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 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
East
1 North Carolina123
16 PlayinWinner2
1 North Carolina117
8 Indiana6
16 PlayinWinner2
9 Arkansas0
1 North Carolina107
4 Washington St7
5 Notre Dame5
8 Indiana4
13 Winthrop1
16 PlayinWinner1
9 Arkansas0
12 George Mason0
1 North Carolina79
2 Tennessee23
3 Louisville15
5 Notre Dame2
8 Indiana2
6 Oklahoma1
13 Winthrop1
4 Washington St1
16 PlayinWinner1
15 American U.0
10 South Alabama0
7 Butler0
14 Boise State0
12 George Mason0
11 St. Josephs0
9 Arkansas0
1 North Carolina53
1 Kansas27
2 Tennessee13
3 Louisville10
2 Georgetown7
3 Wisconsin5
5 Clemson2
4 Vanderbilt2
13 Winthrop1
16 PlayinWinner1
6 Oklahoma1
5 Notre Dame1
10 Davidson1
7 Gonzaga1
13 Siena0
12 Villanova0
14 CS Fullerton0
15 Maryland-Balt.0
11 Kansas St.0
6 USC0
15 American U.0
4 Washington St0
12 George Mason0
9 Arkansas0
8 Indiana0
11 St. Josephs0
14 Boise State0
8 UNLV0
16 Portland State0
10 South Alabama0
7 Butler0
9 Kent State0
1 North Carolina32
1 UCLA22
1 Kansas20
1 Memphis17
2 Texas6
2 Tennessee6
2 Georgetown5
4 Pittsburgh3
3 Louisville3
2 Duke3
3 Wisconsin2
5 Clemson1
16 PlayinWinner1
3 Stanford1
15 Belmont1
4 Connecticut1
10 Davidson1
6 Marquette0
10 St. Marys CA0
13 Oral Roberts0
7 Miami Fla.0
11 Kentucky0
14 Cornell0
8 BYU0
3 Xavier0
11 Baylor0
14 Georgia0
7 West Virginia0
10 Arizona0
6 Purdue0
13 San Diego0
12 Temple0
16 MississipValSt0
9 Texas A&M0
5 Drake0
12 W. Kentucky0
15 Austin Peay0
15 Maryland-Balt.0
14 Boise State0
11 St. Josephs0
7 Butler0
10 South Alabama0
15 American U.0
6 Oklahoma0
13 Winthrop0
9 Arkansas0
8 Indiana0
5 Notre Dame0
12 George Mason0
4 Washington St0
16 Portland State0
8 UNLV0
7 Gonzaga0
14 CS Fullerton0
16 TexasArlington0
8 Mississippi St0
9 Oregon0
11 Kansas St.0
6 USC0
9 Kent State0
12 Villanova0
4 Vanderbilt0
13 Siena0
5 Michigan St.0
8 Indiana63
9 Arkansas62
5 Notre Dame89
12 George Mason36
4 Washington St59
5 Notre Dame49
12 George Mason12
13 Winthrop5
4 Washington St101
13 Winthrop24
6 Oklahoma72
11 St. Josephs53
3 Louisville96
6 Oklahoma19
11 St. Josephs6
14 Boise State4
2 Tennessee62
3 Louisville44
7 Butler8
6 Oklahoma8
15 American U.1
14 Boise State1
10 South Alabama1
11 St. Josephs0
3 Louisville117
14 Boise State8
7 Butler96
10 South Alabama29
2 Tennessee101
7 Butler20
15 American U.2
10 South Alabama2
2 Tennessee122
15 American U.3
Midwest
1 Kansas123
16 Portland State2
1 Kansas117
8 UNLV3
9 Kent State3
16 Portland State2
1 Kansas94
5 Clemson15
4 Vanderbilt10
8 UNLV2
16 Portland State2
13 Siena1
12 Villanova1
9 Kent State0
1 Kansas60
2 Georgetown29
3 Wisconsin13
5 Clemson9
4 Vanderbilt5
6 USC3
7 Gonzaga2
16 Portland State2
8 UNLV1
10 Davidson1
15 Maryland-Balt.0
13 Siena0
9 Kent State0
12 Villanova0
11 Kansas St.0
14 CS Fullerton0
8 UNLV65
9 Kent State60
5 Clemson90
12 Villanova35
5 Clemson58
4 Vanderbilt51
12 Villanova10
13 Siena6
4 Vanderbilt109
13 Siena16
6 USC74
11 Kansas St.51
3 Wisconsin76
6 USC36
11 Kansas St.11
14 CS Fullerton2
2 Georgetown65
3 Wisconsin41
6 USC10
7 Gonzaga4
15 Maryland-Balt.2
10 Davidson2
11 Kansas St.1
14 CS Fullerton0
3 Wisconsin120
14 CS Fullerton5
7 Gonzaga70
10 Davidson55
2 Georgetown106
10 Davidson9
7 Gonzaga8
15 Maryland-Balt.2
2 Georgetown123
15 Maryland-Balt.2
South
1 Memphis121
16 TexasArlington4
1 Memphis118
8 Mississippi St3
16 TexasArlington3
9 Oregon1
1 Memphis76
4 Pittsburgh31
5 Michigan St.15
16 TexasArlington2
8 Mississippi St1
13 Oral Roberts0
9 Oregon0
12 Temple0
1 Memphis46
2 Texas46
3 Stanford13
4 Pittsburgh10
5 Michigan St.5
11 Kentucky2
16 TexasArlington2
6 Marquette1
10 St. Marys CA0
15 Austin Peay0
7 Miami Fla.0
13 Oral Roberts0
8 Mississippi St0
9 Oregon0
12 Temple0
14 Cornell0
1 UCLA49
1 Memphis28
2 Texas22
2 Duke12
4 Pittsburgh4
3 Stanford3
4 Connecticut3
3 Xavier1
16 MississipValSt1
5 Michigan St.1
15 Belmont1
12 W. Kentucky0
11 Baylor0
7 West Virginia0
10 Arizona0
14 Georgia0
5 Drake0
6 Purdue0
13 San Diego0
15 Austin Peay0
12 Temple0
13 Oral Roberts0
9 Oregon0
8 Mississippi St0
16 TexasArlington0
6 Marquette0
11 Kentucky0
8 BYU0
10 St. Marys CA0
7 Miami Fla.0
14 Cornell0
9 Texas A&M0
8 Mississippi St64
9 Oregon61
5 Michigan St.89
12 Temple36
4 Pittsburgh82
5 Michigan St.36
13 Oral Roberts4
12 Temple3
4 Pittsburgh119
13 Oral Roberts6
6 Marquette79
11 Kentucky46
3 Stanford68
6 Marquette41
11 Kentucky14
14 Cornell2
2 Texas80
3 Stanford25
6 Marquette12
11 Kentucky4
15 Austin Peay2
7 Miami Fla.2
14 Cornell0
10 St. Marys CA0
3 Stanford118
14 Cornell7
10 St. Marys CA63
7 Miami Fla.62
2 Texas115
7 Miami Fla.6
15 Austin Peay3
10 St. Marys CA1
2 Texas122
15 Austin Peay3
West
1 UCLA123
16 MississipValSt2
1 UCLA120
8 BYU2
16 MississipValSt2
9 Texas A&M1
1 UCLA101
4 Connecticut13
5 Drake8
13 San Diego1
9 Texas A&M1
16 MississipValSt1
8 BYU0
12 W. Kentucky0
1 UCLA68
2 Duke27
3 Xavier12
4 Connecticut8
5 Drake3
14 Georgia1
6 Purdue1
11 Baylor1
10 Arizona1
16 MississipValSt1
15 Belmont1
7 West Virginia1
13 San Diego0
8 BYU0
9 Texas A&M0
12 W. Kentucky0
9 Texas A&M79
8 BYU46
5 Drake97
12 W. Kentucky28
4 Connecticut67
5 Drake50
13 San Diego6
12 W. Kentucky2
4 Connecticut117
13 San Diego8
6 Purdue79
11 Baylor46
3 Xavier82
6 Purdue20
14 Georgia14
11 Baylor9
2 Duke66
3 Xavier40
7 West Virginia10
15 Belmont2
10 Arizona2
14 Georgia2
11 Baylor2
6 Purdue1
3 Xavier105
14 Georgia20
7 West Virginia78
10 Arizona47
2 Duke98
7 West Virginia18
10 Arizona7
15 Belmont2
2 Duke122
15 Belmont3

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.