Conservative Economist

Conservative Economist

Monday, June 24

Extended Blogging Vacation

I'm writing a book on game theory and the manuscript is due on Aug 1st. I'm going to temporary suspend this blog until I have finished the book.

Tuesday, June 11

Vacation, No More Blogging Until Around June 19th

Thursday, June 6


Whatever he imagines, Osama bin Laden can't destroy Western civilization. Carbon dioxide can. (Krugman)

So, weaponized, genetically enhanced smallpox unleashed by terrorists poses less of a threat to Western civilization than Carbon dioxide and Enron?

Private vs. Public Security

So, investigators hired by Chandra's parents found evidence that eluded D.C. police. Aren't you glad that we federalized airport security? After all, one just can't trust the competence of private security workers.

Tuesday, June 4

Free Trade With India

A nuclear war between India and Pakistan seems increasingly likely. India believes that she must respond to terrorist attacks by striking at Pakistan. If India invades, however, the relatively weak Pakistan might feel the need to use atomics. Perhaps the U.S. should offer India, but not Pakistan, a free trade agreement if India doesn't invade Pakistan. By giving the free trade agreement to India but not Pakistan, the Indian political leaders will be able to claim an economic victory over their rival and thus wouldn't politically need a military conquest.

Airline Profiling

"Four U.S. airlines face discrimination lawsuits from passengers who claim they were forced off flights "because of their perceived Middle Eastern appearance." (WSJ)

Anti-discrimination laws make it harder to fire blacks than whites because firing a black employee creates the presumption of prejudice. Consequently, firms are much more reluctant to fire black than white employees. If airlines face lawsuits whenever they prevent men of Middle Eastern appearance from boarding plans then they will be less likely to search Arab looking 25 year old men then, say, 7 year old black girls. If current trends continue, airlines will profile passengers, it's just that those who fit the terrorism profile won't be stopped or searched.

Monday, June 3

Foreign Students

George J. Borjas on Foreign Students on National Review Online
This NRO article calls for reducing the number of foreign students in the U.S. Graduate programs in science and engineering, however, are totally dependant upon foreign students. It's not financially worthwhile for a U.S. citizen to get a Ph.D. in engineering or science. Professors in the sciences rely upon foreign students to help with research and teaching. If graduate students did less teaching, professors would have to do more and consequently professors would do less research. Therefore, reducing the number of foreign graduate students in the U.S. would decimate University-based science research. The only way out of this dilemma would be to induce U.S. citizens to get Phds in science, which will only happen if Ph.D. students are paid a lot more. Consequently, any proposal to reduce the number of foreign students studying in the U.S. needs to be coupled with an increase in funding for university science programs.

Sunday, June 2

Atomic War Would Be a Disaster For the Axis Of Evil

If only one atomic bomb is used by India or Pakistan it would make it likely that the U.S. would take out the Axis of Evil +. Crossing the nuclear threshold would terrify Americans and create enormous pressure for Bush to deprive irresponsible countries of their weapons of mass destruction. If an atomic bomb is dropped on a major city I doubt even the French would object to America attacking Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria and Cuba to deprive these countries of the capacity to create weapons of mass destruction.

Saturday, June 1

New Terrorist Threat

U.S. nabs cache of portable missiles -- The Washington Times
"Disclosure of the missile cache comes as the U.S. intelligence community obtained information that Islamic terrorists have smuggled shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles into the United States, including SA-7s and U.S.-made Stinger missiles."

"The FBI issued an intelligence alert May 22 warning airlines and law enforcement agencies about the missile threat, but said it has no evidence that al Qaeda is planning attacks against U.S. aircraft using portable missiles."

If not to attack U.S. aircrafts, why else smuggle the missiles into America?

Damage Caused By Fleeing Westerners

Westerners have been advised to leave India. I suspect that this exodus will do massive damage to the Indian Economy. There are many Western businesspeople in India overseeing multinational investments. When these people leave, capital investments to India will slow.