unpaid thoughts on the dismal science

Monday, October 07, 2002  
Steven Den Beste gives an insider's view on why Europe blew it on wireless services. Hint to Euroweenies: when you have to outlaw those who would solve the problem differently, maybe your solution ain't so great.

Spotted via Live from the WTC.
10:56 PM

Sunday, October 06, 2002  
Stephen Karlson does a nice take-down (Fisking?) of Molly Ivins' recent silly column about water and capitalism.
7:33 PM

Dailypundit.com has a posting on John Kenneth Galbraith's boasting about his record as a Word War II price-controller for the Feds in a recent article, "A Man for All Markets". The article says:
This celebrated author feels his greatest achievement was not his books but his time as head of the body responsible for US price controls during the Second World War. He contrasts the success of this with the inflation that took place after the First World War, when the Fed was in charge. 'Historians never mention inflation as they did after World War One. But if - and I think this is the basic rule of all public service - if you succeed your work is forgotten.'
As DP points out, the facts show the exact opposite. Galbraith is so wildly ignorant of the facts that he brags about a failure being his greatest achievement. Thomas Sowell pointed out Galbraith's ignorance nearly three decades ago in this 1975 review of Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went:
Price-fixing during World War II was in the opposite direction trying to keep prices down while the money supply rose. These controls were "highly effective" according to Galbraith. His evidence? The official price index did not rise much during World War II. That is. the prices officially reported to the government did not rise much during a time when it was a federal crime to raise prices. The black markets and quality deteriorations of the period are mere "legend," according to Galbraith, though those of us who lived through it may remember it quite differently. Galbraith also glides smoothly over the horrendous shortages resulting from price-fixing which often reduced the "Official" price to a hypothetical number showing what you would pay if you could actually get butter, steak, or housing. Of course, if you were serious about getting those things, you paid a lot more—and neither you nor the seller reported those prices to the government.
Is it just me or does anyone else get the creeps reading about someone so out of touch with reality?
7:19 PM