From the “No Surprises Here Department”: Price Controls Cause Chaos in Ethiopian Markets

Michael Giberson Ethiopia devalues currency => prices jump => consumers complain => government issues price controls to stop price gouging => goods disappear from market shelves. Yep, no surprises here. From http://www.voanews.com: Price Controls Cause Chaos in Ethiopian Markets Price controls on many staple food items ordered by Ethiopia’s government early this month have reduced grocery bills … More From the “No Surprises Here Department”: Price Controls Cause Chaos in Ethiopian Markets

Investors using municipal power company borrowing to maximize private returns?

Michael Giberson Some regional power business developments have a few people in the area scratching their heads and wondering what is going on. An excellent article in Sunday’s Lubbock Avalanche-Journal explores the issue, yet still leaves local readers wondering what a quasi-public company is up to on our behalf. In brief, High Plains Diversified Energy … More Investors using municipal power company borrowing to maximize private returns?

U.S. military aid funds tear gas used to repress peaceful protestors in Egypt

Lynne Kiesling I am watching and following the events in Egypt with great interest. Of course as a technologist-of-sorts who studies complexity I am interested in the role of social media in enabling such a distributed movement to coalesce. Unlike what happened in Iran in June 2009, this uprising seems likely to have a longer-lasting … More U.S. military aid funds tear gas used to repress peaceful protestors in Egypt

Understanding libertarian morality: “Regulations trigger a sense of resistance in me”

Michael Giberson In the February 2011 issue of Reason Ronald Bailey explains some interesting work in political and moral psychology on libertarian morality. The research – by Jon Haidt at the University of Virginia, Ravi Iyer and Jesse Graham at the University of Southern California and Spassena Koleva and Peter Ditto at the University of California … More Understanding libertarian morality: “Regulations trigger a sense of resistance in me”

I detect a fundamental tension in this headline on wind power

Michael Giberson This amusement, courtesy of Examiner.com: “Wind power officially cost effective, AWEA hopes for more incentives from Feds.” The like link is “http://www.examiner.com/green-living-in-national/wind-power-officially-cost-effective,” but I warn you that the site may try to serve you multiple ads, making the experience more trouble than the story is actually worth. The article does, however, make good … More I detect a fundamental tension in this headline on wind power

Dear President Obama: You Don’t “Win” Economics

Lynne Kiesling I’m teaching a principles/intro class this quarter (for the first time in longer than I care to remember!), and my students are all very clear on a concept that I’m afraid President Obama has forgotten … or at least that his rhetoric contradicts: economic activity is not a win-lose relationship. Using language like … More Dear President Obama: You Don’t “Win” Economics

State of the Union watching advice: Don’t.

Michael Giberson From ushistory.org on Thomas Jefferson: “Jefferson also found the State of the Union address to be too magisterial when delivered in person. He performed one and afterwards delivered them, as required by the constitution, only in writing.” (link to usconstitution.net added.) Jefferson was right, the pomp and ceremony surrounding the State of the … More State of the Union watching advice: Don’t.

An act purporting to ban gasoline zone pricing in Connecticut

Michael Giberson A new legislative session in Connecticut brings with it another bill proposing to ban zone pricing of gasoline in the state. But the simplicity of the proposed bill makes it look like they’re not really trying.  Here is the body of the bill (all of it): AN ACT BANNING GASOLINE ZONE PRICING. Be … More An act purporting to ban gasoline zone pricing in Connecticut

Ethanol blather courtesy of the EPA and the Financial Times

Michael Giberson On Friday, the EPA announced it now believes it is safe to use fuels made with up to 15 percent ethanol in cars, SUVs and light-duty trucks manufactured between 2001 and 2006.  EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said, “Whenever sound science and the law support steps to allow more home-grown fuels in America’s vehicles, this … More Ethanol blather courtesy of the EPA and the Financial Times