Economic Policy

Jude Wanniski, RIP

Economist Jude Wanniski passed away suddenly yesterday at the age of 69. More than any other thinker, Wanniski educated the public about supply-side economics, after learning its key principles from Robert Mundell and Arthur Laffer in the early and mid-1970s. On my bookshelf behind me I have several binders worth of his Supply-Side University essays (written every Friday for the last decade or so) and several copies of his 1978 book The Way the World Works. Wanniski was a key force in the economic debates that led to the election of Ronald Reagan and to the implementation of his successful agenda of tax rate cuts, deregulation, and sound money. In his book he predicted that China was at the dawn Read More ›

Flat Earth Economics

Globalization scholar Jagdish Bhagwati this morning takes on Tom Friedman’s “Flat Earth” metaphor. The Earth is not flat, writes Bhagwati, author of last year’s In Defense of Globalization, but “kaleidoscopic.” Bhagwati thinks Friedman’s analogies are too simplistic, that flat and round don’t accurately convey the diversity of the global economy, and that China and India still have a long way to go to match Western sophistication and wealth. No doubt, Bhagwati is right in some of his particular criticisms. Friedman’s overuse of analogies makes him vulnerable to such charges of over-generalization. Nevertheless, Friedman’s basic premise of a highly integrated and connected world economy stands. The funny thing to me and my supply-side friends is that this has been the foundation Read More ›

You mean high unemployment and slow growth aren’t good things?

Why is 2004 economics Nobel laureate Ed Prescott so optimistic [registration required at Wall Street Journal] about Western Europe’s economic propects over the next decade? Because things are so bad, he writes, even most French and German politicians now realize they must change their ways. Prescott has done key research on the effects of taxes on labor markets and has shown virtually the entire difference between hard working Americans and liesurely Europeans can be explained by Western Europe’s high tax rates. Although Prescott’s Journal op-ed today does not mention Princeton professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman by name, the article seems a direct refutation of Krugman’s attempt last week to paint France’s high unemployment rate, low productivity, and Read More ›

John Roberts

I’m stunned the pundits aren’t discussing John Roberts’ potential impact on communications law! Seriously, I was surprised to learn he grew up in my home county in Indiana and attended a small, private, country school outside my hometown of La Porte. La Lumiere School’s other famous alum was a genius of another sort — the late comedian Chris Farley. The Wall Street Journal did report that when Roberts listed his personal investments when he became an appellate judge, among his stock holdings were Time Warner Inc. (TWX), Dell Inc. (DELL), Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), and Intel Corp. (INTC). Maybe this is standard fair, but it could reflect a mild interest in technology. Also, his father was an Read More ›

Policy Drives Stocks

It’s impossible to model the stock market with absolute certainty. But is it a coincidence that since the FCC announced a week ago it would seek some measure of deregulation for telecom companies, the technology heavy Nasdaq has risen over 4 percent? Before the Supreme Court Brand X decision and the related FCC statements, the Nasdaq had been down year-to-date about 6 percent. Now we’re close to even for the year. Our Gilder Technology Index, which is even more concentrated in technology, is up almost 6 percent in the last week. Several of my Discovery colleagues have voiced valid concerns that the Brand X case confirms and centralizes the FCC’s powers — often an ominous thing, to be sure — Read More ›

George Gilder on Capitol Hill

Discovery’s George Gilder meets with members of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force on June 29th to discuss telecommunications reform. Clockwise from left: Gilder, U.S. Senators John Ensign (R-NV), Richard Burr (R-NC), Wayne Allard (R-CO), George Allen (R-VA), and John Thune (R-SD).