Conservative Logic

There is no such thing as a free lunch . . . except for free trade which makes everyone everywhere better off

It is naive and foolish to imagine there is some magic pot of gold which will make us all magically richer . . . but competition magically makes everyone richer

As Adam Smith said, the “invisible hand” of the free market ensures everyone is best off . . . even though Smith never said that about the market but rather about protectionism.

We should never rely on one-size-fits-all solutions that don’t take account of the specifics of each case . . . and cut taxes in response to every problem

The government makes everything worse . . . which is why countries like Somalia which have no government are so much better off Continue reading “Conservative Logic”

Advertisements

The Irish Housing Bubble And Bust

The recent housing bubble in Ireland defied the laws of economics. Supply and demand rose simultaneously, the market rose to absurd heights before crashing to unheard of lows. It went from an extreme of being able to sell a house no matter how high the price, to one where you can’t sell a house no matter how low you drop the price. According to everything I have been taught about economics, this could not happen. Textbooks are useless in understanding the bubble. According to them the price is always right, that left alone the free market will make everyone better off. Bubbles or recessions don’t happen. Any exceptions are temporary; it’s not possible for a decade of boom to be replaced by a decade of bust. But that is what has happened. Continue reading “The Irish Housing Bubble And Bust”

The World The Day I Was Born

On my 21st birthday today I’m reflecting on how much the world has changed since the day I was born, October 21st 1991. Back then the Soviet Union still existed, the Troubles were still ongoing and Charles Haughey was Taoiseach. Homosexuality was illegal as was divorce. Old Ireland was on its last legs, we were still a white Irish Catholic country. Emigration was still common and unemployment was high (the more things change the more they stay the same). Immigration and multiculturalism had yet to arrive. The Catholic Church was still strong and the sex scandals had yet to hit. People still went to Mass. I was born right at the end of an era when the old ways were on their last legs. Continue reading “The World The Day I Was Born”

The Fool’s Gold Standard

Having money linked to a Gold Standard is an idea that almost every economist opposes. It is described as the economic equivalent of creationism and a major cause of the Great Depression. It is ignored by policymakers and no country has one anymore. Yet there is some support for it on the internet. It is one of Ron Paul’s main ideas in his campaign for the Presidency and is supported to some extent by Paul Ryan. The Republican platform promises a commission to consider reintroducing it. So what is a Gold Standard and why is it so bad? Continue reading “The Fool’s Gold Standard”

The Truth About Spending And The Stimulus

Republicans regularly criticise Obama’s stimulus plan, claiming it was an ineffectual waste of money. The internet is full of people arguing it failed to work, that unemployment is still high and growth is low. However what few people realise is that the stimulus did work. Without unemployment would be higher and growth lower. In fact the only problem is that it was too small to solve the greatest crisis since the Great Depression. Continue reading “The Truth About Spending And The Stimulus”

Blogs I’d Recommend

To celebrate my blog getting its 10,000th viewer I thought I’d make a list of all the blogs I have enjoyed. Too often blogs can be self-contained islands so it’s also good to reach out and find other views and connect with other people. While compiling this list I was sad to find that some blogs I really enjoyed are no longer active. So enjoy them while you can. Continue reading “Blogs I’d Recommend”

Sexism Against Men?

Up until recently I didn’t know there was such thing as sexism against men. It seemed like a paradox, like racism against white people. When I looked into it, I was struck by how incredibly true it was. Although I never really considered it, there are certain rules about how real men are supposed to behave. We are supposed to be tough, strong, independent and never express any emotion except anger. Talking about your feelings or being dependent on someone else are signs of weakness and the worse thing in the world for a man is to be seen as weak. Continue reading “Sexism Against Men?”