Friday, June 24, 2005

More on Kelo

If I had an infinite amount of time I would spend more time researching this issue, but it seems to me the Supreme Courts decision is based on the "Public Use" being the 1,000 jobs that the project was likely to "create".

From the majority opinion:

We granted certiorari to determine whether a cityÂ?s decision to take
property for the purpose of economic development satisfies the Â?public useÂ?
requirement of the Fifth Amendment. 542 U.S. ___ (2004).

in which they quote:

In 2000, the city of New London approved a development plan that, in the words
of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, was Â?projected to create in excess of 1,000
jobs, to increase tax and other revenues, and to revitalize an economically
distressed city, including its downtown and waterfront areas.Â? 268 Conn. 1, 5,
843 A. 2d 500, 507 (2004).

If they maybe understood a little about economics, they might not fall for this public use argument. Let me remind everyone, in the long run the number of jobs and the amount of labor provided to the market is determined by the number of people willing to work. Supply creates demand. I don't see how taking some old ladies house from her will have an impact on that?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Eminent Domain?

Somehow I have trouble calling a Supreme Court that makes a decision like this, conservative. Of course what it means to be a conservative has changed a whole lot recently hasn't it? I can't believe they've ruled against private property rights and in favor of eminent domain even when the are serving private economic interests. This means you better be friendly to your local economic development bureaucrat or they just might find someone to build on the site of your home. Nice. The case I'm referring to is Kelo v. New London, (04-108), and the should be more today, for now there is a recap here.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Eminent Domain

Friday, June 17, 2005

Commencement Speeches

Someday I'd like to give a commencement speech, and I hope it will be as good as this one by Steve Jobs (Via Newmark's door). Or maybe I'll fall back on this one by some Chicago Tribune Columnist remade into a song by Baz Luhrmann.

Here is the money quote from Jobs:

You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep
looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you
find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the
years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
Don't forget the sunscreen.

Keywords: Graduation

Friday, June 03, 2005

Fiscal Policy

Via Voxbaby we have some very wise words from Gene Stueuerle on fiscal policy.

The Money Quote:

The Social Security debate could and should be part of a larger one in
which we engage our fellow citizens in choosing the best direction for society
as a whole as better things happen to us in the way of longer lives and new
health care goods and services. How can we really take best advantage of these
new opportunities? How can we spread the gains from this increased level of
well-being and wealth to create a stronger nation with opportunity for all? And
how should we share the costs?

Instead, the debate is upside down. Due to the ways we have designed
our programs and our budgets, every year we spend greater shares of our national income in areas where needs have declined, and then claim we don’t have enough left over for areas—such as education, public safety, children, and
anti-terrorism—where real needs remain and have often grown. I sometimes imagine sitting in the Ways and Means Committee room when someone from the National Institutes of Health comes in claiming to have found a cure, though expensive, for cancer. The members of committee, trapped in the logic of our current budget, find that instead of celebrating this advance, they commiserate among themselves about the increased cost for Social Security.

And this highlights the problems I have with TABOR laws.

Keywords: ECO120, ECO305, Fiscal Policy, TABOR

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Macro Reading List

Tyler Cowen's Macro reading list, maybe some of these will find their way on to my intermediate reading list.

Keywords: ECO305

Too Much Homework?

This blog was originally created in part to talk about teaching and learning, so I thought I'd throw in a post or two on that topic. Here (Via Slashdot) we have a report on the correlation between the quantity of homework and the performance on an international standardized test. It appears as though more homework is not the answer to better performance. Shocking, and I thought making a student add 2+2 a million times would make them better at turning a fraction such as 1/2 into a decimal.

The interesting quote:

During the early 1980s, many U.S. schools and teachers ramped up their homework assignments, at least to younger children, in reaction to intense media focus on studies comparing the mediocre performance of American students to the industriousness of their Japanese counterparts. At the same time, ironically, Japanese educators were attempting to reduce the amount of homework given to their students and allow them more leisure from the rigors of schooling. Neither the American nor the Japanese educational reform of the 1980s seems to have affected general achievement levels in either country, according to the book.

Keywords: learning, Teaching, Homework