Steve Horwitz, along with George Selgin (prominent advocate of free banking and supporter of a productivity norm [pdf] for monetary policy), the most accessible of contemporary Austrian school economists as they are both clear writers who seek to engage with those who are not of their school and are refreshingly free of the nastiness […]

Georgian police arrest World’s Oldest Hacker

An elderly woman in Georgia is facing a prison sentence after reportedly causing internet services in neighbouring Armenia to crash. The country found itself offline for hours on 28 March after cables linking Georgia to Armenia were damaged. A Georgian interior ministry spokesman said a 75-year-old woman had admitted damaging fibre-optic cables while scavenging for […]