Mark Perry links to three examples of how the market is the best regulator and our best friend (though, admittedly, the kind of friend many people like to dump on).

Chris Berg explains why Capitalism is Awesome (HT: EconLog‘s Alberto Mingardi). Worth a read. It’s not the necessarily the Facebooks and the Apples, but the guys trying to make a better shelf.

A short video of Jim Buchanan on the illusion of the public interest (HT: Cafe Hayek‘s Don Boudreaux):


Unintended consequence of Obamacare?

I yawned when I read this. Did you?



2 thoughts on “Links

  1. RE: Unintended Consequences.

    Perhaps unintended, but certainly not unexpected!

    The only thing that was surprising was that Mankiw sounded like this was something new when, in fact, there have been reports of this – both in academic and private settings and perhaps in other public settings as well – for many months. Indeed, it’s been noted how ironic (and fitting) it is that the very vocal supporters of Obama and ObamaCare (the university bigwigs and the rest of the educrats) are now employing “tricks” to avoid the economic costs of ObamaCare.

    The ObamaCare economy is a part-time economy:

    Here’s a blog site you might like:

    “Any objective person could have seen this coming. Burdensome regulations on business always reduce profit margin and deter hiring. But the regulations contained in Obamacare are worse in that the size of the business (number of employees) and the amount of hours worked by employees are relevant in determining regulations, giving companies an incentive not to hire employees, especially full-time employees.”

    FORBES has a fair and balanced ongoing piece on the effects of ObamaCare on part-time employment. They not only state their position, but describe and link to opposing opinions and then discuss why they disagree:

    And the worst is yet to come! In addition to my formal studies in economics, I am a licensed physician and have spent time both on the clinical side and the business side running both a private practice and a hospital practice. I can tell you – and explain why – the quality of care that the average American receives will decline under ObamaCare. To be certain, we cannot simultaneously have lower costs, better access and better quality. Please note that Obama has INTENTIONALLY used the term “cost” in an ambiguous and deceitful may. When one refers to health care costs, one must differentiate whether he is referring to the costs an individual pays or to the total health care expenditures in the US in a given year. As it turns out, of the tree variables – cost, access and quality – the average working American will “see” higher individual costs (or his employer will see higher premiums and thus not give him that raise he might have given him), less access (longer wait times and/or less face to face time with the doc requiring a second visit when previously the doc would have handled multiple problems in one visit) and lower quality (wait until you see the new Accountable Care Organizations ACOs that are coming your way where multiple entities e.g. the hospital and multiple doctors, get one payment and have to divvy it up – the incentive will be to let the other guy do the work and you know who does the work then – right, nobody).

    Sorry for rambling. At some point, I would be happy to address the economic ramifications of ObamaCare. Remember, at its core, economics is just the study of how the various actors behave and interact in the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. In essence, it’s just a study of human behavior.

    • Thanks for the links, Mike. Great comments.

      As Thomas Sowell likes to say, “there are no solutions, only trade-offs.” I think economics is more about the study of how humans deal with the trade-offs. I find it fascinating when some people ignore those trade-offs, in the belief of a solution, then change their own behavior (often without noticing) to deal with the trade-offs.

      I think Mankiw’s friend is a good example of people dealing with trade-offs. And, I agree, unintended (because the folks drafting the legislation didn’t bother to think far past the press conference to claim victory), but not unexpected and rather logical. Though, what I like about Mankiw’s friend example is how real it is.

      I’ve had plenty of conversations where folks discounted the prediction that companies would shift to more part-time work to avoid having to provide health care benefits. But, even I wouldn’t have been able to come up with such a crisp real world example.


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