"There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters." Daniel Webster

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Costs of Immigration

Art Carden writes:

According to the Center for Immigration Studies (via the Federation for American Immigration Reform), state government spending on welfare for immigrants is $11-$22 billion through programs like TANF. A report by the Center for Immigration Studies estimated that the Federal Government spend some $26.3 billion on services for illegal immigrants in 2002. These immigrants paid about $16 billion in taxes, leaving us with a net cost of about $10.4 billion (these are their numbers; I know $26.3-$16=$10.3, but there’s rounding error).

Let’s bias this number upward. We’ll take the high estimate of state spending ($22 billion) and assume that the $26.3 billion is all costs. Add them together and we get $48.3 billion. Let’s round it up to $50 billion and assume that there are no offsetting benefits. According to the website www.usgovernmentspending.com, state, local, and federal governments spent almost $5 trillion in 2007. Even if the money spent on welfare for immigrants had no offsetting benefits, it’s about 1% of government spending in 2007.

This is not meant to be precise: the numbers are from several different years, and the calculations are only to get a sense of the magnitude of government spending on immigrants relative to government spending on everything else. Even if you double this crude estimate of the amount being spent on immigrant welfare, you’re up to 2% of 2007 government spending. Compared to the elephants in the Federal budget (Social Security, Medicare, Defense), the money we’re spending on welfare for immigrants isn’t very much.

Chinese Tourists

They are coming to Europe.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chuck Liddell Retires

The Iceman becomes a UFC exec. He was once one of the best fighters in MMA, but he's been on a losing streak and obviously lost a couple of steps. Glad he's not trying to stick around.

Japan and the Limits of Keynesianism

Megan McArdle says something has to give.

Robots Teach English in South Korea

But can they find Sarah Connor?

NYC City Workers at Work

Windy Scotland

Scotland has made a big push for green energy such as windmills. But they don't work too well and the Scots are only keeping themselves warm this winter by buying nuclear power from France.

Happy Brithday, Ronald Coase

The economist turns 100 today.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Brock Lesnar Quits?

Sources citing Dave Meltzer, say the beating Lesnar took from Cain Velasquez has soured him on MMA.

Weep Not for Richard Holbrooke

One Canadian general gives us the measure of the man.

If You Are so Smart,

Why is your head so small.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Asia's Megacities

City Journal looks at the real metropolises and the Ptemkin villages.

Inflation It Is

Ben Bernanke's policies have sent commodity prices soaring.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More Freedom, Less Crime

What a shock. Governments that don't steal much from their residents have residents that don't steal much from each other.

Out of Africa, Kind Of

Razib Khan with more on how the latest discoveries of interbreeding between non-African humans and other species changes our concepts of the origin of modern man.

Close But No Cigar

Fox News declares Elie Wiesel the winner of the Holocaust.

Julian Simon vs. Paul Krugman

One economist made correct predictions about the future. The other, won the Nobel prize.

Wikileaks Explained

At the Kings of War blog.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This Frightens and Confuses Me

Christmas in Japan

That means it's time for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The Other Humans

Scientists today announced that the have discovered a new human species, a cousin the Neanderthal and distant relative of homo sapiens. They also say they have found evidence it interbred with modern man. Razib Khan has more at Gene Expression.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shades of Owen Hart

An actor in the Spider-Man musical was seriously hurt after his harness broke and he fell 30 feet. And just who thought that a Broadway musical based on Spider-Man was a good idea? Besides Bono?

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm in Love with Friedrich Hayek

Well, not me. The girl in this video.

Woodrow Wilson vs. Joe McCarthy

Bryan Caplan says Wilson made Joe look like a piker.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Showtime Kick

Here's the highlight of the final WEC shiws. Fans are going to miss the WEC. It consisttently put on the best cards, top to bottom, of any promotion. But it was owned by the same people that owned the UFC and they never promoted it or the fighters it had under contract as strongly as they did the UFC.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Guys We Put in Charge

A new report says the prime minister of Kosovo headed a criminal gang that enaged in all sorts of nefarious business.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wikileaks Fights Big Government

Via The American Conservative

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Citadel

An oldie from Sports Illustrated. The most amazing part is that it only took an 800 on the old SAT to get in. You got 600 just for taking the test. Wow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Guys We Put in Charge

National Review's The Corner looks at the plight of Christian's in Iraq and the lack of protection from the government.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jim Ross on the UFC

Ross shares his thoughts on the UFC's latest pay-per-view. If Dana White was as smart as he thinks he is, he'd hire Ross as a consultant or even matchmaker.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Inflation Everywhere

Eonomist Scott Beaulier shows that there's plenty of evidence rampant inflation is already happening, even if Ben Bernanke refuses to see it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

War Is the Health of the State

DAve Weigel and Daniel Larison ask why George W. Bush was able to stary so far from conservative ideas without provoking a backlash from his base while Barack Obama has gotten big pushback from his base for far less.

The reason? Republicans stood strong behind Bush because of the Iraq War.

This leads Larison to write:

As long as the war remained the defining issue, it bonded the movement to Bush to an extent that has never happened with liberals and Obama. Conservatives might reflect on that and consider whether waging an unnecessary, costly war that harmed U.S. interests was worth the massive expansion of the welfare state before and after 2006 that it enabled

Friday, December 10, 2010

Atlas Shrugged: The Movie

The first 10 minutes was recently previewed for fans. Here's a review.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Guys We Put in Charge

Iraq and Afghanistan are two of the 11 countries boycotting the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at China's behest.

How Economics Saved Christmas

A Rothbardian take on a holiday classic.


Why does Japan have such a high savings rate?

H.S. Wrestler's Legal Move Leads to Criminal Charges

The butt drag is a legal move in amateur wrestling, but contrary to what this reporter writes it doesn't not involve sticking your fingers up anyone's anus. If the kid did that, it is a foul and it is sexual battery, at the least.

The Death of Neoconservatism

Harper's interviews Bradley Thompson.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Is Congress Above the Law?


Warren Buffett, Robber Baron

Big businessmen are about the most anti-capitalistic men you'll find.

Maximum Revenue Loss, Minimum Economic Impact

If Republicans and President Obama had set out to design tax cuts with those two goals in mind, they couldn't have done much better than the compromise they have come up with. Economic Bryan Caplan looks at what's wrong with the payroll tax cut.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Latest From Iraq

You'll never believe what the guys we put in charge are up to. Well, you might, but George W. bush obviously didn't.

How the Bailouts Hurt Small Banks

And reward the biggest ones.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

How the TSA Kills Us

Economist Steve Horwitz, a former grad school colleague of mine, looks at the economics of security.

Brazilian Drug Lords

Just remember, soccer is big down there, too.

China Criminalizes Research

Publishing basic economic information can land you in prison.

Inflation Isn't What It Used to Be

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel and Sheldon Richman explain how governments used to do well for themselves, though not for their citizens, by inflating the currency. But those days are over.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Who Is Charles Koch?

Robert Bradley looks at the current bogeyman of the left.

Replace the Fed

Economist George Selgin, an old grad school professor of mine, explains why the Federal Reserve has failed, even judged by its own standards:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Top 48 Ads That Would Not Be Allowed Today

I remember a few of these from my youth. Slightly NSFW.

HT: Jesse Walker

Japan Refuses to Renew Kyoto Protocol

And the environmentalists aren't very happy.