by Edward Chancellor* Once upon a time, there was a factory in the Soviet Union that made nails. Moscow set quotas on nail production. When the quotas involved quantity, the factory churned out many small, useless nails. When Moscow realised its error and set a quota by weight instead, the factory produced big, equally useless … Continue reading THE TYRANNY OF METRICS, Jerry Muller, Princeton, 220 pp.
by Mario Rizzo The rule of law always suffers before the political exigencies of welfare state legislation. This is because, contrary to its name, the welfare state has little to do with the general welfare. It is essentially a vehicle by which some groups benefit at the expense of others. The latest is the sweetheart … Continue reading The Rule of Law Kneels Before the Welfare State
by Mario Rizzo I have previously blogged about healthcare “reform.” (One example is here.) Both the House and Senate bill attacked the tax-advantaged flexible spending account for healthcare expenses. Now there seems to be a move to reinstate it with a maximum of only $2,500. I understand why the first instinct of economists is to … Continue reading Protecting Ourselves From Our Masters
by Mario Rizzo For some time I have been interested in the dynamics of public policy – specifically, how particular policies make further policies more likely. Glen Whitman and I explored this in general terms in our paper, “The Camel’s Nose is in the Tent” and our own Sandy Ikeda's book, The Dynamics of Interventionism offers a … Continue reading Fast Track To The Single Payer