A Six-Step Program for Fiscally Conservative Social Liberals

A few years ago, the esteemed Chuck McGlawn argued against the temptation for libertarians to let someone pigeonhole our beliefs as being fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I do like his framing and also agree that it is important not to fall into the trap of letting our rather arcane and arbitrary two-party system dictate… Continue reading A Six-Step Program for Fiscally Conservative Social Liberals

Is ‘First Past the Post’ the Fairest Voting System? Why?

No, because plurality severely underrepresents minority viewpoints (gives them no voice at all), and even a majority viewpoint can be underrepresented if that side of the political spectrum simply runs more candidates, thus splitting the vote (i.e., the spoiler effect). For example, Nader acting as a spoiler for Gore in Florida 2000 and Jorgensen arguably… Continue reading Is ‘First Past the Post’ the Fairest Voting System? Why?

How Trustworthy Is Media Bias / Fact Check?

For the past several years, I’ve looked far and wide for good ratings of media sources. Media Bias / Fact Check (MB/FC) is the best one I’ve been able to find. Indeed, every criticism of MB/FC that I have ever seen fails to mention a media assessment source that is better! That says it all… Continue reading How Trustworthy Is Media Bias / Fact Check?

Review of The Accidental Superpower

image from ThriftBooks I found Peter Zeihan's The Accidental Superpower to be a very interesting, informative, and entertaining book. It seems to be a great introduction to geopolitics, especially with its awesome maps. The first half of the book is brilliant, describing the geographical advantages that led to America's rise. As he describes in the book,… Continue reading Review of The Accidental Superpower

Review of The Cold War: A World History

(image via goodreads) Odd Arne Westad's The Cold War is simply a must-read for anyone who wants a better understanding of the world today. Despite having lived through the Cold War -- and as someone who probably pays closer attention to current events, world politics, and history than your average American -- there was a… Continue reading Review of The Cold War: A World History

How biased is Reuters or Associated Press?

In my experience as an investment professional who relies heavily upon the accuracy of my news sources, they are two of the least biased sources. I have a bit more experience with Reuters since my employer bundles it into our market data application, but I have never run into had any bias or accuracy issues with either source… Continue reading How biased is Reuters or Associated Press?

How I define Conservativism and Liberalism

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we-L7w1K5Zo "Boo! Different political party!" You may have noticed how political debates in the U.S. these days tend to be two sides shouting and hurling insults at each other. Do you want to do something about it? Well, the first step is to be able to understand what you believe and why. If your only… Continue reading How I define Conservativism and Liberalism

The Causes of the Financial Crisis

As I see it, the main cause was systemic, namely the securitization of mortgages (e.g., CDOs). This means mortgages being repackaged by lenders and resold to other investors who wanted the income from the monthly payments. This was first done in 1970 by the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae), but securitization didn’t really start taking… Continue reading The Causes of the Financial Crisis

Review of All the Devils Are Here

Image from goodreads.com I consider All the Devils Are Here to be the best book on the financial crisis I have read so far, edging out Nouriel Roubini's Crisis Economics and significantly better than Michael Lewis's excellent Big Short. Roubini excels more at explaining more of the economics in systemic big-picture terms and also laying… Continue reading Review of All the Devils Are Here

The Economics Behind the Individual Mandate

In regards to the big Supreme Court decision on Romneycare Obamacare, there's been much hand-wringing on how this is a tax on doing nothing. This does seem odd, until you realize that a penalty or tax on one group but not on a second group is economically identical to having no penalty or tax on the first group but a tax credit… Continue reading The Economics Behind the Individual Mandate