New on Free Will: Award-Winning Journalist Kerry Howley!

On Saturday, after several disastrous attempts, Kerry and I suceeded (sort of) in recording a new diavlog. We talk mainly about her latest Reason cover on fertility panics, but also about the tyranny of old people, and scrapbooking. Botched ending makes it special!
I'm insanely recording three this week. They are: Robin Hanson on Hansonism, Bruce Caldwell on Hayek, and Jim Holt on jokes. What would you like me to ask them?

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center

19 thoughts

  1. As a citizen, I think the free market economists should take an oath: First Do No Harm.
    Listen, guys, cease and desist. Your ideas have driven the country off a cliff. You should be filled with shame and remorse. Your reaction to this crisis seems more like mental illness than reason.

  2. Federal tax cuts do build schools.
    Local governments, not the Federal government, build schools. Federal tax cuts give taxpayers the means to pay their local governments to build schools, if that’s what they want.

  3. KJ- I’m still not sure what your agument is- if you are saying that farm states are oversubsidized by the feds I have no disagreement with that- the fact that some states send more to the feds than they get back is an argument for a smaller federal government. You don’t want to live in Eagan or Maple Grove- great, don’t -some people do. And I don’t doubt that St. Paul is more affordable and livable than the places you mentioned, but again it ain’t what it used to be. As for the representational issue- Senators don’t represent people, they represent states- and are you arguing that only minorities can represent majority minority districts? Bales of money have been dumped into urban America in the postwar era; coinciding with its decline. I use St Paul as an example, not because I wish to trash it- far from it- I was once voted by the senior class where I teach “an entire class period without mentioning the state of Minnesota” I still consider St. Paul ‘my’ town- if I ever moved back to MN I’d probably settle in St. Paul- probably in your neighborhood- think of the fireworks at the 4th of July BBQ! But I think it’s sad to see comments like “I even thought Oakland was pretty nice so long as you stayed out of a couple neighborhoods.” There was no place in St. Paul I wouldn’t ride my bike as a kid- is that true today?

    1. I have yet to discover a place where you couldn’t ride a bike but I’m sure one exists. Although, you know parents these days, you have to wear a kevlar vest and a football helmet just to go in the back yard.
      But anyway, back to my point about underrepresentation. States with high urban concentrations get stiffed by the feds so it follows that the cities that are in these states are getting stiffed as well. So even though you think the Feds have poured money into the cities, I would wager a substantial amount that on a per capita basis you are very wrong. Cities have received less per person than rural areas. I know that the same thing happens in state government, with much more money per person flowing to out state Minnesota. I just think this should be factored in before people start talking about how much cities have been neglected by bad liberal government. It’s simply much more challenging to govern a city that is underfunded and attracts a higher proportion of the poor and uneducated. You can blame the liberals. I blame the underfunding and the additional complexity. Maybe it’s a little of both. I certainly don’t want to defend Detroit’s choice of politicians.
      I enjoyed the back and forth. Sorry for starting out on the wrong note.

    2. It’s also worth considering the other powerful forces have swept across the country since the sixties, transforming urban centers (particularly in the northeast and midwest). I’d guess that widespread Democratic party city governance rates very low on a list of influential factors. Off the top of my head, the rise of right-to-work laws in the south, the massive expansion of air travel, the growth of the Pacific Northwest and Southwest, and the success of the civil rights movement all likely played a bigger role in the decline of Detroit, Springfield MA, and to a far lesser extent the Twin Cities, etc..

  4. The explanation for this is simple, Will. Sure, economic consensus is that Galbraithianism is bad for the economy, even among economists that are Democrats. But Marxist authoritarianism, which is what they are really about at heart, has never been advanced for the purpose of improving the economy.

    1. Yes. Exactly. They don’t want things “better.” They want things “equal.” There is a big difference. So the recovery will be slow and dampened by their Socialism.

  5. KJ I don’t think I COULD ride my bike all over the city today. And I lost my kevlar vest:). I don’t doubt that there are many factors that have contributed to the decline of urban America (assuming one accepts that urban America IS in decline)- not least of which one which I personally never considered, but is true- many people prefer suburban living- not me really (“What’s a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?”) but a lot of people do. And I have no doubt that huge piles of cash are dumped into rural America- don’t much care for that either, particularly when it’s Cargill and ADM that get most of it- not Ma and Pa Kettle (or I guess in MN it’d be Ma and Pa Gustavson). But I think the urban areas do too- particularly if you count things like Medicaid, SSI, etc etc. That sends this discussion down a different road, I know, and I don’t underestimate how difficult it is to run a big city. And- to be clear I don’t put St. Paul in the same category as Detroit. You’re right though, good discussion. Watch out for those nasty Vulcans and good luck finding the treasure!

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