Gordon Pye was a finance professor at UC Berkeley in the 1970s.  Then he became Chief Economist at a bank in New York City.  After ten years or so, the bank was acquired by another bank that already had a Chief Economist.  So Professor Pye took early retirement and began to contemplate the appropriate rule… Read more

U.S. economic growth accelerated from 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013. This acceleration was driven mainly by increases in consumption growth and inventory investment. Another factor was that government expenditure was less of a negative contribution to growth in first quarter by about half… Read more

Previously published in the Orange County Register Sarah Conly is a Bowdoin College philosophy professor who has recently gained some fame/notoriety/attention with a New York Times piece Three Cheers for the Nanny State (which argues that sometimes government should protect us from ourselves.). That piece has been rebutted by, among others, Jean Yarbrough, another Bowdoin… Read more

Previously published in The City Journal The New York Times loves California. Well, parts of it, anyway. Adam Nagourney, writing a few weeks after voters approved a temporary income- and sales-tax hike, reported that the state’s economic gloom was “starting to lift,” even before the tax had taken effect. Last month, Timothy Egan found “California… Read more

At first glance, this seems like a dumb question.  The Freddie Mac 30 year mortgage rate is approximately 3.75%, near its all-time low.  Based on this rate, the median income family can afford to purchase 200% of the median priced home.  This so-called “affordability” measure is the highest it has been in twenty years. Although… Read more

Previously published in the Orange County Register I encountered the phrase “A well-ordered anarchist society” in Michael Huemer’s book The Problem of Political Authority. The phrase grabbed my imagination, and it hasn’t really let it go. For most of us, those words just don’t go together. Our vision of anarchy is chaotic and violent. Huemer,… Read more

The California Economic Summit published a piece reacting to what President Obama’s push to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour would mean for California. There were a number of economists quoted who made some true statements – but they all missed the point. First, here is some of what… Read more

The year 1972 was a big one for me. I left the US Air Force, and I married the woman I still love. Once it dawned on me that I needed income to support my wife and our future family, I started looking about for what to do. I seriously considered working in one of… Read more