Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Appearing on CSPAN 1 Thursday at 10:40 AM EST

I will be in a call in program on CSPAN to discuss Freedomnomics tomorrow morning. I will be on after Ron Paul and before Pat Buchanan. As long as you have a computer you can watch a live stream of the event here.

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Some Feedback on My Op-ed on Women's Suffrage

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Op-ed: Women's suffrage over time

Freedomnomics Recommended as "Great Gift" for Holidays

Craig Newmark recommends Freedomnomics for Christmas presents.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

C-SPAN 2 tonight at 7 PM EST

I will be on CSPAN2 tonight for 46 minutes to discuss Freedomnomics.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Recommended Books for Christmas Gifts

Mike Adams, a criminology professor and columnist, sent out his annual list of books give and not to give as Christmas gifts:

"Freak-o-nomics," by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dupner.

This book has raised quite a stink with its assertion that legalizing
abortion in the 1970s greatly reduced crime on the 1990s. The book
also makes claims about the effects of right-to-carry laws on crime
rates, which are contrary to what I have been saying in speeches on
college campuses including Ohio University and, more recently,
Bucknell University. Nonetheless, I always encourage my readers to
seek contrary opinions.

"Freedom-nomics" by John R. Lott, Jr.

In this enjoyable book, Lott offers an intriguing argument about the
true effects the 1973 "Roe" decision has had on crime. This argument
alone makes the book well worth the purchase price. But Lott also
offers a strong rebuttal to the assertion that right-to-carry laws
have not reduced crime. Levitt and Dupner suggest that Lott may have
fabricated data and that there has been a widespread inability of
others to replicate his results. But, why then, are there more
refereed studies (fifteen) showing that CCWs reduce homicide rates
than refereed studies (ten) showing no effect? And why are there no
(exactly zero) refereed studies showing the CCWs are increasing
homicide rates? Was that not the principal argument against
right-to-carry laws in the first place?

Lott also makes a strong case for the deterrent effect of the death
penalty, which is causing this lifelong abolitionist to reconsider his


Sunday, November 18, 2007

The American Hunter Reviews Freedomnomics

This is from the December 2007 issue:

When John R. Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, sent me a copy of Freedomnomics, I was ready for my preconceptions to be busted; after all, this is the guy who, after years of research, proved that gun control doesn't lower crime rates -- actuall all it does is disarm law-abiding citizens. Freedomnomics starts with a hat tip to Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, then clearly shows what the free market has done for America and the free world. The book includes chapter titled "Crime and Punishment" that covers our Second Amendment freedoms. Lott delves into crime statistics to find out if things like the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban worked. When the ban expired in 2004 Sarah Brady predicted that it would effectively "arm our kids with Uzis and AK-47s." Instead, Lott's research shows the nationwide murder rate fell by 3 percent in 2004. This book busts anti-free market myths and will give you control and many other issues pertinent to America today.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Op-ed: Why do we care if people tip a waitress?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Relatives running for office a consequence of campaign finance laws?

The United States, however, considers itself to be a more mature democracy. Grover Norquist, one of America’s most influential Republican activists, aims to turn the question of dynasty into a campaign issue.

“It will be ridiculous to have Mr President and Madam President in the White House,” he said. “We’re the United States of America. How can we say to President Mubarak [of Egypt], ‘You can’t hand off the presidency to your son, it’s got to be your wife’ or, ‘Hey Syria and North Korea, you’ve got to knock this stuff off and be like us’.”

Norquist has commissioned lawyers to draw up a constitutional amendment that would ban family members from succeeding one another to elected and appointed office. If passed, it would not apply to the Clintons as a Bush was elected in between them. But Norquist believes that it will alert voters to the perils of dynasty. “Americans don’t like to go back,” he said. . . . .

The notion of relatives holding the same office doesn't bother me by itself, but I think that the problem is related to campaign finance regulations. Just as campaign finance regulations benefit incumbents, they also benefit someone such as Hillary Clinton or George W. Bush because of the publicity that they get from their spouse or father are in office (though this particularly applies to Hillary) as well as the benefits that they have from having the well known name. In my book, Freedomnomics, I discuss how it is that the children of politicians are so likely to follow their parents into politics compared to children in other professions. Here is just a brief part of that discussion:

Because a politician’s reputation can’t be transferred outside his family, a politician’s child who doesn’t go into politics simply loses the benefits of this reputation. It’s not like inheriting a family business, where a son or daughter could sell it off and use the proceeds toward some other line of business. Since going into politics is the only way a politician’s child can exploit his parent’s political reputation, it should come as no surprise that politicians’ children follow their parent’s careers at higher rates than most other professions: about 30 percent of politician’s children follow their parent’s profession, second only to the children of farmers. By contrast, about 15 percent of sons of fathers from all self-employed licensed occupations follow that path themselves.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lemuel Calhoon's Review of Freedomnomics

Friday, November 2, 2007

Another Review of Freedomnomics

From the World Magazine:

That is why I salute John Lott's Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't (Regnery, 2007), a voice of reason in a swamp of interventionist megalomania that threatens to push the land of the free down the road of the late Roman Empire.

Freedomnomics, translating economics into regular English, shows that bureaucratic and judicial attempts to correct the market restore feudalism and hurt the poor. Corporate scandals that lower a firm's reputation create disincentives to cheat and thus become part of a self-correcting market mechanism. Lott also discerns the true link between legalized abortion and crime: In opposition to the best-selling book Freakonomics, he shows that easy access to abortion leads to change in attitudes to premarital sex, more out-of-wedlock children, family breakdown, and thus to more crime. . . . .