Friday, July 31, 2009

Crain's Cleveland Business: Social media extend search for prospective students

Crain's Cleveland Business: Social media extend search for prospective students
Northeast Ohio's colleges and universities are moving some of their recruiting efforts online, using social media web sites to promote their schools to prospective students.
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Taxes: How high is too high?

The latest post from shows the top one percent of income earners pay over 40% of all income taxes. The bottom 90% of income earners (yes 90% of all americans) pay only about 28% of all taxes with the bottom 50% paying less than 3% of all taxes. So we should be taking the rich even more? Notice that if "rich" is the top 1% that there are only 1.4 million of them to support a population of 300 million.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The New PC (hint: It's Public Choice)

Amity Shlaes, the author of the NYT bestseller The Forgotten Man: A History of the Great Depression, writes in Forbes, The New PC. Not political correctness or a personal computer, but Public Choice Theory that "says that the laws of economics aren't suspended at the door to City Hall." It is a great read.

(HT Don Boudreaux)

I have written about George Mason University before in a post about being a masonomist (George Mason-economist). That post highlighted podcasts with Milton Friedman worth listening to. I strongly recommend the podcasts at (Here is a 2007 post of mine on EconTalk.)

Cash for Clunkers or just a Clunker?

In a previous post I cited Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, as a brilliant read. This book is a must for all who want to learn economics. The lesson is given in pages 15 through 22. The essence of the lesson is shown by the broken window fallacy. In that fallacy, some mistake the job creation for the glazier as growth and not as the destruction of the opportunities that now can not be done. For example, if someone had not broken the window, the glazier could have been putting in a window for someone else resulting in a net growth of 1 window. Replacement of the destroyed window results in a net growth of zero.

So I read with interest an AP story tonight titled Government to Suspend Cash for Clunkers. The reason is they might run out of the 1 billion dollars in rebates. What they should see is the cash for clunkers is a case of the broken window fallacy. In order to get your $3,500 or $4,500 rebate you have to bring in an old car and buy a new car. So far so good, the government is incentivizing you to buy newer fuel efficient cars, I get it. But instead of the clunker moving into the used car market as it would in a private market transaction, the government is requiring dealers to destroy the trade in automobile. The government is breaking one car to get you to buy another. While there may be some benefit for growth here, it is far less than it might have been.

Once again, the government interfers in a market and everyone focuses on what is seen (people buying new cars) and not what is unseen. When the used car market is deprived of supply, the prices of used cars goes up and the sales of used cars goes down. So the same policy that seems to enhance consumer spending and create growth has this indirect component that causes the desired effects to have far less appeal.

With economic freedom comes liberty and in this care both are harmed. Cash for Clunkers is a clunker.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 -- I might be ready to try it again.

Having used Dragon and other speech-to-type software in the past, this post by Xavier at MIDStories caught my interest and impressed me. You have to watch this video if you have ever used speech-to-type software. I will have to give Dragon Naturally Speaking another try at

Since I use a Tablet PC, I did a search and found a few interesting reviews, most on earlier versions. Here are a few:

From, (today and pretty funny), and

Mobile Internet Devices or MIDs

Xavier Lanier from (my favorite mobile site) announces a new site called and ... well read about it here and see the video about watching baseball. Where was that when I was a kid trying to tune in a distant analog broadcast? If you convince them how you will use it, you might win a MID too.