Monday Links

Bloggers don’t like to leave the house much, especially when it’s raining like

this, but couldn’t miss the debate on Argentina’s debt situation this morning

— which means that blogging will be light to nonexistent here until the afternoon.

But in the meantime, some links.


on Tim Haab on why it doesn’t make sense to be holier-than-thou when it

comes to carbon emissions and the like:

When I am asking for higher taxes on gasoline, I want them imposed on everyone,

not just on me. What’s the point of unilaterally deciding to cut my consumption

of gas? The planet will not even notice.*

This principle is very well understood in a different, but analytically equivalent,

setting: general taxation. If I am asking for higher taxes but the government

instead decides to go for a tax cut, will anyone in their right mind ever

blame me for not voluntarily paying more than my fair share into the public

coffers? Is it hypocritical that I pay the universal ‘low’ rate of tax while

I am the most passionate of advocates for higher rates?

* Ah, I hear you say, but what if a sizable minority of conscientious citizens

(for it is a minority, otherwise it would include the all-powerful median

voter) all decide to voluntarily reduce their carbon footprint? Well, that’s

just great: they just reduced the pressure on the not-as-conscientious median

voter to do something about it by imposing a universal pigouvian tax (or other

mechanism to internalise the externality).


Baker on how people should be listening to him more ‘cos he’s been right

on the economy. I’m not sure about this one: the GDP figure is the sum of many

different parts, and Baker didn’t call the main part of it, which was continued

strong consumption on the part of individuals. But I guess he was indeed more

right on the big-picture GDP number than most of Wall Street.


Leonard on Phillip

Killicoat on the AK-47, "the world’s most popular open-source assault

rifle". It might not be the best, but it’s popular because it was never



Knobel on a management book for people who hate management books: The

Halo Effect, by Phil Rosenzweig.


Rodrik on where he and George Borjas agree, and where they disagree.

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