Posts tagged ‘George Mason’

It's Hard to Find Partisan Blogs that Actually Try to Engage with the Opposition

I try really hard to read some partisan blogs from the Left and Right so I see what they are saying and don't wallow in some libertarian echo chamber.  I have read Kevin Drum on the Left for year because, while I often disagree with him, he is willing to engage with opposition arguments rather than just dismissing them as the rantings of racist cis-gendered Koch-funded, uh, whatevers.

Unfortunately his guest bloggers seem to be cut from a different cloth (by the way, best wishes to Drum who is struggles with some awful health issues).  Here is Max Sawicky today:

In this post from just last weekend, Kevin links to a bit from Tyler Cowen. That was your first mistake, Brother Drum. I realize linking is not endorsing, though KD offers a limited, tentative 'interesting possibility' type of approval. You see, the prolific and very smart Tyler hails from the zany economics department of George Mason University. No good can come from referencing him. These characters spend all their time excoriating Government and social protection for the working class from tenured, Koch-subsidized positions at a public university. Sweet.

This is unfortunately what substitutes for debate nowadays.  His conclusion seems to be "don't read people that disagree with me, read only folks who work off the same assumptions.  Stay in the echo chamber!"  This is exactly what I try to avoid, but the ubiquity of this sort of ad hominem argumentation is making it really hard.

I Am Speaking in Atlanta This Friday, Come Say Hi

I am speaking at an event this Friday in the Atlanta area held by the Dekalb Young Republicans called "Cutting the Red Tape: A Forum on Overbearing Government Regulations".   Even better than my presence, I will be sharing the stage with Don Boudreaux of George Mason University and Cafe Hayek.  Anyone who has read this site will know I link Don at least once a week so it will be fun to meet him in the flesh.  Here are the full details:

When:
Oct. 17th, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Where:

Atlanta Perimeter Marriott Center

246 Perimeter Center Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30346

Free Parking

Again, it is open to anyone (as proven by the fact that I am neither young nor a Republican and they are letting me speak).

Coyote on TV

I flew to New York to go in studio on the Stossel show today.  I did a brief bit on the minimum wage, a reprise from my earlier cameo on Stossel special.  It will be on tomorrow, Thursday at 9PM Eastern on Fox Business  (not Fox News, Fox Business).

The whole experience was new to me, which made me virtually unique as I was surrounded by policy wonks who do this kind of talking head thing all the time.   By the way, there was no sharing of questions or his plan in advance -- I think they want you cold.  So answers are all in real time.

Please, please, please do not write me or post comments such as "you should have said ____."  It will just depress me.  Believe me, 5 minutes after walking out I thought of 9 things I should have said.  Which is in fact why I blog rather than engage much any more in real time argument.

Anyway, I think his show will be pretty good -- he has Michael Cannon on health care and segments after mine on cash for clunkers and alpaca subsidies.  I shared the green room with an alpaca, which will probably just go to prove the old saying about always getting upstaged by kids and animals.

By the way, I think Stossel must set a different tone for his staff than is normal on TV.  I was talking to one of his producers, a guy that had come with Stossel from ABC, and I asked him if he had studied something relevant to this job in college.  I expected him to say "yes, theater" or "yes, television production."  But he said "yes, economics at George Mason."  I loved that answer.

Welcome to the Acme Corporation. Check Your Rights at the Door

Ilya Shapiro:

Well of course they aren't "” but that's constitutionally irrelevant:  Corporations aren't "real people" in the sense that the Constitution's protection of sexual privacy or prohibition on slavery make no sense in this context, but that doesn't mean that corporate entities also lack, say, Fourth Amendment rights.  Or would the "no rights for corporations" crowd be okay with the police storming their employers' offices and carting off their (employer-owned) computers for no particular reason? "” or to chill criticism of some government policy.

Or how about Fifth Amendment rights?  Can the mayor of New York exercise eminent domain over Rockefeller Center by fiat and without compensation if he decides he'd like to move his office there?

So corporations have to have some constitutional rights or nobody would form them in the first place.  The reason they have these rights isn't because they're "legal" persons, however "” though much of the doctrine builds on that technical point "” but instead because corporations are merely one of the ways in which rights-bearing individuals associate to better engage in a whole host of constitutionally protected activity.

That is, the Constitution protects these groups of rights-bearing individuals. The proposition that only human beings, standing alone, with no group affiliation whatsoever, are entitled to First Amendment protection "” that "real people" lose some of their rights when they join together in groups of two or ten or fifty or 100,000 "” is legally baseless and has no grounding in the Constitution. George Mason law professor Ilya Somin, also a Cato adjunct scholar, discusses this point here.

CoyoteBlog Readers' Tournament Pick Count

I am a glutton for stats, so I always love to post this analysis.  Of the 125 brackets we have in the tournament, this is how many picked each team in each game  (teams in red are those already knocked out)

By the way, how about that buzzer-beater in overtime by Western Kentucky!

Pick counts for all PickHoops

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6
East
1 North Carolina 123
16 PlayinWinner 2
1 North Carolina 117
8 Indiana 6
16 PlayinWinner 2
9 Arkansas 0
1 North Carolina 107
4 Washington St 7
5 Notre Dame 5
8 Indiana 4
13 Winthrop 1
16 PlayinWinner 1
9 Arkansas 0
12 George Mason 0
1 North Carolina 79
2 Tennessee 23
3 Louisville 15
5 Notre Dame 2
8 Indiana 2
6 Oklahoma 1
13 Winthrop 1
4 Washington St 1
16 PlayinWinner 1
15 American U. 0
10 South Alabama 0
7 Butler 0
14 Boise State 0
12 George Mason 0
11 St. Josephs 0
9 Arkansas 0
1 North Carolina 53
1 Kansas 27
2 Tennessee 13
3 Louisville 10
2 Georgetown 7
3 Wisconsin 5
5 Clemson 2
4 Vanderbilt 2
13 Winthrop 1
16 PlayinWinner 1
6 Oklahoma 1
5 Notre Dame 1
10 Davidson 1
7 Gonzaga 1
13 Siena 0
12 Villanova 0
14 CS Fullerton 0
15 Maryland-Balt. 0
11 Kansas St. 0
6 USC 0
15 American U. 0
4 Washington St 0
12 George Mason 0
9 Arkansas 0
8 Indiana 0
11 St. Josephs 0
14 Boise State 0
8 UNLV 0
16 Portland State 0
10 South Alabama 0
7 Butler 0
9 Kent State 0
1 North Carolina 32
1 UCLA 22
1 Kansas 20
1 Memphis 17
2 Texas 6
2 Tennessee 6
2 Georgetown 5
4 Pittsburgh 3
3 Louisville 3
2 Duke 3
3 Wisconsin 2
5 Clemson 1
16 PlayinWinner 1
3 Stanford 1
15 Belmont 1
4 Connecticut 1
10 Davidson 1
6 Marquette 0
10 St. Marys CA 0
13 Oral Roberts 0
7 Miami Fla. 0
11 Kentucky 0
14 Cornell 0
8 BYU 0
3 Xavier 0
11 Baylor 0
14 Georgia 0
7 West Virginia 0
10 Arizona 0
6 Purdue 0
13 San Diego 0
12 Temple 0
16 MississipValSt 0
9 Texas A&M 0
5 Drake 0
12 W. Kentucky 0
15 Austin Peay 0
15 Maryland-Balt. 0
14 Boise State 0
11 St. Josephs 0
7 Butler 0
10 South Alabama 0
15 American U. 0
6 Oklahoma 0
13 Winthrop 0
9 Arkansas 0
8 Indiana 0
5 Notre Dame 0
12 George Mason 0
4 Washington St 0
16 Portland State 0
8 UNLV 0
7 Gonzaga 0
14 CS Fullerton 0
16 TexasArlington 0
8 Mississippi St 0
9 Oregon 0
11 Kansas St. 0
6 USC 0
9 Kent State 0
12 Villanova 0
4 Vanderbilt 0
13 Siena 0
5 Michigan St. 0
8 Indiana 63
9 Arkansas 62
5 Notre Dame 89
12 George Mason 36
4 Washington St 59
5 Notre Dame 49
12 George Mason 12
13 Winthrop 5
4 Washington St 101
13 Winthrop 24
6 Oklahoma 72
11 St. Josephs 53
3 Louisville 96
6 Oklahoma 19
11 St. Josephs 6
14 Boise State 4
2 Tennessee 62
3 Louisville 44
7 Butler 8
6 Oklahoma 8
15 American U. 1
14 Boise State 1
10 South Alabama 1
11 St. Josephs 0
3 Louisville 117
14 Boise State 8
7 Butler 96
10 South Alabama 29
2 Tennessee 101
7 Butler 20
15 American U. 2
10 South Alabama 2
2 Tennessee 122
15 American U. 3
Midwest
1 Kansas 123
16 Portland State 2
1 Kansas 117
8 UNLV 3
9 Kent State 3
16 Portland State 2
1 Kansas 94
5 Clemson 15
4 Vanderbilt 10
8 UNLV 2
16 Portland State 2
13 Siena 1
12 Villanova 1
9 Kent State 0
1 Kansas 60
2 Georgetown 29
3 Wisconsin 13
5 Clemson 9
4 Vanderbilt 5
6 USC 3
7 Gonzaga 2
16 Portland State 2
8 UNLV 1
10 Davidson 1
15 Maryland-Balt. 0
13 Siena 0
9 Kent State 0
12 Villanova 0
11 Kansas St. 0
14 CS Fullerton 0
8 UNLV 65
9 Kent State 60
5 Clemson 90
12 Villanova 35
5 Clemson 58
4 Vanderbilt 51
12 Villanova 10
13 Siena 6
4 Vanderbilt 109
13 Siena 16
6 USC 74
11 Kansas St. 51
3 Wisconsin 76
6 USC 36
11 Kansas St. 11
14 CS Fullerton 2
2 Georgetown 65
3 Wisconsin 41
6 USC 10
7 Gonzaga 4
15 Maryland-Balt. 2
10 Davidson 2
11 Kansas St. 1
14 CS Fullerton 0
3 Wisconsin 120
14 CS Fullerton 5
7 Gonzaga 70
10 Davidson 55
2 Georgetown 106
10 Davidson 9
7 Gonzaga 8
15 Maryland-Balt. 2
2 Georgetown 123
15 Maryland-Balt. 2
South
1 Memphis 121
16 TexasArlington 4
1 Memphis 118
8 Mississippi St 3
16 TexasArlington 3
9 Oregon 1
1 Memphis 76
4 Pittsburgh 31
5 Michigan St. 15
16 TexasArlington 2
8 Mississippi St 1
13 Oral Roberts 0
9 Oregon 0
12 Temple 0
1 Memphis 46
2 Texas 46
3 Stanford 13
4 Pittsburgh 10
5 Michigan St. 5
11 Kentucky 2
16 TexasArlington 2
6 Marquette 1
10 St. Marys CA 0
15 Austin Peay 0
7 Miami Fla. 0
13 Oral Roberts 0
8 Mississippi St 0
9 Oregon 0
12 Temple 0
14 Cornell 0
1 UCLA 49
1 Memphis 28
2 Texas 22
2 Duke 12
4 Pittsburgh 4
3 Stanford 3
4 Connecticut 3
3 Xavier 1
16 MississipValSt 1
5 Michigan St. 1
15 Belmont 1
12 W. Kentucky 0
11 Baylor 0
7 West Virginia 0
10 Arizona 0
14 Georgia 0
5 Drake 0
6 Purdue 0
13 San Diego 0
15 Austin Peay 0
12 Temple 0
13 Oral Roberts 0
9 Oregon 0
8 Mississippi St 0
16 TexasArlington 0
6 Marquette 0
11 Kentucky 0
8 BYU 0
10 St. Marys CA 0
7 Miami Fla. 0
14 Cornell 0
9 Texas A&M 0
8 Mississippi St 64
9 Oregon 61
5 Michigan St. 89
12 Temple 36
4 Pittsburgh 82
5 Michigan St. 36
13 Oral Roberts 4
12 Temple 3
4 Pittsburgh 119
13 Oral Roberts 6
6 Marquette 79
11 Kentucky 46
3 Stanford 68
6 Marquette 41
11 Kentucky 14
14 Cornell 2
2 Texas 80
3 Stanford 25
6 Marquette 12
11 Kentucky 4
15 Austin Peay 2
7 Miami Fla. 2
14 Cornell 0
10 St. Marys CA 0
3 Stanford 118
14 Cornell 7
10 St. Marys CA 63
7 Miami Fla. 62
2 Texas 115
7 Miami Fla. 6
15 Austin Peay 3
10 St. Marys CA 1
2 Texas 122
15 Austin Peay 3
West
1 UCLA 123
16 MississipValSt 2
1 UCLA 120
8 BYU 2
16 MississipValSt 2
9 Texas A&M 1
1 UCLA 101
4 Connecticut 13
5 Drake 8
13 San Diego 1
9 Texas A&M 1
16 MississipValSt 1
8 BYU 0
12 W. Kentucky 0
1 UCLA 68
2 Duke 27
3 Xavier 12
4 Connecticut 8
5 Drake 3
14 Georgia 1
6 Purdue 1
11 Baylor 1
10 Arizona 1
16 MississipValSt 1
15 Belmont 1
7 West Virginia 1
13 San Diego 0
8 BYU 0
9 Texas A&M 0
12 W. Kentucky 0
9 Texas A&M 79
8 BYU 46
5 Drake 97
12 W. Kentucky 28
4 Connecticut 67
5 Drake 50
13 San Diego 6
12 W. Kentucky 2
4 Connecticut 117
13 San Diego 8
6 Purdue 79
11 Baylor 46
3 Xavier 82
6 Purdue 20
14 Georgia 14
11 Baylor 9
2 Duke 66
3 Xavier 40
7 West Virginia 10
15 Belmont 2
10 Arizona 2
14 Georgia 2
11 Baylor 2
6 Purdue 1
3 Xavier 105
14 Georgia 20
7 West Virginia 78
10 Arizona 47
2 Duke 98
7 West Virginia 18
10 Arizona 7
15 Belmont 2
2 Duke 122
15 Belmont 3

New Study on Malpractice

A new study on medical malpractice decisions by Alexander Tabarrok and Amanda Agan of George Mason University was released last week.  A lot of the study is dedicated to countering some economically-ignorant canards (e.g. the charge that the recent rise in malpractice insurance is all due to price gouging and not due to malpractice awards).

The most interesting piece is where they compare malpractice awards to results of the independent medical review board rulings.

Our test finds that the tort system and review system do not correlate. Figure Five shows that
adverse actions per doctor in the medical review board system do not correlate with the number of medical malpractice cases per doctor in the tort system, nor do they correlate with the
average award per doctor....                               

In no case is the correlation large; in some
cases, it is actually slightly negative. What these results indicate is that the two systems
we have for determining malpractice, the tort
system and the medical review system, result 
in very different determinations of malpractice.
Surely, one of them is wrong!

The conclusion is one I think many neutral parties have suspected for quite a while:  The tort system is doubly broken:  Bad outcomes that truly are the result of malpractice often do not result in an award, while numerous tort awards go to people who are not the victim of any real malpractice.  Or to put it simply, people who are owed restitution aren't getting it and people who get money often shouldn't be owed anything.

The obvious result is a gross miscarriage of justice.  However, there is a second, less talked about result:  If the tort system is random, having no correlation to real doctor error or doctor quality, then it is impossible to charge doctors with risk-adjusted premiums.  In an efficient market, the worst doctors would pay the highest premiums and would get driven out of the market, just like bad drivers must change their behavior or face lifelong high auto premiums.  However, if tort awards are not correlated with bad behavior, as the study implies, then the system creates a huge moral hazard, with bad doctors underpaying for insurance and good doctors overpaying.  The result is that at best, good doctors will be driven out of the system at least as frequently as bad doctors.  At worst, good doctors, frustrated by the lack of justice in the system, will actually be more likely to leave the system than bad doctors.

Where Our Founding Fathers Extremist?

Certainly King George III would have considered our founding fathers extremist.  But apparently, they may be considered extremist even today, at least by the left.

In my earlier post on Janice Rogers Brown, I quoted JRB saying:

"Where government moves in, community
retreats, civil society disintegrates. . . . When government advances . . .
freedom is imperiled, civilization itself [is] jeopardized."

I noted that both the NY Times and the People for the American Way use this quote to say that JRB is "extremist".  I said, in response, "I bet I could find about 20 similar quotes in the Federalist Papers or from other contributors to the US Constitution."  Of course, I was too lazy to go looking for quotes, but Gary Galles of the Mises Blog was not.  He has hunted down many examples, but I will quote his work on the JRB quote above:

Janice Rogers Brown: "Where government advances"”and it advances
relentlessly"”freedom is imperiled...When did government cease to be a necessary
evil and become a goody bag to solve our private problems?"
Thomas
Paine
: "Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in
its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable
one."
George Mason: "Every society, all government, and
every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the
general good and safety of the community. Every power, every authority vested in
particular men is, or ought to be, ultimately directed at this sole end; and
whenever any power or authority whatever extends further...than is in its nature
necessary for these purposes, it may be called government, but it is in fact
oppression."
Thomas Jefferson: "˜What more is necessary to
make us a happy and a prosperous people?...a wise and frugal Government, which
shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to
regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from
the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good
government..."

Go read them all.  And remember, he is taking all the JRB quotes right off the People for the American Way site, who have posted the quotes to scare us about what an extremist she is.