Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why Libertarianism doesn't work

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi's laissez-faire!

Alan Campbell Johnson, in "Mission with Mountbatten", reports in his entry for December 26th, 1947:

On the ultimately decisive economic front the Government has added to its own burdens by its blind and bland acceptance of Gandhi's policy towards decontrol.  The Mahatma's approach to economics is unashamedly pre-feudal, and he has converted the doctrine of laissez-faire beyond the dreams of Adam Smith into what is little less than a branch of metaphysics.   We now have the spectacle of a Government trying to create a modern State and depriving itself of the power to tackle food-hoarders and price-ring profiteers save through appeals to their social conscience, the one commodity in which they are totally lacking.   The decontrol policy has been opposed by Mountbatten as well as by all responsible Civil Service advisers without exception.  It is the outcome solely of the Government's awe of Gandhi.  It is causing almost at once a vicious spiral of inflation, and will involve an extra eight crores of rupees on Civil Service salaries alone to meet the rise in prices.  Altogether it is estimated that some one hundred and ten crores of rupees will need to be pumped in to meet the cost of Gandhi's economic ideas.   Sugar and salt have both rocketed up to one rupee eight annas a seer - the rise in the price of salt being no less than five hundred per cent.

Effect of redistricting in New Jersey

After every census, the congressional districts are redrawn to take into account the changes in population.  The 2012-2021 map for New Jersey is here, also displayed below.  As a result, I lose my ex-physicist Democratic representative, Rush Holt (district 12) and instead get Republican Chris Smith (district 4).  Unless there is a chance of getting a decent Democrat elected, there goes my interest in my Congress representative.

Representative Christopher Smith
Liberal Action Score: 22/100

Conservative Action Score: 55/100

Representative Rush Holt
Liberal Action Score: 92/100
Conservative Action Score: 3/100


Dark clouds swirl around the Indian economy

Friday, December 23, 2011

How Ayn Rand Helped Make the US into a greedy, selfish nation

Via Praveen Swami on twitter.
A demagogue, in addition to hypnotic glibness, must also be intellectually inconsistent, sometimes boldly so. This eliminates challenges to authority by weeding out clear-thinking young people from the flock.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Higgs at last?


PS: Strassler 

PPS: Gibbs  Read this one for sure.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Higgs news

Everyone in the particle physics community is waiting for tomorrow's status report from CERN.
Lots of good blog posts, so am simply linking to them:

PS: Carroll

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

S Gurumurthy on the Indian Retail Sector

Saturday, December 03, 2011

India: Foreign Direct Investment In Retail

A political storm was unleashed in India when the government announced its decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector in India (the decision has been put on indefinite hold). This decision would allow Walmart and its equivalents to enter the Indian market.

What struck me is the very poor quality of the debate. Putting aside the ideology of "free markets", it was not clear at all what the problems are, and how FDI will help solve them.  A fact-based presentation of what problems may be solved (and what new problems may be created - I'll provide an example) will be useful in deciding what the right policy is.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Job creation

Nick Hanauer tells us what ought to be obvious - jobs are created by consumers buying from businesses.