More on Endangered Species act and Salmon

I think that this television interview is pretty good, though I would have mentioned that there is no obvious evidence that wild raised salmon have an great advantage over hatchery fish. The higher rate of survival of hatchery salmon up to the point that they are released in the wild is offset by a higher death rate after that, but in the end the overall survivorship rate is the same.

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Market Failure: Supposedly not enough diversity

This brings us back to Nike's new shoe. Foot Locker is full of options that fit me and most other Americans. But American Indians make up just 1.5 percent of the U.S. population, and with feet on average three sizes wider, they need different-sized shoes. If we had all voted in a national election on whether the Ministry of Shoes should make wide or typical-width shoes, we surely would have chosen the latter. That's why Friedman condemned government allocation. And yet the market made the same choice. If Nike's announcement looks like a solution to this problem of ignored minority preference, it really isn't. The company took too many years to bring the shoe on line, and according to the Associated Press, the new sneaker "represents less of a financial opportunity than a goodwill and branding effort." . . . .

1) Just because Nike wasn't producing these shoes, I would have liked some evidence that shoes weren't already being produced for this segment of the market. I looked up some shoes on the internet and it seemed that this market niche was well covered see here, here, and here. You get sizes from EEEEEE to XW, and I haven't even heard of some of these sizes since they are so wide. I see no evidence that the basic claim in this article is correct.

2) "That's why Friedman condemned government allocation. And yet the market made the same choice." If the size of the particular group is so small or if those in the group aren't willing to pay that much for the shoes, you might not get a product specifically designed for each small group, but it is a long way to implying that the market doesn't produce a lot more diversity of products than the government.

3) "The company took too many years to bring the shoe on line . . . ." There is a cost and benefit from producing this diversity of products. I would guess that the benefits now exceed the costs. Possibly the cost of making products for such small niches has gone down. The article mentions that these wider feet might be a result of "diabetes and related conditions" and possibly more people generally are suffering from this problem. (It isn't clear from the piece what percentage of the 1.5 percent of the population who are Indians have these wide feet, but presumably it is less than 1.5 percent.) Bottom line: what evidence is provided here that it took "too many years" to provide these shoes. That is, "too many years" in the sense that the costs of doing this were less than the benefits (total costs including the costs of figuring out that such a market existed) and yet it was not provided.

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Big UN push for more gun control

If the Bush administration wasn't there, the UN would represent a real threat to gun ownership. You can only imagine what would happen with Hillary Clinton in office.

Britain, Japan, Australia and others are pushing for an unprecedented treaty regulating the arms trade worldwide, in a campaign sure to last years and to pit them against a determined American foe, the National Rifle Association.

In what U.N. officials say is an "overwhelming" response, almost 100 governments have submitted ideas for such a treaty, to be reviewed over the next year. There's an "extremely urgent" need for controls on the international gun trade, says Kenya, echoing the sentiment in much of guns-besieged Africa.

But in the U.S., the NRA says it sees a creeping attempt to limit civilian gun ownership within nations - even though the focus now is on setting standards for arms exports and imports.. . . .

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"Jodie's got a gun: Foster finds social meaning in 'Brave One' "

Jonathan Turley: "A liberal's lament: The NRA might be right after all"


I wish them good luck with this, but . . .

I agree completely with the end goal that these students have, but I just hope that they are as organized as they seem to think that they are.

On April 16, 2007, twenty-seven students and five faculty members at Virginia Tech lost their lives to a madman who possessed one distinct advantage over his victims—He wasn’t concerned with following the rules. Undeterred by Virginia Tech’s status as a “gun free zone,” this mentally unstable individual carried two handguns onto the university campus and indiscriminately opened fire.

During the week of October 22-26, 2007, college students throughout America will attend classes wearing empty holsters, in protest of state laws and campus policies that stack the odds in favor of armed killers by disarming law abiding citizens who are licensed to carry concealed handguns virtually everywhere else. . . . .

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Newt Gingrich's Potential Presidential Run is Victim of McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Regulations

Here is a discussion of how the Federal campaign finance laws have prevented Newt Gingrich from running for President. So much for campaign finance laws encouraging competition. My book Freedomnomics made similar points regarding the impact of campaign finance regulations.

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Democrat Economic Proposals

1) Hillary Clinton proposes giving every newborn $5,000.

-- Shades of George McGovern's 1972 campaign? This would cost about $20 billion per year. We give everyone $5,000 at birth but they have to pay higher taxes later to pay for that. I assume that the point of all this is to increase progressivity, but the notion that you are taxing people to give all newborns more money. If you means test the money to the poor, you dramatically lower how much you have to pay out. Presumably one reason for this could be to encourage people to have more kids, but the Even assuming that someone thought that it was necessary for yet another government program to transfer money, why would you want to give every newborn more money?

Note: I am not a big fan of the.

2) Congressional Democrats want a $35 billion increase in government health care financed by a $1 tax increase on cigarettes.

-- Also sorts of states are starting government programs with the promise that cigarette taxes will pay for them. Not only were states unlikely to get the money that they wanted to begin with, but this Federal tax increase would make that all the less likely.


Racially motivated stress as an explanation for infant mortality rates?

OK, you have differences in "poor nutrition, inadequate prenatal care, teen pregnancy, heredity, high blood pressure, stress, obesity, low birth weights and prematurity," but some academics have a different theory:

"The pregnancy scares the life out of me because I am pregnant with a baby boy, and I know how black boys are treated in this society," one study participant told researchers from Spelman College and Emory University in Atlanta. . . .

Here is my question: how has the gap between black and white infant mortality rates changed over time? The 1950s and 1960s should have had really high relative infant mortality rages, but they weren't. Well, I looked up some numbers:

The infant mortality rate for Black Americans in 1999 was 2.5 times the rate of White Americans. In 1950 the mortality rate of black infants was only 1.5 times the rate of white infants. . . .

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